2011 BMW 1-Series M CoupeEnlarge Photo
BMW’s 1-Series M was introduced by BMW’s then-M-Division-head, Dr. Kay Segler, as an affordable car for the young enthusiast. Their definition of affordable differs from ours, since the base price for the 1-Series M begins at $47,010 before you begin adding accessories to it. Well equipped, the 1M stickers at just under $55,000, putting it dangerously close to it’s big brother, the M3, which starts at $58,900 for a base model. Eat ramen and peanut butter for a few more months, and spending $4,000 more for the M3 over the 1-Series M becomes a reasonable option.
When BMW announced that 1-Series M production would cease at the end of 2011 with fewer than 1,000 copies built, we knew that dealer price gouging would be painful. For cars in high demand, with limited supply, dealer markups of $5,000 over sticker are common, and even $10,000 isn’t unheard of for high-end sports cars. If you want to be the first kid on your block with the latest toy, that’s just the price you have to pay.
Still, we’ll admit to being taken aback by the Additional Dealer Markup applied to the 1M by a BMW Dealership in southern California. Not content with asking $10,000 over sticker, or even $20,000 more than MSRP, this dealership has added $40,000 to the price of an available 1 Series M. If you want to drive it off the lot today, the car will cost you $94,635, not including tax, title and license, of course.
In case you need reminding, that amount of money buys you a loaded BMW M3, and it would have bought you a “Frozen Black” M3 if you were quick enough to order one before they were sold out. You’d even have money leftover for track days, tires and brake pads, three things that go hand in hand with owning a BMW M.
Is it a marketing stunt? Perhaps, which is why we’re not naming the dealership. There’s no doubt that the car will draw in enthusiasts while it’s on display, and some of them may even buy BMW’s while there. After all, an M3 at sticker price is quite a bargain compared to a 1-Series M at nearly twice the MSRP.