The car in question is the 1 Series M Coupe, and I think it’s the best BMW I’ve ever driven.
I do. Seriously.
Let that sink in for a minute before you get angry and start leaving comments at the bottom of the page saying I have no idea what I’m talking about. I know what you’re going to say because I had the same doubts when I picked up the keys. What about the E30 M3? How could this be an “M” car when it has a turbo?
I know, a turbo! We’ve all seen the video mocking BMW’s switch to turbo power. I wanted to hate this new turbo setup as well. But I can’t. It’s just too good of a car, and an absolute blast to drive. I have some minor issues with it, but it’s the same with most modern BMWs, and they are pretty insignificant compared to how much fun this car is. This is simply the best BMW I’ve ever driven.
I have absolutely no idea which minivan you should buy, but I know BMWs, and this is the best one I’ve ever driven.
I feel uniquely qualified to make that statement. I’ve been racing BMWs for over 10 years in everything from traditional wheel-to-wheel races to the national Mexican class at the World Rally Championships. I’ve raced in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (12.42 miles straight up) and I’ve even fitted a BMW with 33-inch tires and 15 inches of wheel travel to race in the Baja 1000. The only car I’ve owned that wasn’t a BMW was a Lotus Exige, and my daily driver is currently an E30 M3. I have absolutely no idea which minivan you should buy, but I know BMWs, and this is the best one I’ve ever driven.
I do wish it had a different name. “1 Series M Coupe” is a mouthful, but that’s life. Normally not a big deal, but this car draws a ton of attention and you will need to explain yourself pretty much every time you park it.
Before I could even get into the car, two employees of the car park came running over to ask what the car was and why I was driving it. That happened all day long, on every day I drove the car. Pretty cool for a 1 Series on steroids. But it makes sense; the car looks right and sounds even better. Several times on the highway, I would look over to see someone taking a picture. Sure, the Valencia Orange paint scheme helped, but the car looks really cool, too. It sits quite a bit lower than the regular 1 series and rides on a set of huge competition package wheels. It looks aggressive, like a running back. Strong, powerful, and built for speed.
And it’s not just a body kit on a 135i. The M Coupe’s 3.0-liter engine produces a healthy 335hp and 332 pound-feet of torque, and propels the car to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds through a manual 6-speed transmission. Automatic is forbidden, not even an option.
The rapid acceleration is partially due to the giant 265-sized rear tires, which are enormous for such a little car. Top speed is limited to 155 mph, but that should be more than enough, even for places like Road America. The little car gets 19 mpg around town and 26 on the highway. I wasn’t able to drive it enough to fully test those fuel efficiency numbers, but I drove it pretty hard while I had it, and the gas tank lasted a long time for a car this quick. It sort of makes the turbo seem like a decent idea after all.
The only downside is the car’s weight; the M Coupe is a heavy 3,362 pounds. You don’t really feel the weight when accelerating or driving normally, but start changing directions quickly and you’ll realize you’re carrying the extra pounds. Some view this a positive, as extra weight provides extra impact protection. Maybe it’s better to be safe, but I do think the latest model is a bit fat.
So, is it fast? I didn’t think so at first.