BMW to create M model based on 1 Series, might bring M1 badge back


During these troubled financial times carmakers are looking to the lower end of the market and trying to create cheaper alternatives to their existing models. But even though you wouldn’t have pegged BMW’s M division for being tight for cash, a source on the inside has revealed that an M model based on the 1 Series, to attract people who aren’t familiar with the sporting division’s models will be made.

Set to be priced under the M3, the new model, which might just be named the M1 (although I have a feeling fans won’t be too happy with that), will be based on the 135i version, sporting a beefed up version of its 3-liter engine, which might produce around 330 HP, as opposed to the stock 302 horses.

“We’re conscious that our existing customers are gravitating towards larger and more expensive models such as the X5/X6 M,” said the M division source. “We’re looking at ways to attract new customers to the brand, and an entry-level model is part of those plans.”

This new 1 Series M model will certainly tackle Audi’s S3, and compete in its price range. It is also sustained by the current head of the M division, Kay Segler, which supervised the release of the Mini Cooper S and Cooper S Works, while he led the British brand from under the BMW corporate umbrella.

An interesting tidbit of information was also revealed, concerning the plans for an M division supercar, which would rival recent releases like the Audi R8, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG or even the Porsche 911. “Such a project would fit nicely with our operations and would be greatly accepted by the engineers. But the priority right now is a more affordable model underneath the M3.”

What do you think about this new plan? Could an M-badged 1 Series model bring new customers to the Bavarian manufacturer and more importantly, should it be named the M1? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Source: Autocar

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