After months of speculation, leaked photos and tantalizing glimpse of portions of the car, BMW M Gmbh has finally unveiled the newest member of its product family.
What basically amounts to a 135i on an M3 chassis with the 335is motor will form the all-new BMW 1 Series M Coupe.
The 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe will be available in limited quantities and with a limited range of options at Authorized BMW Centers in Spring 2011.
Final pricing, packages, and options will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
The Germans are talking about how the original 1988 BMW M3 was the inspiration for this new car, combining the raw abilities of a racecar with the agility, versatility, and seating position of the 135i Coupe.
The new BMW 1 Series M Coupe has been developed for near-perfect balance and a large, square footprint. It is 71 inches wide - 4.8 inches wider than its 1988 M3 ancestor - yet only 1.3 inches longer at 172.4 inches long.
The new 1 Series M Coupe weighs in at 3,296 lb preliminary, and features a 104.7-inch wheelbase, 3 inches longer than the 1988 M3.
Front and rear track widths are exactly the same on the 1 Series M Coupe at 60.7 inches as the E30 M3. So compared to the 135i, the track is 2.8 inches wider up front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear.
Also compared to the 2011 BMW 135i Coupe, the 1 Series M Coupe is 0.2 inches longer, 2.1 inches wider, 0.5 inches taller, and rides on the same 104.7 inch wheelbase. Furthermore, it weighs 77 lb less.
The new 1 Series M Coupe features unique, widened fenders and rear quarter panels to house the substantially widened track. It also features a metal roof panel, which saves about 35 lb compared to BMW 1 Series models equipped with a moonroof - a moonroof will not be available on the 1M. This weight saving - at the tallest point of the vehicle - provides a corresponding drop in the center of gravity, which contributes to improved driving dynamics and helps maximize helmet room.
Providing sure-footed handling presented numerous challenges. The result is an aluminum suspension originally conceived for the current-generation M3, and tuned specifically for this model at BMW M's Nurburgring Nordschleife test center. And as usual, the car has a near-perfect front/rear weight balance (51.7/48.3).
Virtually all of the front-end suspension components are aluminum, including the front struts, swivel bearings, central subframe and an additional thrust panel below the engine, serving to maximize lateral stiffness of the entire front section.
At the rear axle, the subframe, transverse arms, track arms and wheel hubs have been reconfigured by M for ideal kinematics, geometry and stiffness. Virtually every detail on the five-arm rear axle is made of aluminum including the dampers. The anti-roll bars are for their function and weight.
A suitably powerful braking system was developed from the current-generation BMW M3. The internally-vented, cross-drilled cast iron discs measure 14.2 inches in diameter at the front and 13.8 inches in the rear. Featuring large compound disc brakes and electronic anti-lock, stopping power for the 1 Series M Coupe is strong, precise and consistent. Each disc is connected to a floating aluminum hub by cast-in stainless-steel pins.
The 1 Series M Coupe is equipped with the M-specific, light-alloy cross-spoke wheels from the M3 Competition Package and limited-production M3 GTS. They measure 19x9 inches with 245/35 R19 low-profile tires at the front and 19x10 inches with 265/35 R19 tires at the rear, and are silver in color.
The rack-and-pinion steering is fitted with the Servotronic power steering system, which regulates assistance in relation to road speed.
The twin-turbo, all-aluminum, 3.0-liter inline-6 engine is characterized uses two low-mass turbochargers and BMW's High Precision direct injection. It's been developed for the new 1 Series M Coupe to produce a maximum of 335hp at 5900rpm. Nominal peak torque is 332 lb-ft from 1500rpm to 4500rpm. Redline is 7000rpm.
The engine management system includes an electronically-controlled overboost function similar to the 335is to briefly increase torque under full load by another 37 lb-ft. This temporary torque peak of 369 lb-ft gives the car a substantial increase in acceleration.
The 1 Series M Coupe will complete the sprint from 0-60mph in just 4.7 seconds (0-100 kmh in 4.9 seconds). The standing quarter-mile mark comes up in 13.2 seconds. Top speed is limited electronically to 155mph.
The exhaust system of the 1 Series M Coupe has been tuned by M for this new model. Acoustic engineering gives the car a unique personality in all phases of operation. The M exhaust system is easily recognized by the presence of its four signature exhaust pipes.
