The BMW M cars are some of the most ferociously powerful and technologically advanced performance vehicles on the road today, but many fans believe the best M car in recent memory isn’t in production anymore.
The 1 Series M Coupe was a simpler and more fun approach to fast driving than the M3, M5, or M6, which why it’s so sorely missed. Thankfully, BMW is planning a successor.
In an interview with BMW Blog, BMW M CEO Dr. Friedrich Nitschke said the first 1M was so successful that a second generation is a sure thing.
“At the moment, we are thinking of what we can do with an entry-level car for the M brand,” Nitschke said. “We haven’t made a decision yet, but the 1 M Coupe was so successful, that in my opinion, I am absolutely sure we will build a successor.”
The original 1M debuted in 2011 as a 2012 model, and was meant to evoke the original E30 M3. With its sawed-off shotgun proportions, it eschewed most of the tech that has made modern M cars fast and efficient, but also less soulful.
The 1M was a 1 Series coupe stuffed with a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged inline-six and the rear differential, brakes, suspension, wheels, and tires of an M3. The only available transmission was a six-speed manual.
The six produced 335 horsepower 370 pound-feet of torque, propelling it to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and on to an electronically limited top speed of 167 mph.
The numbers themselves weren’t the real story though, it was how the 1M achieved them. With less electronic interference, the driver was more connected to the road. That meant the 1M was also less refined than other performance cars, but its entertaining character made up for that.
BMW only made a small batch of 1Ms, because it had to retool its plants for the second generation 1 Series, which has already gone on sale in Europe.
BMW currently offers an M135i based on the new car, but it’s more of an options package than a fully realized performance car.
It looks like BMW is getting ready to finish the job it started with the M135i, although the company hasn’t set a timetable. Since Americans haven’t even gotten the new, second generation 1 Series, it could be awhile. However, if the new car is anything like the first 1 Series M Coupe, it should be worth the wait.