Most BMW model lines have a high performance sports version and -- finally! -- the company's smallest and most affordable model, the 1-Series, will soon spawn an M-badged version.
Dubbed rather ungainly as the 1-Series M Coupe, the new car features a turbocharged 3-litre six-cylinder engine producing 250kW of power and 450Nm of torque; 500Nm can be delivered via an overboost function. A six-speed manual transmission helps transfer all that mechanical rage to the rear wheels, while an M differential lock distributes torque between the rear wheels depending on traction.
Weighing 1495kg, the M Coupe is capable of sprinting from zero to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds. Driven like that it's unlikely to be within cooee of the official EU fuel economy rating of 9.6L/100km.
For those times when you're stuck in city traffic or belting along a motorway, the M Coupe can be had with a Harmon Kardon sound system, anwith an 8.8-inch screen and Bluetooth hands-free. BlackBerry toting M Coupe drivers can also read their emails on screen.
Standard features, at least in Europe, include dual-zone climate control air-con, automatic wipers, parking sensors, leather seats, Alcantara (artificial suede) trim, and xenon headlights for both high and low beam.
Matching the car's performance potential, the M Coupe has been fitted with bulging wheel arches front and rear to accommodate the car's 19-inch alloy wheels and fat rubber. There's also more aggressive styling with bumpers and wing mirrors styled for better air flow.
Local pricing, specifications and launch date have yet to be confirmed. Logically, though, it would need to be priced between the next model down in the 1-Series range, the AU$74,700 135i, and its bigger brother, the AU$162,901 M3.