BMW 1 Series M Coupé Unveiled in London

At a BMW event in London’s Covent Garden on 14 December, the British motoring media were given a sneak preview of the new 1 Series M Coupé, due to arrive in the UK this Spring. To quote our Editor, “a truly impressive car but definitely not my colour.”

With 340HP and up to 500Nm of torque, the new ‘M’ car has almost 70HP more than the iconic BMW M1 of the 1970s. As with other BMWs carrying the prestigious M branding, the new model boasts a race-bred powertrain and chassis, plus aggressive styling. Promising 227HP per tonne, the 1 Series M claims 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds, putting it very firmly in M3 performance territory – but a downsized version that aims to appeal to a “wider audience”, helped by a UK price tag of just £39,990.

The engine delivering that performance is a high-revving, in-line six-cylinder with twin turbochargers, the latter kept small to minimise lag. Combined mpg comes in at 29.4, with CO2 at 224g/km. A button on the steering wheel allows the driver to switch from standard engine performance to M Dynamic Mode (MDM), giving higher engine speeds at the cost of the standard mode’s torquey flexibility. Transmission is six-speed manual (there’s no choice), with a short-shift M gearshift lever.

The importance of ‘sporty’ styling to the target buyer is illustrated by the fact that the BMW press information covers the car’s appearance before giving us details of drivetrain and chassis. So let us not omit to say that exterior styling features widened wheelarches, 19in Y-spoke M alloy wheels and dual chrome tailpipes. There’s a relatively discreet spoiler lip, and a rear apron with side openings.

BMW 1 Series M Coupé Unveiled in London BMW 1 Series M Coupé Unveiled in London

Exterior paint finishes are Alpine White non-metallic, Black Sapphire metallic and the colour chosen for this week’s sneak preview – and definitely not the Editor’s choice – Valencia Orange metallic. The first UK customer deliveries are expected in May.

Text - Charis Whitcombe
Photos - BMW

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