BMW’s 1 Series M Coupé is one of the most eagerly anticipated cars to arrive from BMW in the past decade, with the E92 M3 now sporting a 414-bhp V8 and costing well above £50,000 it hardly fits the role of “BMW’s entry level M car” any more. What was needed was a more affordable model, harking back to the very first E30 M3 and providing access to the M-power ladder from a more affordable and approachable package.

As we mentioned last week the 1 Series M Coupé will enter production in 2011 for a 8-9 month window, with UK deliveries starting at the end-May 2011. Customers will be given a choice of 3 colours – Venetian Orange Metallic, Saphire Black and Alpine White. We’ll get the chance for some static shots of the car in December, but press drives of production versions will not occur until April/May 2011.

Until then we’ll rely on the details published in BMW’s Closed Room and the driving impressions of the development model recently gained at Ascari circuit in Spain.

Earlier this morning BMW published an interview with Albert Biermann, Head of Development at BMW M GmbH, who provides further details on the BMW 1 Series M Coupé.

[onethird_columns border=”none”] Mr Biermann, what makes the 1 Series M Coupé so special?

Biermann: In my opinion, the 1 Series M Coupé is completely in the tradition of the first BMW M3. It is compact, focused on the essential, and presents outstanding driving dynamics. In addition, it opens the door to BMW M – in particular its price will also make it more accessible than our other products. Where will the price be then?

Biermann: The price has not been fixed yet. However, I’m sure that it will lie somewhere between the 135i Coupé and the M3 Coupé, with a clear tendency towards the 135i. [/onethird_columns] [twothirds_columns_last border=”none”]Albert Biermann[/twothirds_columns_last] What will the customers be getting for their money?

Biermann: The BMW 1 Series M Coupé is driven by a 3.0 litre inline six cylinder bi turbo engine delivering about 340 hp. This power is transferred exclusively via a six speed manual gearbox. A closer look at the prototypes will reveal many similarities to the chassis, brakes, and rear differential of the BMW M3. So what we have is a small BMW M3?

Biermann: To a certain extent, absolutely. Yet, on the other hand, not really. There are parallels between the power and weight of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé (we expect about 1500 kg) and the BMW M3 E46. On the performance side, though, it will be in its own league. We assume that the 1 Series M Coupé will be about ten seconds faster than the M3 predecessor on the Nordschleife. And of course it will have its own particular character.

The BMW 1 Series M Coupé may be a similar size to the E30 M3, but it's also likely to be nearly 300 kg heavier. That's progress for you... Its own particular character is also shown in the first design details. What can we expect here?

Biermann: Of course, we can’t disclose all of the details today. A number of distinctive design details can already be viewed on the internet. In addition, you can expect to find the usual M icons both inside and outside. However, one figure I can give you: the BMW 1 Series M Coupé will be about 80 mm wider than the 135i. When can we expect further details?

Biermann: We’ll be announcing all details on the BMW 1 Series M Coupé in mid December. Until then, there is a constant stream of news at The world premiere of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé will be held at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2011, and vehicles will be delivered to the first customers in early summer.

Written By

Steve Davies

Steve is an investor, private equity advisor and former Partner at KPMG, PwC and Bain.   Most importantly he's a life-long car enthusiast, mountain biker and active sports enthusiast. He designs and builds technology platforms and is the architect behind Transmission.

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