HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 2011 BMW 1M 

Pick of the Day: 2011 BMW 1M 

A throwback to the classic M


My last Pick of the Day was the BMW M1 which was the start of the entire line of M cars. Despite not being able to fit in the M1 I still love the car. Happily, the M1 is one of only 2 M cars (the other being the Z3 M roadster) that cannot accommodate my 6’4” height and all of the rest of BMW M cars I find quite comfortable.

A little over 10 years ago BMW did an interesting thing and reversed the naming system for the M cars, and they released a car that was very much a throwback to the classic M car period. They called this car the 1M and when it was released in 2011, I was given one to drive during Monterey car week. The car was the most fun driving performance car I had been behind the wheel in years: it was fast, with excellent steering, and was just a bit scary at the limit. It was a BMW M car that would allow a bad driver to get into serious trouble but reward the expert driver in only the way that a true driver orientated car can. I loved it and one of the biggest mistakes I have made with collector cars was to not buy the car from the press fleet when BMW offered it to me.

The BMW 1M launched in 2011 and only lasted as a model for that year. It was hailed by every journalist who had the opportunity to drive it as one of the very best BMW M cars ever. BMW quickly sold all 983 cars delivered to North America and they have been considered a true collector grade BMW ever since.

The 1M was a kind of skunkworks, off-the-books project that the development team worked on after hours and on weekends. The codename for the project was Pyrat, named after the team’s favorite brand of rum.

Due to the 1M being an off-the-books project, many of the parts of the 1M were sourced from various BMW models, though they pulled the parts from an amazing parts bin. The engine came from the Z4 3.5i with a custom tune, brakes, differential, axle, and suspension came from various E92 M3 cars as did the side mirrors. After the team had the plan, they put it together in secret while the head of the BMW M group was on a two-week vacation. After their boss returned from vacation, they showed him the car they had created. Because the development costs were so low, it was approved for production by the board.

BMW had originally planned to only build a total of 2,700 1M cars for the world. However, once the cars were delivered, demand increased which led BMW to produce a total of 6, still a very low number.

The 1M is powered by the twin-turbocharged 3.0L N54 BMW inline-six and factory rated at 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. It also offered what BMW called an overboost function, which added an additional 37 lb-ft of torque in short bursts. This gave the 1M performance stats of a 0-60 time in 4.5 seconds, ¼ mile times in 13 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 MPH.

The Pick of the Day is one of these instantly collectible cars, a 2011 BMW 1M.

Offered on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Richmond, British Columbia, they describe this car as finished in Alpine White with the cockpit upholstered in black Boston leather with orange contrast stitching and Alcantara accents on the shift boot, doors and dashboard. Options include navigation and a Harmon Kardon audio system. The car is completely unmodified and has covered only 38,200 kilometers (or 24,500 miles) from new.

The 1M is a car that is never likely to decrease in value and the asking price for this example is only $79,900. This is a car that you should buy now or risk paying more for next year.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.



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