BMW M3, first released 25 years ago based on the E30 3 series, is probably the most iconic automobile created by Bavarian Motors. The success this car enjoyed in motorsports as a compact sports vehicle is huge. The initial idea behind the first M3 was to to create a compact car with race car capabilities, indisputable agility, responsiveness and dynamics, to compete with Mercedes E190. After years the M3 gained considerably in size, and now could be measured to the 5-series of the 80's.
The new BMW 1 Series M is an inspired attempt to recreate the iconic vehicle that started it all. Initially the BMW was going to release the car in limited amount, but after a somewhat positive response they decided to release as many as they can by 2012, when they will end the production.Only 71 inches wide and 172.4 inches long, it is only 4.8 inches wider and 1.3 inches longer than the E30 ancestor. It features 104.7 inch wheelbase which is 4 inches longer but the front and rear track width are exactly the same. There are already rumors circulating the internet about a special edition performance E82 1M at the end of the 2012, when production stops. Here is a picture created but Jon Sibal, inspired by the 1975 3.0 CSL and 1973 BMW 2002 Turbo. Amazing job by Jon!
Now, don't get me wrong here when I talk about why I am disappointed with the BMW on this one. The idea behind the 1M seems great, and the car itself, just like the 135, but there is one "but". There are lots of disappointed people out there, because a recreation of such iconic car has been fitted with the BMW N54 engine. The engine is known to have major issues and even BWM acknowledged them. The fuel pump is notorious for failure, the car would shut-off on many N54 owners in the middle of their driving, and not restart. The second issue reported is turbo-lag, now for the M enthusiasts that is a more serious problem, and deteriorates on the reputation of all M cars, but no doubt they worked all that out before throwing the N54 in an M badged car, at least we hope they did. But even the issues with the motor are not the reason for the disappointment here, the whole idea of using a base motor for an M badged car is wrong, and then comparing it to the "The E30" is just ridiculous. A vehicle like the 1M should have been fitted with an all new engine exclusively created for it, but instead they take the N54, do some ECU programming and use it just to make the car sell, why BMW??? Now, I have no doubt that the car will sell, but it won't justify the M badge on it. In the end, the N54 engine is known to be lenient for aftermarket modification, maybe this is not that bad after all.
Here is 11 minute video of BMW E82 1M and E30 M3 on the track.