After much anticipation, the new BMW 1-Series M Coupe was finally revealed to the world today. As you can see for yourselves in the photo gallery after the jump, the Bavarian maker tries its best to convince us about the similarities between the original 1988 M3 E30 and its most recent creation to wear the coveted M badge, but we'll that on the side for now.
Starting with the name, the reason why BMW went for the somewhat awkward sounding 1-Series M Coupe moniker, is to avoid any confusions with the legendary M1. The smallest and most economically priced model of the M family is based on the 135i Coupe.
However, it is 0.2 inches (5mm) longer, 2.1 inches (53mm) wider, 0.5 inches (13mm) taller than its 135i sibling, while it tips the scales at 1,495kg DIN (3,296 lbs), meaning it weighs 35kg (77 lbs,) less. BMW says the weight distribution is almost perfect at (51.7/48.3).
Under the bonnet, we find the Z4 35iS' 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-six, which produces 335-horsepower at 5,900 rpm, with the redline set at 7,000 rpm. There's also 332 lb-ft (450 Nm) of torque available from 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm, while an overboost function briefly increases this by another 37 lb-ft (50 Nm) to 369 lb-ft.
At launch, the 1-Series M Coupe will be offered exclusively with a close ratio 6-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels through a variable M differential lock. BMW claims the sports car will complete the sprint from a standstill to 60 mph [96km/h] in just 4.7 seconds (0-100 kmh in 4.9 seconds), and the standing quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds. Top speed is limited electronically to 155 mph (250 kmh).
Moving on to the chassis upgrades, the baby M model features new aluminum suspension parts sourced from the M3 as well as a more powerful braking system with internally-vented, cross-drilled cast iron discs measuring 14.2 inches (360mm) in diameter at the front and 13.8 inches (350mm) in the rear. The rack-and-pinion steering is fitted with the hydraulic power steering system called Servotronic, which regulates boost in relation to road speed.
As with other M cars, the new 1 Series model features the steering wheel-mounted M Drive button that adjusts the throttle response program for the sportiest driving.
The 1 Series M Coupe rides on M-specific, light-alloy cross-spoke wheels from the M3 Competition Package and limited-production M3 GTS. The alloy wheels measure 19 x 9 inches with 245/35/R19 low-profile tires at the front and 19 x 10 inches with 265/35/R19 tires at the rear, and are finished in silver.
On the outside, the M car boasts a new bodykit with new bumpers and spoilers, side skirts, unique mirrors, plus the traditional quad-exhaust tail pipes, heavily blistered wheel arches and LED tail lights. There are three exterior paint finishes to choose from including, Alpine White non-metallic, Black Sapphire Metallic and the Valencia Orange Metallic, which is available exclusively for this model.
Inside, we find the typical upgrades for an M model such as the unique trim, sports steering wheel and seats, heaps of leather and alcantara decorated with orange contrast stitching, and a revamped instrument panel.
BMW said the 2011 1 Series M Coupe will be available in limited quantities starting from Spring of 2011, adding that final pricing, packages, and options will be announced closer to the on-sale date.