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      06-15-2011, 03:12 PM   #1
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Drives: F80 M3
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Post BMW 1M vs. M3 Direct Comparison Review by Motortrend

BMW 1M vs. M3 Direct Comparison Review by Motortrend
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Motortrend takes on a direct comparison of the BMW 1M coupe and 2011 BMW M3 on the backroads. What's their conclusion? Here are some of their more notable reactions:

The 1M may pull strongly when its computer allows the torque boost, but while it's figuring that out, the M3 simply revs. And how it revs! This exhaust note should be weaponized; anyone within earshot is rendered a quivering mess.

We meet in the first corner, and I watch as the 1M's rear wiggles along the pavement. Both cars are adept at these speeds, but Lieberman is working harder. The M3 requires little effort; every steering input feels faultless, as if you aren't controlling the car by a wheel but instead willing it along a preordained path.
When we pull over, Lieberman is stupefied about the 1M's torque supply, asking, "370 pound-feet? On what planet? This feels like so much more."
Nevertheless, the functional changes work excellently. The shift knob fits my palm agreeably and returns neat and tidy throws (Lieberman, for the record, expresses wanton distaste for the feel of the stick as well as all BMW manuals), while the gray-faced gauges clearly indicate redline. The clutch feel is the best of any BMW currently available.

The 1M's steering feels distinctly quicker and lighter, and while entertaining, it's a tick less communicative than the M3's telepathy.
The 1M's wide torque delivery means a smoother commute during the daily grind, but the M3's race motor characteristics make it feel special. This special sensation is what the 1M most lacks, but that's not to say it disappoints. It is perhaps one of the most entertaining cars since the Z3-based M Coupe: light, involving, and bonkers quick.

The 1M signals a return to driving-focused enjoyment, not to mention it's as fast as the M3 and costs way less.

But is it better? Lieberman and I agree: No. This big, heavy, and expensive M3, with its unflappable confidence and lascivious powertrain, is the car we want, the car we'll remember as the best of the naturally aspirated Ms. It's the one we'll tell young gearheads about in a few decades with the same fondness and reverence as given its E30 ancestor. The 1M doesn't measure up to the M3's standard. Few cars do.
Full review at Motortrend


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