The heart and soul of BimmerFile (as the case with MotoringFile) are the reviews. And it ‘s not just the new cars we ‘re after but the classics. This year we were lucky to review a couple instant classics and one that is unarguably the real thing. Our reviews of the 1 Series M Coupe and the F10 M5 surely fall under the former. They each represent a step towards the future for BMW M while keeping an eye on the past. But it was a 39 year old coupe on a storied road that completely stole our heart.

2011 BMW 1 series M Coupe: Road/Track 1st Drive

In the 1M BMW has created something entirely new on paper that comes straight from it ‘s heritage. Whether you look at the 2002 Turbo or the E30 M3 there ‘s some much classic blueprint there from previous great cars that it would have been shocking if the 1M didn ‘t blow us away. But no trouble there because it did (and pretty much every one else who drove it.

2013 BMW M5: 1st Drive

Then there ‘s the M5. A car that has a tremendous reputation and history to live up to. It ‘s a car that defined a genre while not being afraid to reinvent itself in each successive model. The F10 follows that trend by reducing the cylinder found back to E39 levels and adding two turbos. It ‘s larger, heavier and faster than anything that has come before it. But it ‘s also more efficient than the last M5 and introduces a number of new technologies to the range. But that ‘s not why we loved it. We loved it because the way it drove on the road and on the track.

1972 3.0 CSL: The Ultimate Drive

While there were a number of really good cars released by BMW in 2011 (the 6 Series Coupe should be counted among those) it was a 39 year old car that made perhaps the biggest lasting impression on me. The 3.0 CSL was paired with one of the most noted roads in North American – Carmel Valley Rd just outside of Monterey. In all it made for an afternoon I won ‘t soon forget and one of my favorite reviews I ‘ve ever written.