Over the past six months we ‘ve heard an enormous amount of rumors surrounding a new entry level M car. Head of the M Division Dr Kay Segler said himself that such a car was coming when he spoke to Autocar earlier this year:
>The decision to put the car into production has been attributed to an “overwhelmingly positive reaction” to recent customer clinics, according to at least one high-ranking BMW official. Aimed at attracting younger customers to BMW’s performance cars, the new coupé is set to become the M division’s most affordable model.
>Revealing the plans for the new 1-series-based model, ///M division boss Kay Segler said, “I want to set a clear signal that our products are financially accessible.
However just this past week Insideline spoke with an unnamed source at BMW who said that there will be no M1. Instead BMW will simply release a 135is almost identical in spec to the 335is models that debuted recently. Those models make due with an uprated version of the N54 pumping out 320 hp and 332 ft lbs of torque. So who ‘s right and who ‘s wrong.
For starters we know for a fact that M is working on a 1 Series model. We also know that (in the spy photos we ‘ve seen) it ‘s clear that it is the current car. It ‘s also obvious that the level of modification is clearly much greater than what we see no the recent iS models. For starters there a wider rear track and jives with the rumor we ‘ve heard that the M Division will be carrying over much of the E90 M3 ‘s rear transaxle.
Then there was the wealth of information from the generally reliable Scott27 who works deep within BMW. We ‘ve even seen a sneak peak at the wheel seemingly from the car.
So why the confusion? Honestly we ‘re really not sure. We haven ‘t been given any specific information one way or the other. There is the possibility that BMW has decided to create an M1 in all but name and call it an 135is. That could help any brand dilution and interfering with the M3 ‘s market. If you don ‘t call it an M, suddenly the car has less appeal – especially to the non-enthusaist crowd.
In the end only time will tell. For our money we do believe there will be an M product of the current 1 Series. It may not be called the M1. But whatever it ‘s called, if it features those aggressive rear wheel arches, we want on the list.