BMW is renowned and respected for their M cars which are created by BMW’s motorsport branch. Every M car they have produced has possessed this balance between power, handling, and practicality that continues to be unrivaled by any other sports cars in its class. So when BMW announced that they were releasing a brand new M car in 2011 it had high expectations to meet, which it ultimately did. The 1M boasts a 3.0L in-line six cylinder engine that is accompanied by two lively turbo chargers that allow it to put out 335bhp. With that motorsport tuned engine in the front, a manual six-speed gearbox in the middle, and the power going to the back via a limited slip differential, the combination makes for a fantastic driving experience.
The 1M is based off of a traditional 1-series but is more focused in terms of the overall performance. Cosmetically, the wheel arches are flared, it has larger wheels, it is slightly lowered, and has more aggressive styling. When it came to the engine, BMW did something interesting, for their M cars usually utilize a series of engines with a code beginning with an “S” (S14, S50, S65, etc.), which are specifically designated for M cars, but here they chose to go with a N54 engine which appears in some of the earlier 3-series as well as the Z4. This makes this car that much more intriguing especially when you pair it with the fact that they were in production for just a single year. Roughly 6,000 units were sold worldwide with only about 750 brought to the United States making this a modern day collector car in a sense.
This brings us to the example on offer, a pristine 2011 BMW 1M finished in Valencia Orange, chassis #WBSUR9C54BVS96562. It is a one-owner car that was purchased new from the BMW dealership in Reading, Pennsylvania and was also regularly serviced there as well. It has had an uneventful life without incident in which the CARFAX provided will attest to. This is a 13,000 mile example that still has its original paint, interior, and components as they were from the factory. This particular model has some desirable options such as keyless entry, rear parking monitor, power and heated seats, satellite radio, and a surround sound audio system to name a few.
Currently, the car is still in impeccable original condition with very few flaws to note. The Valencia Orange paint shows wonderfully and is quite the head turner, especially in direct sunlight. Located on the front bumper are a few subtle nicks in the paint from high speed driving which one would not notice unless you were inspecting the car up close. Fortunately these blemishes are only in the clear bra, of which nearly 50%+ of the car is covered with. In addition, there is some curb rash on the underside of the lower front lip which can be easily corrected with a day in the body shop and is unnoticeable unless on a lift. Despite those minor issues, the remainder of the car is as it should be and resembles a very low mile car that is blemish free. Given that this example is practically new and has had no accidents, the panel fitment and gaps are as they were when it left the factory. All the rubbers, glass, chrome, and plastic components present as new and have received no abuse or mistreatment during the car’s short life. The 1M sits on Y-spoke (Style 359M), M light, 19-inch, silver allow wheels that are highly appealing and have absolutely no damage whatsoever. The interior resembles much like the exterior with no significant defects to take notice of.
Upon entry the vehicle, the jams are as they were when it left the factory with all the proper markings and stickers still present. The interior itself is finished in leather, complimented by black suede and orange stitching throughout, making it feel like more of a car for occasion than a daily driver. The Black Boston leather seats are in superb shape and bare the M-sport logo on the face of each head rest. The center console houses many modern components including the main screen that display, navigation, engine settings, radio, amongst many other applications. The rear seats have been lightly used, if ever, so there are no items to note as far as flaws. You can comfortably seat two average size adults in the back and there is more than enough room for a set of golf clubs in the boot. It is items such as these that allow the M cars to obtain an element of practicality that many other sport cars do not have. All in all, like the exterior of the car, the interior has been well kept with all components operating as they are intended.
Now, stepping out of the car and relocating to the front, upon opening the bonnet one will be presented with a tidy and modern engine bay. The engine cover plate reads “Powered by BMW M” as all M cars do in some form or another. Once again, there are no significant items to address for everything is still in its correct factory condition and due to limited use in combination with a dedicated caretaker, it is very clean as well with all the factory markings and labels present. Moving to the rear of the car, the boot houses the original tool kit, spare, jack, and books that belong to this car. The underside of the car is in excellent shape without a spec of rust or evidence of mistreatment for this example has been garage kept its whole life, never exposed to wet or salty roads.
The drivability of this car is phenomenal and certainly drives like an M car. As far as the straight-line speed, it is quick but not uncontrollably fast. The agility and corning abilities of this car is where it shines and quite frankly where all the fun is. With the turbo straight-six engine being at the front, followed by a manual six-speed gearbox, and drive going to the rear wheels, the 1M encompasses the holy trinity of what makes an epic driver’s car. It does not stop there however; this car has a few more tricks up its sleeve. On the steering wheel there are controls for audio volume, voice command, call assist, but most importantly there is a button that is marked “M.” When activated this launches the car into what BMW calls, M Dynamic Mode, sharpening throttle response, optimizing engine output, and backing off the traction control, allowing the driver to swing the back end out but remain in control. In short, this car contains all the ingredients that will have any enthusiast smiling ear to ear, with a touch of tire smoke in the background.
The BMW 1M is a car of rarity, superb drivability, and bares the M badge as well as the elements that revolve around it. This particular example is in marvelous, original factory condition that has been documented since it rolled off of the assembly line. These cars have not only retained their value but actually have begun to appreciate over original MSRP as a consequence of the fact that BMW produced so few of them. Their likeability adds to the credibility of this car. In 2011, it was reviewed on Top Gear UK by no other than the infamous Jeremy Clarkson whom has been exposed to some of the best cars automotive history has to offer and has a knack for humbling just about anything he drives. Regardless of this, Clarkson himself could not help but rave about the 1M, finding it next to impossible to point out an item on the car that he genuinely did not approve of. Clarkson compared it to the original Golf GTI and then went onto putting it up against a Porsche Cayman R and a supercharged Lotus Evora S. The 1M is significantly quicker in a straight line sprint, more practical, and costs less than both of its competitors new. The BMW 1M is such a unique car that is a bit of mutt, utilizing leftover parts from other BMW models but has managed to turn out to be something quite special. The 1M has earned Mr. Clarkson’s stamp of approval as well as LBI’s with the example on offer being one of the best on the market. Included in the sale is the original window sticker, all books, tools, manuals, jack, spare, and service records.
Available Documentation: (Click on the links below to view the file)