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BMW gives 1-series an M label

BMW announces the M version of the 1 series.

BMW 1-series M Coupe
BMW tunes up its 135i and increases the track width for an M label. BMW

Today, BMW announced the 1-series M Coupe, a version of its 1-series car given the M sport division treatment. Although this news may sound good to BMW fans, the new M is not radically different from a 135i.

Both the 1-series M and the 135i use BMW's twin turbocharged 3-liter straight six-cylinder engine. For the M version, BMW tuned the engine to produce 340 horsepower. Also, the M version retains the current twin turbocharbed engine, whereas the 2011 135i gets the N55 engine with a single twin scroll turbocharger.

BMW 1-series M Coupe
Does this hot 135i really deserve an M badge? BMW

BMW says the 1-series M will hit 62 mph in 4.9 seconds; specifications for the current 135i show it hitting the same speed in 5.2 seconds. BMW increased the track of the 1-series M over the 135i by over 2 inches to help cornering.

The most M-like characteristic of the new car is the M program for its road-holding systems. A button puts it into M Dynamic Mode, changing the characteristics of traction and stability control to allow more slip.

BMW's announcement referred to the car as the 1-series M Coupe, a very strained model name. But unlike the M3 or M5, BMW probably does not want to call the new car an M1, as that name was used for a very different car, a collaboration between Lamborghini and BMW, produced from 1978 to 1981.