25 October 2007

Now that’s what I call an M1

BMW's lightweight 1-Series concept has us on the phone to the M-division

BMW 1-Series tii

There's been much talk of the BMW 135i Coupe being 'the new M1'. As Piers Ward explained in his first drive of the most powerful booted 1, that's not quite the case... but this Tokyo concept brings the possibility of a properly hardcore 1-Series a lot closer.

Labelled the 1-Series tii - in homage to BMW's 1960s racer of the same designation - it's a stripped-out, lightweight 1 Coupe which, says BMW, gives an insight into what an out-and-out motorsport-focused 1 might look like.

And it looks good. With yards of exposed carbon fibre across the bonnet, wing mirrors and front air intakes, and a Fiesta ST-like blue-on-white colour scheme, the tii brings a bunch more purposefulness to the 1's slightly saggy looks.

That's aided by remodelled side sills and a new front bumper arrangement, as well as a neat-looking pair of 18-inch five-spoke alloys. The inside, predictably, is swathed in Alcantara.

All good, but - what with this being a concept and all - there's no word from BMW on what would power the tii.

We reckon the three-litre twin-turbo from the 135i Coupe is a pretty good place to start - a couple of gentle tweaks and that could be pushing 350bhp.

Add in a limited slip diff and you've got a proper little M1. Now to convince 'em to build it...

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