With only 2700 units produced and about 750 sold in the US, the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe remains one of the most sought after M models ever.
With such exclusivity and an undeniable prowess both in performance and the looks department, the used market for these rare gems has soared, with models selling close to $70k. With all this in mind Alberto Torres, CEO of Slek Designs in Long Beach, CA, decided he would not only buy a brand new one off the lot, but also use it as a marketing tool for his company.
Starting life as a pristine Alpine White 1M, Alberto's ride was special even in stock form. But in the BMW tuning market it can take a lot to stand out. "I wanted to use the limited edition car to get attention for us," Alberto explained. Since the purchase of the car and birth of the company were simultaneous, his plan made sense, and at only 23 years old, it seems he knows exactly what he's doing.
Slek Designs focuses primarily on the BMW aftermarket; designing and manufacturing carbon fiber components for cars like the E9X M3, F30 3 Series, 128/135i and the 1M, with more on the horizon.
With 14 employees, the Slek carbon parts are of superior quality to many competitors and the aggressive styling suits the cars well, especially this 1M.
With only three colors available for the car from BMW, Alberto wanted something exclusive, and red suits the car beautifully, showing off its masculine lines and massive fenders. So daring to be different, Alberto wrapped the white exterior in a Carmine Red vinyl cloak, applied by Precision Dynamix in Irvine, CA.
Exposed carbon fiber is a great contrast to the red, so Slek manufactured a front lip, rear diffuser, side skirt splitters, hood and trunk for the car. All these parts are now available for purchase, if you'd like to adorn your 1 Series the same way.
The 1M is known for its near perfect handling, so Alberto felt a set of H&R springs would bring a good compromise of ride height lowering while keeping the car usable on a daily basis.
After some light massaging of the fenders by LT Motorwerks in El Monte, CA, they were able to fit massive 19x12" HRE C20 wheels out back, with meaty 315/25 Michelin PS2 tires. Up front he has a more reasonable 19x9.5" with 245/35s.
To make the sticky rubber work hard, Alberto opted for a Vishnu PROcede ECU tune and a Meisterschaft GT SUS exhaust with non-resonated mid-pipes. As a result, the N54 motor screams at wide-open throttle, with all the glory BMW's straight-six twin-turbo can muster.
Thanks to the extra boost and more aggressive software mapping, the 1M now makes upwards of 400hp, causing the wide tires to squeal in second gear.
After he was finished, Alberto was approached with an offer most couldn't refuse: "I had to keep the car, I love it too much. It's too much fun," he laughed. We approve of his decision because if we had a 1M, we wouldn't let go either.
Moving forward, Slek Designs hopes to open a design studio to focus on creating parts for other manufacturers, instead of fabricating and manufacturing their own. There will still be Slek parts, and Alberto plans to design pieces for every new BMW before eventually moving onto more several exotic badges.
With Perry Yem onboard as the company's lead designer, these goals certainly seem feasible given his previous accolades at Vorsteiner and Gintani, among others.
There's something to be said for modifying a car that many see as already perfect. We can vouch for the stock 1M's ability to make a grown man salivate at the mere site of it, but when approached from a new angle with delicately sculpted carbon fiber parts, some of the world's finest wheels and extra horsepower, Alberto has certainly made his BMW 1M even better.
With enthusiasts in agreement, Slek parts are currently flying off the shelves, so keep an eye out for products from this young company.
2011 BMW 1 series M Coupe
Long Beach, CA
Engine 2979cc inline six-cylinder N54B30TO twin-turbo with Vishnu PROcede software, Meisterschaft GT SUS mid-pipes and exhaust system
Drivetrain six-speed manual transmission
Suspension H&R springs
Wheels & Tires 19x9.5" f, 19x12" r HRE C20 wheels, 245/35 R19 f, 315/25 R19 r Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires
Exterior Slek Designs carbon fiber front lip, rear diffuser, side skirt splitters, double-sided hood and trunk, Carmine Red vinyl wrap