BMW reveals 1-series M coupe 10 | 12 | 2010

    BMW HAS finally released the first picture and details of its all-new 1-series, the stunning 335bhp M coupe. The fastest and most extreme model in the range, the newcomer will enter Scottish BMW showrooms in May. It will be officially unveiled at next month's Detroit Motor Show.

    At around £38,000, the 1-series M coupe will be £13,000 cheaper than an M3; but the entry-level to the exclusive M division will be every bit as fast as the larger and more expensive M3 with a 0-62mph time of just 4.9sec — that's just 0.1sec slower than the M3. BMW also says the 1-series M coupe will hit 124mph in 17.3sec, on its way to a limited 155mph top speed.

    The baby M also uses the same twin-turbo six-cylinder engine M54 engine as the recently introduced Z4sDrive35iS, making it the first model from BMW’s M division to boast a standard production powerplant. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

    With a claimed kerb weight of 1495kg, the 1-series M coupe will have a power-to-weight ratio of 224bhp per tonne, 34bhp per tonne less than the 1605kg M3 but 14bhp per tonne more than the 135i coupe. Brakes, as you might suspect, have been borrowed from the bigger M3 with 360mm vented and drilled discs up front and 350mm vented and drilled discs at the rear.

    But there have been significant modifications of the chassis of the 1-series M coupe over the standard 135i's. The newcomer has a 71mm wider track at the front, increased to 1541mm, and the rear track is up 46mm to 1541mm. But the ride height has been lowered by 20mm to give the new M-car a more ground-hugging stance.

    And it looks stunning, enhanced by some obvious modifications, including heavily flared wheel arches, a deep new front bumper with an enlarged centre air intake and what BMW calls air curtains - vertical ducts on the outer edges that help to channel airflow around the front wheel arches and reduce aerodynamic drag. Sports seats, a thick-grip three-spoke M division steering wheel, reworked instrument graphics and a liberal covering of Alcantara are all standard inside the cabin.

    The 1-series M coupe will be available in just three colours: Alpine White non-metallic, Sapphire Black metallic and Valencia orange.

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    Jim McGill

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