How long does it take for greatness to make itself known? For some, like Vincent van Gogh, too long. For the 1-series M Coupe, it’s after your first half-mile drive. Few cars feel so good, so immediately. It really is a fabulous machine – full of up-and-at-’em verve and spirit, but creamy and compact and perfectly liveable with. Talismanic too – this is the first turbocharged (proper) M-car and it bodes well for Ms to come.
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However, this complicates the long-term- test proposition because there’s only one way the BMW 1M can go, and that’s down. Simply put, this great car can’t get any better, can it? What if its spirit is diminished by reliability niggles or its stiff ride becomes unbearable after a couple of months? What if its steroidal aesthetic ages badly?
Well, we’e going to find out. Over the coming months evo’s 1-series M will be subjected to my commute every day – a 70-mile blast on B- and A-roads. It’ll be thrashed mercilessly on evo track events, take in a few continental cruises and undoubtedly find its way into a few more tests, including evo Car of the Year (where I think it will excel).
Our 1M cost £45,340. That’s the basic OTR price of £40,020 plus £5320-worth of Bluetooth, BMW Assist (including an ‘online portal’ giving news and Google local search), DAB radio, Harman/Kardon surround sound, USB audio interface, satnav, voice control, heated seats with adjustable lumbar support, metallic Valencia Orange paint, tinted glass and folding mirrors. Standard equipment includes 19in Y-spoke alloy wheels, two-zone air-con, leather and Alcantara with orange stitching, cruise control, heated washer jets, headlight washers, rear parking sensors, xenon headlights and LED lights at the rear. An auto/twin-clutch gearbox is not an option – it’s manual only, and that’s fine by me.
As I write this, I’ve taken the 1M on just one long journey, to the south of England with the family. With my 20-month-old son Isofixed in the rear, and the boot swallowing his buggy and a small suitcase, off we travelled. It wasn’t exactly the thrill of driving. The M25 swallowed us for a couple of hours, then I rode up a kerb and knackered a wheel trying to avoid a wandering bus. Saying that, I grabbed a blissful 15 minutes pushing the 1M hard on a fabulous B-road and it was one of the best 15 minutes of my life. In fact, on my return I emailed BMW and asked if we could keep the car for longer than the planned six months. Much longer...
|Date acquired||June 2011|
|Mileage this month||315|
|MPG this month||29.4|