BMW 1M: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothes

The BMW 1M is an enthusiast's dream. But why?

17w ago


The BMW 1M, arguably one of the best cars manufactured by BMW in recent times. Considered as one of the best cars for an enthusiast with an itchy foot. More on that later, let's first take a quick look at how BMW's M division was born.

History Lesson:

M stands for Motorsport and that's how M was born. It was initially made to help them in BMW's racing. Their first project was the BMW 3.0 CSL and it was very successful. They slowly started making high-performance cars for the public. The first being the BMW M1. M badged cars include a modified engine, suspension, gearbox, and exterior modifications.



What is hype around the 1M all about?

The BMW 1M is often regarded as one of the best cars ever manufactured by BMW because of its small, moderately powered engine and superb handling. It is an exclusive car with only 760 units allocated for the American market and 450 units for the British market and sold only for the 2011 model year.

It is powered by a Turbocharged 6-Cylinder engine producing 335HP and 500Nm of torque. The 6-Cylinder engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. BMW doesn't always perfect it with manual gearboxes but on the 1M it's phenomenal. The throws are short and the shifts are crisp, it is also very responsive and the feedback from it is excellent.

Special thanks to @Alexis Oliva on Instagram for the pictures!

Special thanks to @Alexis Oliva on Instagram for the pictures!

The engine is from the E89 Z4 (N54 engine). The power delivery is rapid and the way BMW has contained the turbo lag is impressive. Lower down in the rev-band there is a slight amount of lag. Once you get it out from the lower rev band, the way the N54 engine pulls is just MEGA. The 1M has a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds.

It is a complete driver-focused car and focuses primarily on the driving experience. It is a car for people who just want to have fun driving. It isn't a car that would grab attention and might be even overlooked. The 1M looks subtle and to the untrained eye, it's just a regular 1-Series. The 1M gets quad exhaust tips and flared wheel arches to differentiate it from a regular 1-Series. The interior is basic and has very little electronics on offer which offers a RAW driving experience. The interior has hard plastics and an analog instrument cluster instead of a fancy digital one. There is no sunroof to keep the center of gravity low and make it handle like a gem. It comes with hydraulic steering which is very responsive and gives good feel and feedback.

The 1M borrows parts from the E92 M3 like the brakes, differential and suspension set-up. It's almost as if BMW had taken all the leftovers from the E92 M3 and prepared a magical formula and sprinkled it all over the 1M.

When BMW launched it, they didn't expect many people to like it because it was close to the M3 in terms of pricing and when it came to power figures it seemed low on paper but everyone went crazy for it. It was just amazing when it comes to handling and the way the power was put down. The 1M is very well balanced and there's is very little body roll. On paper, it doesn't impress you but behind the wheel, it offers an unforgettable experience.

When it was launched back in 2011 the base MSRP on the 1M was 47,000USD. Ever since the launch in 2011, the 1M has developed a cult following and has shot up the value. They are now priced at 50-60,000USD.

Is it worth 60,000USD?

Though it is a brilliant car and offers amazing RAW driving experience, 60,000USD is very steep. Yes, it is an appreciating asset and it will continue to appreciate but you can't drive it the way it is supposed to because it may affect the value. But if you have the money to buy one and you don't care about losing value, it would be a terrific purchase and would be an enthusiast's delight.

This is a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant car, that's all i've got to say.

jeremy clarkson

Thanks for reading,


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Comments (5)

  • Yes, I remember seeing this one at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2011 when it first came out. Everyone surprisingly bashed it for not having a proper motorsports-developed engine (because the N54 was lifted straight out of a normal 135i). But I'm sure those critics regret their argument now - it's a great car.

      4 months ago
  • Every coin has two faces: similarly such good cars also become assets which doesn't allow them to be utilized at full extent.

      4 months ago
  • Good stuff Dhyanesh!

      4 months ago