Seven hundred and forty; no, that’s not a horsepower number, but the number of 1 Series M Coupes sold in the US. And because it was a limited-edition, and because it launched to such acclaim, it was almost impossible to put your name on the waiting list and successfully secure a set of keys for what we consider the best BMW since the E46 M3. However, aftermarket styling specialist Vorsteiner not only bought one but proceeded to develop an exclusive line of additions for it. And like all the company’s products, it flows flawlessly to make this little coupe look downright badass.
While most owners were content with a suspension drop and some bolt-ons, Vorsteiner accentuated the lines and added to the masculinity of the short-wheelbase coupe.
Since we’re ass guys, we’ll start at the rear – the Vorsteiner GTS-V carbon fiber boot lid tips the scales at a measly 11.5 lb, hinting at the original E46 M3 CSL trunk, although far more aggressively.
Despite selling very high quality carbon parts, Vorsteiner manned up and painted the trunk. It takes balls to hide your own output, but this one was dipped in factory Alpine White with just the lip revealing its carbon roots.
This tiny detail ties together the entire car, with other carbon parts, such as the carbon GTS-V diffuser and front spoiler using the same technique.
That front spoiler is something you’ll need to try hard not to damage. Once the car is lowered you’ll barely fit your iPhone under it.
The 1M is known for it’s agile handling and taut ride, so there’s little reason to swap to coilovers unless you want height adjustment or better track performance. Vorsteiner recognized the amount of engineering that went into the car, so opted to simply add a set of H&R Sport lowering springs. They provided a slightly firmer ride, diminishing the mild body roll and slimming the crucial gap between tire and fender.
Something truly unique from the Vorsteiner catalogue filled the fenders, though. While the wheels appear to be a monoblock mesh design, up close you can see they’re actually a true three-piece. Made from forged aluminum, the VS-400 runs a step-lip along with deep concaved centers.
Up front, the M houses 20x8.5" wheels with meaty Continental 245/30 tires, while the rear-end is home to 20x10.5" and 295/25s, providing an easily grasped lesson in girth. Although these are big tires for a small car, the Coupe manages to remain tail-happy, thanks to the rush of power from the turbo inline-six.
And while the aerodynamic and aesthetic upgrades mean this 1M would never be considered all show and no go, Vorsteiner couldn’t leave the motor stock.
The engine’s brain was recalibrated with some Velos Designwerks performance software, effectively bumping the boost to 14psi from the factory 8psi. As well as razor-sharp throttle response, it better exploits the improved flow from Vorsteiner’s titanium cat-back exhaust system.
The exhaust alone is said to be good for an extra 14hp and 10 lb-ft, while the software gains are even more amazing. Try 69hp and 85 lb-ft added to the N54 motor, transforming the 1M into a beast.
Oh, and the top speed limiter was removed, allowing you to let it rip on your nearest stretch of deserted road.
And let us assure you that the combined effect of these modifications would be apparent to any enthusiastic owner of the BMW 1 Series M Coupe.
A driver who knows his car intimately will feel the improved throttle response, not just from the upgraded software but from the weight reduction.
Replacing steel with carbon fiber and titanium has a wondrous effect on acceleration, cornering and braking. It makes the car more responsive, every input is measurably heightened.
So while it’s true, you need to own a rare 1M Coupe to take advantage of Vorsteiner’s aftermarket pieces, at least it spares you the embarrassment of pulling up next to another one and being exactly the same.
2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe
3.0L TwinPower Turbo inline six with Velos Designwerks software, Vorsteiner titatinum cat-back exhaust
stock six-speed manual
H&R Sport springs
Wheels & Tires
20x8.5" f, 20x10.5" r Vorsteiner VS-400 forged three-piece concave wheels with step-lips, 245/30 R20 f, 295/25 R20 r Continental ContiSportContact3 tires
Vorsteiner carbon fiber GTS-V front spoiler, diffuser and trunk lid