BMW released the teaser video above on the 1 series M coupe today. The video features Dr. Kay Segler discussing how the car will put a smile on your face and we have no doubt it will do just that which is what the vast majority of BMW's do.
Car and Driver also released their first drive impressions which told us a few things, most importantly that a tweaked N54 would be used putting power at 335 hp which is no doubt underrated. BimmerBoost predicted an N54 in this article here.
The car will obviously have suspension tweaks, a unique exhaust, a limited slip differential, better brakes, as well as unique body work and wheels. However, we can't help but feel a bit let down. First of all, M cars always have had a unique/special powerplant that goes with the chassis. An N54 just running a few more pounds of boost is a bit boring. No cylinder head changes? No valvetrain changes? No turbo changes? No special motor? Many of the N54 enthusiasts are already running more power.
This just seems a bit... bland for an M. The X5 and X6 M at least make the case that they have different turbos and tuning from the base Xdrive 50i Twin Turbo V8 N63 models. The M variant may be based on the regular twin turbo V8 but receives some nice tweaks. From what we understand, this just uses the same base N54 turbos that have always been available. That just isn't enough to justify an M car but most certainly a 135is.
One could already have a 1 M coupe if they have made some suspension tweaks on their own as well as adding a limited slip differential. So what is special about this car? It just does not seem to quite live up to the M standard. We would have at least expected larger turbos or something that can't be had on the base 1 series. Frankly, one can just get tune for their N54, add a limited slip, get some springs, and already have what this offers and then some.
The BMW M power website is featuring the opportunity to sign up for a first drive: http://www.m-power.com/_open/b/home.jsp?lang=en. Expect the 1 M coupe to retail for around $45,000 and be available in the beginning of next year. These latest M offerings have us very concerned about the direction M is headed. This car will be loads of fun, but so is a regular 135. This isn't enough to justify the M badge, further diluting it. The best thing about this vehicle is that they managed to preserve the "M1" nomenclature for something that deserves it.