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BMW 1 Series M Coupe (2012)

by Barry Green,reviewed October 2012

When we first got to drive BMW’s 135i Coupe, on the Alpine Way in the Snowy Mountains, we came away convinced that big brother, the awesome M3 (at just over twice the price), could not have delivered a more competent showing.

But time moves on, and now there’s another ‘M’ derivative in the mix. At $99,900, the 1 M costs nearly $25,000 more than the 135i Coupe, which begs the question; “Is it worth the extra?” Well, that depends largely on how performance focused you are

The 1 M is 25 kW more powerful and 50 Nm more torquey and, hence, quicker. It takes on a wider, more muscular stance in appearance. Under the skin there’s a lightweight, six-speed manual gearbox, track-tuned suspension, high-performance braking system, differential lock and grippy rubber on 19” alloys.

To fully open the 1 M’s performance envelope (in the ‘right’ environment), you need to push a button that activates the ‘M Dynamic Mode’. It’s then evident in an instant that the 1 M is a more challenging, edgier and, ultimately more satisfying drive than the 135i. Ride quality, which is the one thing we thought might be uncompromising in its firmness, is surprisingly compliant, though we suspect the 1 M might not be as easy to live with every day as the 135i Coupe.

BMW 1 Series M Coupe 2012

For

Performance, exclusivity

Against

Comes at a price, not as liveable as the 135i

Key features

Dual-zone climate control airconditioning, touch screen, central locking, immobiliser, 19” alloys, alarm, rear park control, adaptive headlights, leather, front powered sports seats with lumbar support

Safety

Dual front/side/curtain and driver’s knee airbags, anti-lock brakes electronic brake distribution, electronic stability control

Car Details

Vehicle make BMW
Vehicle model 1 Series M Coupe
Vehicle type Luxury Sports
Year 2012
Price when new $99,900 MLP
Current price range $ - $
Insurance

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Technical advice

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Engine 3.0-litre, twin-turbo, 6-cyl
Max power 250 kW @ 5900 rpm
Max torque 450 Nm (+ 50 Nm overboost) @ 1500-4500 rpm
Acceleration to 100 km/h 5.1 sec (average)
Braking from 80 km/h 22.7 m (average)
Economy ADR 9.6 litres/100 km
Emissions rating
3 out of 5 stars

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.