BMW 1 Series M Coupé driving on a race track


Developed as a driving machine, born as a cult object, called a classic.

BMW 1 Series M Coupé: Pure Driving.Developed as a driving machine, born as a cult object, called a classic.

There are few cars that are hailed as having the potential to become a classic shortly after their market launch. Especially if it’s a model in the compact category. However, the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupé bucked this trend: within just over a year of its launch and with exactly 6,331 units delivered, it quickly became the benchmark for maximum driving pleasure. With its manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, it upheld the legacy of ‘pure driving’. Even six years after it went out of production, this compact performance car is still in great demand and well on its way to becoming a sought-after classic.

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  • 01 Max. output: 250 kW (340 hp)
  • 02 4.4 kg pro hp Power to Weight Ratio
  • 03 500 Nm torque thanks to Overboost Function
  • 04 M Differential Lock
  • 05 19" light-alloy wheels with mixed tyres


The 1 Series M Coupé differs significantly from the BMW 1 Series Coupé. The former has the typical M wing mirrors and the chrome grill elements on the wheel arches. The increased performance is also reflected in the specially-designed front apron with its three large air inlets for improved air supply to the engine, while strongly flared wheel arches ensure a muscular appearance. In addition, a higher cornering speed can be achieved thanks to a wider wheel base. In order to optimise the aerodynamic properties, so-called air curtains are used for the first time in serial production vehicle, reducing aerodynamically unfavourable turbulence around the wheel arches. The two-door’s rear, with its spoiler lip integrated in the boot lid and the clearly highlighted four exhaust pipes, leaves a lasting impression and provides the necessary downforce on the race track.

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BMW 1er M Coupé Exterieur Details


With the 1 Series M Coupé, BMW M transferred the concept of race-oriented performance characteristics into a car that was significantly more compact than the previous models of its newer generation. Transferring the purely visual approach of the BMW 1 Series to the M models was out of the question for BMW M from the outset. Therefore the ingredients under the hood had to be just right for it to earn the M badge.

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M-specific aesthetics combined with the lightness of a compact model.


The heart of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé is its 3.0 litre straight six-cylinder petrol engine, which has been further enhanced for M performance. The high maximum output of 340 hp at 5,900 rpm is achieved with the use of M TwinPower Turbo technology and optimised direct petrol injection. At just 1,500 revolutions per minute, the engine provides a torque of 450 Nm. However, the engine only reaches its maximum thanks to the help of the overboost function, with a further 50 Newton metres available at short notice. The thrilling acceleration and high-revving concept for which BMW M’s straight six-cylinder engines are known is ever present here.

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BMW 1 Series M Coupé driving footage
BMW 1 Series M Coupé front view
BMW 1 Series M Coupé side view
BMW 1 Series M Coupé rear view


The BMW 1 Series M Coupé’s performance is more than impressive: it takes just 4.9 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h, and only 13.7 seconds to reach 200km/h. And you can keep going until it hits the 250 km/h top speed. The power is transmitted via a six-speed manual transmission, with the driver able to rapidly select the gears through a particularly short M shift lever.


The breath-taking performance of this compact powerhouse is also evident in a direct comparison with the previous BMW M3, which delivered 420 hp and 400 Nm of torque. Both performance coupés are on a par in the sprint to 100 km/h, but despite having less power, the 1 Series M Coupé’s additional torque means it can knock almost 1.5 seconds off the M3’s 80 to 120 km/h time in sixth gear. The M3 will do it in 7.9 seconds, but the 1 Series M Coupé will get there in 6.5 seconds. The old saying ‘small but powerful’ is impressively underlined here.


BMW 1 Series M Coupé interior

The design of the interior perfectly complements the exterior design and puts the driver at the centre of the action at all times. Sports car-style dark colours dominate the interior, while the contrasting seams of the sport seats were designed exclusively for the BMW 1 Series M Coupé.


BMW 1 Series M Coupé dashboard

The standard M leather steering wheel features the M button in the right-hand spoke to select a decidedly sporty vehicle setup. The engine characteristic is adjusted more spontaneously and the accelerator commands are implemented even more instinctively.


BMW 1 Series M Coupé driving on road

The ambitious driver has the option of activating the M Dynamic Mode (MDM) on the dashboard, which raises the intervention threshold of the DSC driving stability control and permits targeted and sporty oversteer.


Everyday suitability with simultaneous racetrack performance: creating a suspension system that could master this delicate balancing act at all times was of great importance in the development of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé. To achieve this, BMW M used numerous components from its big brother BMW M3 – a technology transfer that was optimised and tailored to the M Coupé over multiple test laps on the Nürburgring. Both the double-jointed front axle and the five-link rear axle of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé were made almost completely from aluminium. Everything was done with lightweight construction in mind, because the car’s comparatively low weight of 1,495 kilograms, together with its powerful drive system, was – and still is – the guarantor for its outstanding performance.

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BMW M3 E30 and BMW 1 Series M Coupé


Compact dimensions, fascinating performance: The BMW M3 E30 and the BMW 1 Series M Coupé.


Compact dimensions, fascinating performance: The BMW M3 E30 and the BMW 1 Series M Coupé.


The variable M differential lock also contributes to the incomparable dynamics of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé. If necessary, it builds up a locking torque of up to 100 percent, ensuring optimum traction on all road surfaces. The M-specific compound high-performance brake system is no less powerful: its low weight and high stability allow drivers to master even faster laps on the track.

The BMW 1 Series M Coupé offers above-average safety. It includes an anti-lock braking system (ABS), slip control (ASC), Brake Assist Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), start assist, cornering brake control (CBC), fade compensation and a dry braking function. DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is also on board.

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The BMW 1 Series M Coupé delivers that unmistakable M feeling in the compact class. Its athletic exterior design and high performance result in a mix that excites every aspiring racing driver – as an everyday vehicle as well as a track car. The unsurpassed dynamics and legendary driving pleasure would only be matched with the launch of the BMW M2 Coupé in 2015.

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