Sedans & Coupes

Was the 1 Series M Coupe the Best BMW Ever Made?

Building and producing a sports coupe that appeals to the masses is not an easy task, however, BMW has done it many times over the years. The M3 has been arguably one of the best European sports cars that you can buy, no matter the generation, and the M2 has been a fan favorite. But one particular model in BMW’s history stands out more than the rest, and no, it’s not the original M3, but the 1 Series M Coupe. Could it perhaps be the best BMW ever produced?

Simplicity at its best

What made the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe was that it was engineered, designed, and built with simplicity in mind. Of course, the fact that it was created and sold back in 2011, and only for that year, probably had something to do with the fact that there were no fancy digital instrument panels or screens, just pure driving fun.

And that fun came by way of a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo six-cylinder engine that produced 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque and was mated to a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission. To complement the powertrain, the car was engineered with a 50/50 weight distribution for near-perfect handling thanks to a bevy of parts from the E92 M3. These parts included the rear differential, suspension, and brakes, which basically meant it had the legs and feet of an M3 and the heart of a Z4 sDrive 35iS.

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Fancy footwork

As you can imagine, all of that power and suspension tuning in such a small car equates to a lot of driving fun. Multiple outlets reported 0 to 60 times in the 5-second range while the quarter-mile goes by in 13 seconds flat. Sure, it wasn’t the fastest, but that wasn’t the point. It was a small car that could dance better than it’s bigger, more-powerful stablemates while providing a somewhat comfortable means of transportation.

We say “somewhat” because the 1M Coupe could only fit four total occupants and a couple of their small suitcases. But while it might be a cramped ride to your destination, the good news is that the 1M came outfitted with a comfortable leather interior and a premium sound system. Although, you probably won’t care too much about music when driving this car.

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Rarest of the rare

Since the BMW 1M was only available for one year, the brand only shipped a short supply to the U.S. How short? Just 1,000 units, which means that it’s even rarer on the used market today. For reference, when the 1M debuted, it’s sticker price was set at $47,010, but dealers were marking them up for much higher at the time. Now, you can find one but it will cost a pretty penny. The average price that we found on Autotrader was around $50,000 to $75,000 range depending on the car’s condition, location, and mileage.

That might not sound too bad considering it’s such a rare car and exudes driving perfection, and since it’s apparently appreciating in value and embodies the essence of what BMW’s “M” cars are made of, it could actually go down in history as the best BMW ever made.