As of late there has been a great deal of discussion about the possibility of BMW adding an M-badged version of the 1 Series to its lineup and now we have confirmed reports that the model has been given the green light. The 1-Series M will get a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six engine, but with 350-hp.
This engine will differ significantly from the one currently found in the 135i. Instead, the 1-Series M-car will use a version of the new turbo 3.0-liter, which recently debuted in the 535i GT, which offers even more linear power delivery. Also scheduled is a more efficient intercooler setup. Power will be put to the ground via a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox and torque is expected to be rated at around 310 ft-lbs.
The car will slot in directly below the M3 in the German automaker’s lineup and is expected to cost around $45,000. In an interview with the U.K.’s AutoCar, BMW M division boss Kay Segler said that, “With the modular production processes in place at BMW, it is possible to create performance cars that customers can not only dream about owning but also realistically afford.”
As for the rest of the car, weight is expected to be not much more than 3,300 lbs, which should help the smallest M-car to deliver a 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds and be an absolute hoot in the twisties – and on the track!
Other highlights include 18-inch wheels, a revised suspension setup and a subtle M aero kit.
Along with being more powerful, the new engine is also more fuel efficient and thanks to brake energy regeneration and the possibility of a start-stop system, the more powerful model will use roughly the same amount of fuel as the current 135i.
BMW has yet to release official details on the car, but it is expected to go on sale in 2011.