The new 1 Series M Coupe also features the steering wheel-mounted M Drive button that made its first appearance in the 2006 M5. In the 1 Series M Coupe, the M Button activates a razor-sharp throttle response program for the sportiest driving. This means that the performance characteristics of the engine can be varied according to the driver's wishes.
A close ratio 6-speed manual transmission is the only option available. It was designed to interact with high-torque engines and has been fitted with a dry-sump cooling system. An upgraded flywheel also specified. The transmission is operated using a short M gearshift lever. Final drive ratio is 3.15: 1.
The BMW 1 Series M Coupe is fitted with a variable M differential lock. This generates lock-up torque on-demand and variably, thus providing for optimum rear-wheel drive traction on all road surfaces. The variable M differential lock responds to differences in rotational speeds in the right and left rear wheel, redirecting drive torque in a fraction of a second.
The Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) includes such elements as the Antilock Brake System (ABS), an anti-slip control function (ASC), the brake assistant Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), a hill-hold assistant for starting off, Cornering Brake Control (CBC), a brake fade compensation function and a brake drying function. In the wet or on slippery surfaces the DSC intervenes discreetly to limit oversteer.
As an alternative to normal operating status, the driver can activate M Dynamic Mode (MDM) by means of pushing the MDM Button between the front air vents. this raises the intervention thresholds of the DSC system.
MDM enables slight amounts of dynamic oversteer under specific circumstances to enable optimum vehicle yaw for maximum performance. DSC may be fully disabled via a long-press of the MDM button (ABS remains active).
As a result of wind tunnel tests, the 1 Series M Coupe has been equipped with BMW's latest aerodynamic innovation - air curtains, used for the first time in a BMW production vehicle. They improve air flow around the wheel arches with the benefit of reduced turbulence.
This innovative aerodynamic feature consists of openings in the outer section of the lower front spoiler that route high-pressure air through ducts at each front corner. The ducts are approximately 10x3cm wide and are designed to channel air to openings at the front of each wheel arch, where it is discharged through a very narrow opening at high speed. The escaping air stream covers the side of the front wheels like a curtain, thereby reducing aerodynamic turbulence around the rotating wheels.
There are three exterior paint finishes to choose from for the BMW 1 Series M Coupe. In addition to Alpine White non-metallic and Black Sapphire Metallic, Valencia Orange Metallic is available exclusively for this car.
The powerfully-shaped front spoiler is dominated by three large air intakes which cool the engine. The wide central air intake is covered by a honeycomb-structured grille, while the two outer intakes are open, feeding air directly to the engine oil cooler on the right and to the supplemental coolant radiator on the left.
A hallmark M feature is the chrome gill element on the front wheel arch, which is particularly elongated. It bears the side turn indicator and the M logo, as well as forming the starting point of the character line running along the door handles to the rear.
Fine-tuning in the wind tunnel has also shaped the design of the exterior mirrors, which are the same as the BMW M3.
The powerful wheel arches also make the rear of the BMW 1 Series M Coupe seem especially broad. A discreet spoiler lip on the trunk generates additional downforce on the rear axle at high speed.
The rear bumper has side openings which echo the look of the Air Curtain intakes in the front fascia.
The characteristic M visual symmetry is created by two sets of twin chrome tailpipes. L-shaped rear light clusters with red glass conceal two banks fed by LEDs.
The BMW 1 Series M Coupe features standard Xenon Adaptive headlamps. The twin circular headlights are truncated in the upper section by an LED-fed "eyebrow." This is what creates the focused look of the 1 Series M Coupe.
The M cockpit uses dark Alcantara with orange contrast stitching on the door panels, door pulls, instrument cluster binnacle, dash panel, and gearshift and handbrake lever boots.
The driver's attention is focused on an M-specific instrument cluster with gray dials, red needles and white backlighting. An M driver footrest and M entry sills round off the interior.
The black sport seats in standard Boston leather have orange contrasting stitching and an embossed M logo. The orange contrast stitching is also echoed on the rear seats and on all design elements featuring Alcantara.
The leather M multifunction steering wheel features the now-ubiquitous M Button for spontaneous activation of the sharpest throttle response and M Dynamic Mode of DSC.