2011 Detroit Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe will roll out in the U.S. this spring starting at around $45,000.
- BMW 1 Series M Coupe gets a 335-horsepower inline-6 mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
- The U.S. allotment is under 1,000 units.
WOODCLIFF LAKE, New Jersey — Younger buyers who have been shut out of BMW's M lineup because of increasingly higher prices have a new, more affordable choice. The 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe will roll out in the U.S. this spring starting at around $45,000. The U.S. allotment is under 1,000 units, the German automaker tells Edmunds.com.
Final pricing has not been announced on the 1 Series M Coupe, but BMW spokesman Thomas Plucinsky said in a phone conversation with Edmunds.com on Thursday that it is designed to be "more affordable than the [BMW] M3." The 2011 M3 Coupe starts at $59,275, including an $875 destination charge. "The normal as-built price is in the low $60s once you add options," noted Plucinsky.
"As pricing went up in the current-generation M3, the demographics skewed higher in terms of age and income," he said. "With the 1 Series M Coupe, we're hoping to give younger people a chance to get into an M car — people in their 30s."
He said the 1 Series M Coupe will come relatively well equipped and has only two option packages. While they are not yet finalized in terms of content and pricing, one will have a navigation system and the other will be an entertainment package.
The newest member of the M family gets a 335-horsepower inline-6 mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, with 0-60-mph acceleration in 4.7 seconds.
The 1 Series M Coupe will not be offered with a moonroof — a decision designed to reduce weight and "maximize headroom or helmet room, as the case may be," said BMW in a statement.
Like its more expensive M3 Coupe sibling, the 1 Series M Coupe gets an aluminum suspension. It also has an M exhaust system with four "signature" exhaust pipes.
BMW is also touting the "air curtains" on the 1 Series M Coupe, which are used for the first time in a BMW production vehicle. The air curtains are designed to "improve airflow around the wheel arches with the benefit of significantly reduced turbulence," said BMW in a statement. The "air curtain principle" was first shown in the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept study at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show.
The 1 Series M Coupe will be available in three exterior paint choices. They are Alpine White, Black Sapphire Metallic and Valencia Orange Metallic. The cabin gets black leather sport seats with orange contrast stitching. Another key detail is the steering-wheel-mounted M Drive button that can adjust the throttle response according to the driver's taste.
Edmunds.com says: BMW admits to chasing younger buyers with the 1 Series M Coupe. But $45K is still a significant price tag, whether you're 30 or 45. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent