Autocar’s Long-term Test Verdict on the BMW 1M Coupé
We’ve all seen the first drive reviews followed by in-depth tests and shootouts starring BMW’s sensational, yet somewhat controversial, 1M Coupé. Built in very limited numbers and offered with an even more limited colour palette – just Alpine White, Sapphire Black and Valencia Orange to choose from – the 1M has met with a fair amount of scepticism from stalwarts of the traditional BMW Motorsport recipe. “It’s not a pure M Car…” and “…it’s a halfway job!” lamenting, old-school fans of BMW M were heard to say.
On paper, at least, such criticism levelled at BMW Motorsport’s latest offering at that time was somewhat justified. Whilst the bodywork, suspension and brakes had been suitably fettled in the course of BMW M’s treatment, the N54 twin-turbo, straight six engine remained ostensibly unchanged from its application in the non-M Z4 sDrive35iS roadster. No option for a swifter-shifting, more efficient M-DCT transmission was offered either with only a six speed manual gearbox being available for purists. On the inside too, enhancement to the interior accoutrements was kept to a minimum. All of this combined led to people asking whether the BMW 1M Coupé was special enough…
The pundits needn’t have worried as it turns out because the 1M Coupé has garnered firm approval from both motoring scribes and owners across the globe. Clarkson lavished praise over the car; Harris enthused prosaically – whilst going rather sideways – on camera during EVO CotY and many more scribes proclaimed in unison that the BMW 1M Coupé was everything that an M Car needed to be. Even GCF’s well-known member AdvEvo (check him out on YouTube) – one of the more vociferous critics of the move away from natural aspiration – heaped praise on the little ‘bahn-stormer following delivery (and some gratuitous opposite-lock shakedowns) of his 1M Coupé.
But what’s the car like to live with on a daily basis over a longer term? Autocar’s highly experienced and ever-so-talented-behind-the-wheel editor Steve Sutcliffe delivers his verdict on video with their long-term tester having clocked up around 14,000 miles. Once again, for a car of this ilk, the review is a glowing one. Naturally, there are drawbacks such as fuel economy, ride comfort and a minor electronic glitch but in the departments that matter for an M Car to matter the 1M Coupé doesn’t disappoint over the longer term. Check out Sutcliffe’s video here:
Upsides: Sensational to drive; powerful delivery; superb throttle response; all round feel good factor
Downsides: Fuel economy; electric seat memory loss; everyday ride comfort
A proper M Car in every sense of the word.
Posted in: BMW