Mike Stevens | Dec 10, 2010

Only hours after its virtual unveiling in its first promotional video, BMW has today revealed the full skinny on its 'entry level' M car, the 2012 1 Series M Coupe.

As expected, the 1 Series M Coupe is powered by BMW's twin-turbo 3.0 litre inline-six, producing 250kW and a huge 450Nm of torque. Enthusiasts will note that this is the same arrangement powering the Z4 sDrive35is.

Through the use of an 'overboost' function, the 1 M will deliver an extra 50Nm of torque at full throttle, and with the full 500Nm called in, the 1 M Coupe will rocket to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds, covering 402 metres (quarter-mile) in 13.2 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.

The 1 Series M Coupe is offered with a traditional six-speed manual transmission only - no DCT automatic here, although rumours and reports overseas suggest BMW's twin-clutch gearbox may find its way to the fast coupe in the future.

Driving and performance aids include BMW's steering-mounted M Drive button, increasing throttle response for those seeking a more spirited and race-minded drive.

The 1 M Coupe also gets a variable M differential lock and a dynamic stability control system.

According to BMW, the 1 M is gifted with a chassis that is "faster than its engine," and its suspension - including all-aluminium struts up front and a reworked five-arm rear axle - offers a 51.7/48.3 weight balance.

Braking is managed by vented and cross-drilled compound disc brakes, measuring 360mm at the front and 350mm at the rear. Sitting in front of each disc are the M3 GTS' 19-inch light alloy M wheels, nine inches wide at the front and 10 at the rear.

BMW has given the 1 Series M a unique aerodynamics package to reduce lift at high speeds, and styling tweaks include new front and rear bumpers, chrome-wrapped side markers behind the front wheel arches, tweaked headlights and tail lights, and flared wheel arches for a wider track and a more aggressive look.

Thanks to those wider guards, the 1 Series M is a full 55mm wider than the previous flagship 135i Coupe.

The 1 Series M will make its world debut at next month's Detroit Auto Show.



Speaking with TMR today, BMW Australia's Michelle Lang confirmed that the 1 Series M Coupe will make its Australian debut "around the middle of 2011," with pricing to be revealed at launch.


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