First Look: 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe

2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe

Overall, the M car is wider by 2.1 inches and, surprisingly, sits half an inch taller. To cut 35 pounds and lower the M Coupe's center of gravity, there's no sunroof. Weight savings can also be found in the suspension, where nearly every front-end component is crafted from aluminum for stiffness. In the rear, the geometry of the five-link setup has been reworked to be stiffer, replacing most steel components with aluminum, including the dampers. Hollow stabilizer bars have been fit both front and rear, while two longitudinal reinforcement bars are added.

The heart of the 1 Series M Coupe is BMW's twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 "N54" paired to a single transmission - a conventional six-speed manual. For the M car, the turbocharger, exhaust system, and ECU have been revised to produce 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, though up to 369 pound-feet are available temporarily in overboost mode. Redline is found at 7000 rpm. Coupled with the M Coupe's lighter weight, BMW claims 0-60 mph sprints take 4.7 seconds with the quarter-mile run dispatched in 13.2 seconds. The top speed is limited to 155 mph by the ECU.

The M Coupe also gets numerous stability and traction control systems, capped off by the M Dynamic Mode, activated by a button on the center stack. An M button is also found on the three-spoke sport steering wheel to activate the mode along with the sharpest throttle response setting. A variable M differential lock is also included for greater traction on slippery surfaces, as well as allowing the more entertaining aspects of the car's rear-wheel-drive layout to be exploited.

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