2011 BMW 1-Series M Coupe Preview

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The 2011 BMW 1-Series M Coupe has been BMW's worst-kept secret of the past year, with official "spy" photos and even a video preview of the car in its entirety spoiling some of the fun of today's official unveiling. The fun of the car, however, is sure to remain intact.

Packing a now-familiar 335-horsepower, twin-turbo variant of BMW's venerable N54 inline six-cylinder engine also found in the 335is, the M Coupe isn't quite as powerful as some rumors had hoped, but it still has plenty of punch when coupled with its other M Division upgrades. Torque comes in at 332 pound-feet from 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. An overboost function allows up to 369 pound-feet for short periods. Zero to 60 mph takes just 4.7 seconds, the quarter mile is done in 13.2 seconds, and top speed is limited to 155 mph.

Speaking of upgrades, they include: a short-throw six-speed manual as the only available transmission, the 19x9-inch alloy wheels from the M3 GTS package, a variable-lock M differential, more aggressively-tuned DSC with M Dynamic Mode, more effective aerodynamics to reduce lift at high speeds, and three unique colors, including Valencia Orange Metallic (an exclusive 1-Series M Coupe color), Alpine White, and Black Sapphire Metallic.

BMW calls the 1-Series M Coupe one of the most unique and memorable M cars, a "pure Ultimate Driving Machine" inspired by no less a legend than the 1988 M3. While there's no screaming S14 engine under this hood, and it weighs in about a quarter-ton heavier, the M Coupe may just deserve the comparison. A special exhaust system with acoustic tuning for the passenger compartment makes the most out of the straight-six's sound.

At 77 pounds lighter than the standard 135i, the 1 Series M Coupe is actually larger in almost every dimension: 2.1 inches wider, 0.2 inches longer, 0.5 inches taller, with track widened by 2.8 inches front and 1.8 inches rear.

So how did BMW get the weight out? A solid metal roof deletes the moonroof of the standard 1-Series, saving 35 pounds. Smaller savings were made in other places, including the suspension and brakes. Inside, the focus on weight savings was reduced somewhat, with features like heated seats and abundant leather still available.

A special "air curtain" system is also new for the 1-Series M Coupe, the first application of the technology to a production BMW vehicle. The air curtains are specially formed ducts that create a high-pressure outlet inside the front wheel wells to allow oncoming air to flow around and past the wheels, reducing turbulence and drag.

The 2011 BMW 1-Series M Coupe will be on sale in Spring 2011, with final pricing, packages and options to be announced closer to that date.

Check out page two for the full (and voluminous) press release once you're done poring over the images.


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