BimmerCast #26: Is the 1M a Real M Car?

The 1M is (almost) revealed, so it ‘s time for us to start disecting the most highly anticipated M car in years. And to start off with, is it even a real M car? With a light reworked engine, can we really consider this an M car in the tradition of the E30 M3 as BMW likes to suggest? We think yes but it ‘s a question we ‘ll here more and more as the release date (Q2 of 2011) approaches.

We also spend some time on the new X3 and a number of 2011 model year changes for the US market. Enjoy!


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  • Brian

    Well, have all M cars of the past had significantly different engines from the cars they are spawned from? If they have then its not a full-on M car. They are kind of going the JCW route of tweaking the same engine for more output. However the body treatment shows that they are taking it as far as possible while managing costs.

  • Ben


  • Babak

    Yup. As far as I remember, they’ve all had M engines completely separate of a BMW engine. I’ve read somewhere there was one M car with a BMW engine, but can’t recall which one. As far as I can recall though, all have had M engines.

  • Dylan

    How will the rumoured 1M powerplant differ from the 335is powerplant? Didn’t the IS already get a small power increase over the standard 335?

    To be honest, I’m not too fussed whether the engine is a pure bread M engine or not. The N54 was already a fantastic engine, and coupled to an M-spec’d exhausted it’s going to be more than up to the task of providing plenty of smiles/laughs to the 1 series chassis.

    I remember reading somewhere the original E30 4 cylinder was developed in “2 weeks” from a 6 cylinder used in an existing series production car. In many ways, the proposed 1M powerplant is similar to this, in that it’s been done on the cheap to fill a need quickly.

    I’d rather BMW kept the price of the 1M low than spend a fortune developing a new engine to produce ~340hp when they already have an award-winning engine at their disposal. My 2 cents!

  • chas58

    Could be a turning point for ///M where the engines don’t have to be hand built custom creations. There certainly is more to driving fun than ultimate horsepower and ultimate grip. If the videos and reports are true, this car should be a blast to drive, with or without a hand built engine. I’m not too fussed about it eather.

  • mellowmcs

    engine alone does not make an ///M car! People if ///M division has worked their magic in the handling department and suspension tuning as well as the engine then that is what makes it a ///M car!

  • Joe

    I think M is shifting away from the truly bespoke engine concept. Martin Brinkman asked the audience at the NY Auto show what characterized an M car. I offered up the custom engine answer, which he rejected and then proceeded to talk about qualitative things like “rawness” and the feel in of being “connected to the road”. That said, I think they will bring a version of the N54/55 that will differentiate it from the 335is.

  • JonPD

    I am hoping more from them with the 1M. Suspension upgrades are great but not the total ///M package. I will be waiting and hoping that this is more than a tiny tweak of the standard engine. Sure hoping your correct Michael.

  • Dylan

    I’ve watched the EVO video again a few times, and I notice that once the car gets going, he only leaves 3rd gear like 3 or 4 times in the whole lap. The car obvious has bucket loads or torque. Check it out!

  • CCBiggs

    How much? What is the expected sticker price?