2012 BMW 1 Series Spy

    Fans of the E30 and E36 M3s and even earlier BMWs have been longing for a return of a smaller, hopefully lighter, M car. But so far, BMW has shied away from building a 1-Series-based M car, and not just because of the difficulty of using the vaunted "M1" name. But despite the price/performance concerns over stepping on the M3's toes, BMW’s M Division boss Kay Segler has confirmed that the car will in fact be built, and that it will be intended as a low-price entry point to the M range. These latest spy shots show us a car that's definitely hotter than your average 135i Coupe. It looks hotter than the speculated 135is, too, for that matter. As the photos show, it's wearing a slightly disguised carbon-fiber roof panel, larger fenders, trademark M quad-exhaust tailpipes, and our photographers assure us it's also sporting enhanced suspension, engine and braking packages.

    Having driven the 2011 BMW 135i with the dual clutch transmission back-to-back with the 2011 BMW M3, we can say that while the 1-Series platform lacks the sharpness and focus of the M3, it is still a more than capable performer, and can already nip at the heels of the larger car at certain points on a track. With the addition of the M treatment, plus a higher output twin-turbo six (expect about 350 horsepower), the 1-Series M car should be a formidable force indeed, especially considering the price point.

     2012 BMW 1 Series Spy
     2012 BMW 1 Series Spy
    2012 BMW 1 Series Spy

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