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BMW 1-Series Coupe news - BMW confirms ‘1-Series M’ - 2010

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If
you’re a fan of the original E30 BMW M3 - and if you’re not, you really should
be - this will come as very good news.

BMW
has confirmed that it will build a ‘M’ version of the 1-Series coupe. We’d call
it an M1, but then it might get confused with the mid-engined supercar of the
late 70s. Let’s go with 1-Series M Coupe.

Speaking
in an official BMW interview, M Division boss Kay Segler said: “It is one of my
most urgent goals to offer a small, affordable M model in the tradition of the
very first BMW M3.

“This
model will be based on the BMW 1Series Coupe and also be focused on the
essentials, the fascination of driving.”

The
M3 reference is a vital one. The current M3, which produces 414bhp from its
4.0-litre V8 and weighs in at nearly 1,700kg, is a world away from the 1986
original, which had a four-cylinder engine producing just under 200bhp but
tipped the scales at just 1,200kg.

A
lighter, zippier 1-Series M Coupe could be a mighty thing. BMW hasn’t hinted at
any technical details, but it’s interesting to consider how it’ll fit in
alongside the current 135i Coupe, which develops 302bhp from its twin-turbo
 straight-six.

Chasing
any more power than that would seem to go against Segler’s ‘small, affordable…
and in the tradition of the very first BMW M3’ philosophy - so could BMW opt
for less power and less weight than the 135i?

Imagine
a lightened, back-to-basics 1-Series Coupe, producing, say, 250bhp from a
four-cylinder or naturally aspirated six. Not madly fast, but a pure,
rear-drive sports car. Tempting, innit?

We’ll
bring you more details as soon as we’ve got ‘em, but for now: if you were, by
some terrible freak of chance, put in charge of the M Division tomorrow, how
would your 1-Series M Coupe look?

Sam Philip

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