Saving for a new BMW M3 but still around £13,000 short of target? Take a look at this: it’s the 1-series M coupe. While at an expected £40,000 it is, indeed, £13,000 cheaper than its bigger brother, it is just as quick.

Using the six-cylinder turbocharged engine presently found in the Z4 S-drive 35iS, it develops 335bhp and can travel from rest to 62mph in just 4.9secs. This makes it the fastest 1-series yet.

The engine may be the same (except for exhaust modifications) as the Z4’s but elsewhere the car is heavily modified to cope with the power.

To provide additional cooling if the car’s used for prolonged high speed driving, the car has a second radiator and extra air ducts. Aluminium features heavily in the construction of the suspension, to reduce weight. A power-to-weight ratio of 227bhp/tonne has been achieved.

The car is also considerably wider than the standard 1-series coupe. 19in Y-spoke alloy wheels are fitted as standard and they are hooked up to a full suite of safety aids to provide maximum grip and control.

Two-zone climate controlled air conditioning and a leather/alcantara trimmed cabin also form part of the deal. UK sales begin in May when the car reaches showrooms here, costing an expected £39,990.

Stephen Jury


December 13, 2010