BMW built its reputation on fun-to-drive and luxurious sports coupes and sedans. When BMW began the M division, the team took the brand's already exciting cars and turned the performance up a notch. Using race car technology, BMW Motorsports created a lineup of world class performance vehicles that elevated the brand to the next level. In 2011, BMW decided to give the M treatment to the 1-series coupe. Already a comfortable, nimble and quick daily driver, the M division turned it into a performance icon and one of the most desirable cars of the 2010s. Using the 1 Series tii Concept that was shown at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show as inspiration, the BMW engineers took a 135i and set to work changing the engine, chassis, and bodywork to bring it up to M Performance standards.
This 2011 BMW 1M is a beautiful example of what BMW M was able to build off of the 1-Series chassis. Finished in Alpine White, this car shows just 58,650 miles on the odometer and is in excellent, original condition throughout. The 1M is immediately identifiable over a standard 135i by its swollen front and rear fenders, allowing for an aggressive wheel fitment, with the BMW M3 Competition-style wheels pushed out to each corner of the car. An all-new front bumper was installed, which flows more air through the radiators and intercoolers up front. In the rear, BMW M's signature quad-exit exhaust are situated in the lower bumper to ensure everyone knows you're in a proper M Car.
The interior of this 1M is a particularly special place to be and what separates this 1M from most of the other examples. As the 1M was a fairly expensive car when it was new, most of them came optioned up with things like power seats and navigation. But this is a “stripper spec” car that has manual seats, a single hump dashboard with no i-Drive, and no sunroof on top. You may be able to find a car without one of these options, but without all three, it is properly rare and makes this almost certainly the lightest spec. The rest of the interior is classic BMW of the period, comfortable sport seats in Black Boston Leather with orange stitching throughout. A chunky 3-spoke steering wheel feels great in the hands and frames a set of gray-faced dials in the gauge pod.
A twin-turbocharged inline-6 provides power for the 1M, and although the 135i shared the same basic engine, this version was comprehensively changed to offer 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. This engine is so exciting because full torque is available from just 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm, and an over-boost function temporarily adds an extra 37 lb-ft to bring the total to 369 lb-ft. In a small car like the 1M, this means lots of oversteer if you ask for it, and the numerous M3 pieces in the suspension make it a joy to toss around. The only gearbox available in the 1M is a 6-speed manual transmission, which offers a solid shift feel and gives you total control over the vehicle.
With just 983 1Ms sold in the United States, it is one of the rarest cars to come stateside from BMW. Combine that with the fact that when the 1M first landed here, it received nearly unanimous positive reviews from journalists, it is no surprise that the 1Ms never really dropped in value and have become sought after amongst collectors. If you have always wanted to add a 1M to your collection, this almost entirely original, base specification example is one of the rarest and an absolute pleasure to drive.