BimmerCast #55: the 1M vs the M3 & X6M at Laguna Seca

[audio:http://www.bimmerfile.com/podcast/bimmercast_55.mp3]

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We at BF get a lot of opportunities to drive BMWs. But rarely do we have a chance to current M line-up aganst each-other at a track like Laguna Seca. And more than anything we wanted to see how each the M3 and the X6M stacked up against the newest and most acclaimed M cars in years – the 1 Series M Coupe. I won ‘t give the results away but one thing that was pretty telling was how excited I was on each lap with each car at the famed corkscrew. There ‘s one car late in the recording that causes me to almost scream like a little girl.

The big take away from this test (beyond the eventual winner) has to be the track. I ‘m not talking about Laguna (which of course is one of the best tracks in the US). I specifically talking about driving street cars on a close circuit. We ‘ve long been a big proponent of track time and clubs such as the BMWCCA who host such events. We simply can ‘t stress enough how much better a driver it makes you and how it improves your understanding of what your car can and cannot do.

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  • 03BeastCharmer

    Gabe – Do you have much experience with the Z4 M Coupe and can you compare it to the M3 and 1M from a driving perspective?  I know you guys have talked about it in the past and liked it, but interested in how you think it stacks up against the modern ///M sports cars.

    • Unfortunately it’s been awhile but before the 1M I called the Z4M the best modern day M car. I think the two have a lot of shared philosophies but the driving experience of the Z4M is very much defined by the S54 engine and the design of the car. The latter really differentiates the Z4 Coupe from practically anything else on the road from the driver’s point of view. And of course the S54 is unlike any engine ever made that I can think of. 

      Judged on those levels the 1M shouldn’t stand a chance. Yet it’s not only a better car in every respect but also a bit more of a hooligan – a bit more playful. Then there’s the driving position of the two. With the Z4M you sit low and don’t have the best visability. In the 1M you probably have the best seating position of any M car outside of the E90 four door M3.

      That said you really couldn’t go wrong with either. In fact I was seriously considering a Z4M about two years ago myself. 

      • JonPD

        I admit that my time in both have been short but I honestly feel that the 1M is the better car in most regards. I think the E86 /M sounds better though,  is a bit less refined and a bit more of a hooligan personally. Still best two car from ///M in recent years to me.

        • The torque is the reason the 1M out hooligans the Z4M. If you follow me on twitter you’d know what I mean 😉

          • JonPD

            Have not been able to play with a 1M on the track but as far as the Z4 ///M goes I have never been in another car that is as tail happy as that car is. Still think Richard  Hammond still nailed it as calling the Z4 ///M a mans car, something that you have to grab by the scruff of the neck to control it.

          • The 1M is more so due to the large amount of torque.

      • JonPD

        I admit that my time in both have been short but I honestly feel that the 1M is the better car in most regards. I think the E86 /M sounds better though,  is a bit less refined and a bit more of a hooligan personally. Still best two car from ///M in recent years to me.

  • Hoover

    This was so fun to listen to.  I did a Skip Barber course about 12 years ago on that track, and I was reliving the turns while listening to this.  Makes me want to hit the track in my MINI.

  • Concerned

    No more podcasts?