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I found the worst modern M car for sale

The BMW 1M was the company's first attempt at a small turbocharged M coupe, but instead of taking the excellent E9X bits, they cheaped out.


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Looks like it’s C- (RT) ya later to the Lime Rock Park. Just 20% voted for it. Keeping with the theme of overpriced M, this week I’m pointing at worst modern M car ever made: the BMW 1M.

I found a doozy for sale, so you’ll need to talk me out of an M2. Or maybe something even better…

The 2011 BMW 1M vs any M2 ever made

Even the badge – it’s missing a number. How would you write 1M anyway?

See the 2011 1M listing here

Sit down and stop yelling at the keyboard as you type me that sweet, wonderful email. The 1M is a fine car for perhaps $30k. To bad it’s impossible to find one at that price. One was listed for $200,000.

Oh, I’ve heard all the arguments. I’ll even spell them out:

  • The BMW 1M was exclusive! Just 983 were sold here.
  • It has all the M bits from the E92, and it’s lighter!
  • Looks cool and unique!
  • It has the best steering ever!

Now, like Leo says, here I come.

The BMW 1M was a mess

The only interesting color it came in.

First, being exclusive doesn’t make a car good. All it guarantees is that you might get noticed on Sunday morning. If you buy a car for the sole reason if it being rare, you my friend are a poser.

Next, the E92 bits. Yes, the 1M was wider than the 135i, with brakes and suspension components from its big brother. But this was the start of “M car with not-an-M-motor”. What this needed to make it special was the S65 V-8. And if people can shoehorn one in now, I bet BMW could have done it back then. Instead, BMW cheaped out with an N54 that provided just 335 horsepower.

To be fair, this car was much lighter than an M3 of the time – 3,296 pounds. It also had more torque than the S65, and was pretty much as fast as an M3.

But here’s the thing. The buying public seems to think that V-8 is special. Now, here comes this 1M with a turbocharged engine that’s also special? Which is it? Do we value speed, or experience?

The BMW 1M is ugly. I’ve heard it being called cute. I do not want a cute M car. A G82 will eat this little puppy alive. In fact, it weighs like it already has.

And the steering feel? The E9X was fine – and this had the same rack. A 1M isn’t better than an E46 M3 in feel.

BMW 1M pricing is still out of control

71,000 miles, at least it’s been enjoyed.

They are almost always low mileage, with some examples going for over $80,000. There is a slight shift – many are selling in the mid-$60s, and anything with a higher reserve isn’t being met.

I’ve picked a fun one for you:

  • 71,000 miles
  • Bid to $25,250 so far
  • Alpine White over black
  • Clean CarFax
  • Wow – Style 359M alloy wheels are mounted with Hankook Ventus V12 Evo 2 tires. Big spender on the rubber, eh?
  • Some recent work done, with no leaks

Aside from the mileage, I see no cause for concern. How low can the price go? Who knows – no one drives their freakin’ cars. One with 50k on the clock sold for $57,000, still overpriced by about 20 grand.

Can I convince you to do something better instead?

The 2011 BMW 128i Coupe

I can fix her – Photo: Cars & Bids

What happened to the M2?

Yes, you can certainly get a really nice F87 M2 for the equivalent price. You could get a brand new G87 too.

But I’m nothing if not accommodating, so can I share with you this 2011 128i?

  • 120,300 miles
  • Clean title
  • Black Sapphire Metallic over Black
  • Manu..

You know what – who cares? This thing is going to go for cheap. Like, $8k cheap. It’s the perfect car to rip apart and do what BMW should have done – grab me that V-8. Go nuts, put a 1M body on it, along with all the other good bits, and you’ll still come out at say, $50,000. Everyone will love you on Sunday mornings. Rev it to get everyone to stare.

I’m not seeing a downside here. Unless you already own a 1M and I drive by with my 128 Frankenstein.

But you don’t own a 1M, do you?

Want MWS to review your car?

If you live in the tri-state area and want me to check it out, send me an email! 

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