BMW 1M: Hands On Notes

NAIAS 2011

  • The shifter is identical to the BMW E46 330i ZHP. My favorite shift knob combined with a feel reminiscent of the ZHP as well. Wonder how close this transmission ‘s mechanicals are?
  • Valencia Orange looks better with other colors around it. It stands out as it should. Would I buy one with the box ticked? No.
  • The interior is special. It feels motorsport derived due to the alcantara and makes the stock M3 interior seem disappointing.
  • The 19 ” wheels are the perfect size.
  • Seeing the 1M next to the 135i make the latter feel more pedestrian than I could have ever imagined.
  • The orange stitching is a nice touch. Would look great on a black or white car. With orange it ‘s a little too expected.
  • 4cm added on each side. It ‘s a wide car that looks the business.
  • Dr. Kay personally guaranteed I wouldn ‘t sell mine in five years if I bought it. Guess there ‘s only one way to find out.

  • The strut towers (above) are a good example of the small differences from the 135i to the 1M. M clearly sweated the details.
  • They revved the car as they introduced it…. yes it revs very fast. And it has a great burble on back-off.
  • Taillights look amazing. Hard to believe they could be that a little light graphic could be impactful but it is.

NAIAS 2011

  • The air curtain is pretty small but apparently effective in reducing drag at speed (albeit .01%)
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  • Seems like M over engineered things a bit- no surprise there!

  • Dylan

    Thanks for the write up Gabe, and great photos. Also, Dr Kay sure does talk a good game!

  • Micah

    “The air curtain is pretty small but apparently effective in talking with BMW representatives.”

    Effective at doing what? Given single-piston front brakes, brake ducts would be a much more useful application for that space.

    Looks bad ass for sure…can’t wait to see & drive one in person.

    • Not getting into the single piston brake vs multiple piston- both have issues. As for cooling- there should be no need for ducts due to the Bernoulli effect, the air curtain will create a vacuum as it passes over the front of the wheel ( I will explain this further in the future) pulling the hot air out. Also this car is seriously over braked.

  • Mr Mowse

    I’m about to place my order. Anyone else do so yet? Is everyone paying MSRP?

  • Neil

    Why would the air curtain speak to the BMW representatives?

  • andy

    I want to order one, but I’m between the new Golf R and the M1. I don’t want any regrets so I’m going to wait a bit to see how things develop as more reviews are released.

    • The Golf R is a VW- enough said!

      But in all seriousness, the Golf R is AWD and will be DSG. It is based on a FWD platform and will be more than likely heavier in US trim than the 1M. Certainly it will have less feel, not even in the same league. An Audi RS has less feel than even a base BMW let alone an M. I don’t see how they are even comparable.

      The R32 in original form was something built for enthusiasts- VW has turned it into a money making venture- not that I blame them. Some have accused M of doing the same thing up until late moves like the 1M.


  • Evan

    These details are wonderful and are what make me keep the faith when it comes to BMW admist all of the FWD and Eff dynamics stuff.

    I just have to figure out how to justify and afford it’s purchase…. it looks amazing!!

  • Dylan

    I want to own this car and will probably make it work. But without wanting to sound like a broken record…I admire Dr Kay’s desire to get the 1M into the hands of young people…and..apparently…not “creaming” the market. i.e. they want to price it lower, make less short-term profit in order to hook people in for the long-run. However in NZ this car will be at least $120,000 (that’s $90,000 USD). I don’t know a single person under 35 who owns a car that expensive. Wish BMW would sort out their NZ/Australia pricing.

  • goat

    It is very cool to see these details. I like this car overall and especially as I hope it indicates that “more of the same” will be coming from the M division in future (i.e., M being lighter weight, more focused, simpler, and relatively AFFORDABLE).