BMW built its 1 Series M Coupe off the existing 135i model, widening the track, boosting horsepower, and tuning the suspension for better performance.
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August 4, 2011 11:26 AM PDTUpdated: August 4, 2011 12:00 PM PDT
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
/ Caption by: Wayne Cunningham
Along with the M badges placed around the car, the 1 Series M Coupe can be distinguished from the 135i by the fender flares and the air dam with its large intakes.
The 1 Series M Coupe gets BMW's N54 engine, a twin-turbo direct-injection 3-liter, tuned up for 335 horsepower.
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The front seats are very comfortable in the 1 Series M Coupe, but back seat space is tight. Taller drivers will end up cutting off the leg room of the rear-seat passenger.
BMW does not offer the 1 Series M Coupe with a dynamic suspension. It tuned the fixed suspension for a compromise between road comfort and sport handling. At times, the ride can feel spongy, but the comfort level is appreciated.
As a small car, the 1 Series M Coupe does not have much trunk room.
The M steering wheel has a thick rim, making it easy to grip and turn.
The M tachometer includes a yellow zone in the area just before redline. It's a good visual cue when seeking maximum horsepower.
The six-speed manual is the only transmission available for the 1 Series M Coupe, although BMW offers its seven-speed Double Clutch Transmission on the 135i.
BMW shoehorns phone and MP3 player information into the minimal radio display, not the best interface.
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