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First look: 2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe

A Pyrat raises the flag.

by on Dec.09, 2010

Finally, an undisguised version of the 2012 BMW 1-Series M Coupe, once codenamed Pyrat.

Here it comes. Finally.  The 2012 BMW 1-Series M Coupe is arguably the industry’s worst-kept secret.  But now we can finally release the details and reveal the first pictures of the smallest M-performance model ever from the Bavarians.

It’s hard to recall when the first words began to leak out of Munich suggesting the 1 M was under development – BMW opting for the awkward nomenclature to avoid any confusion with the legendary M1 supercar, designed by Giugiaro and developed by Lamborghini, whose very name has been retired.

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Early in the year a disguised 1-Series – then known by the codename Pyrat — with distinctive trim suggesting it was not your ordinary coupe was spotted exercising at Germany’s Nürburgring.  Then, in August, during the 25th anniversary celebration of the M3, at the Ascari Race resort, in Spain, an even less camouflaged version was rolled out and we were given our first ride.

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First Drive: 2012 BMW 1-Series M Coupe

But is there an M1 to follow?

by on Oct.12, 2010

Partially disguised, we get our first drive of the 2012 BMW 1-Series Coupe. But feel free to call it the M1...unoffiicially.

Other than the transformative 2002tii, few BMW models have been the subject of more lore than the original, hand-built M1 sports car sold between 1978 and 1981.

So, when word got around that a new BMW M coupe was clocking blistering speeds around the Nurburgring race circuit rumors began to circulate that the legendary nameplate was coming back.

Alas, as I learned during a visit to Spain’s Ascari race track, over the summer, BMW’s surprise was really a 1-Series coupe in crafty camouflage.  In the German logic, the name M1 has been permanently set aside, like the number of a baseball Hall-of-Famer.  So, what we’re about to get is the new BMW 1-Series M Coupe.

Once we got past that dance with semantics our next question was simple: when can we go for a drive?  We got our answer, earlier this month, in Munich, at the formal unveiling of the smallest model to emerge from the vaunted M GmbH.

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Surprisingly, even at the 1-Series M Coupe’s unveiling, BMW still was holding back on a number of technical details – and the product I got to drive still wore some camo.

The full and final presentation won’t come until mid-December.  But with a wee bit of seat time and a few subtle questions for spokesperson Stefan Behr and development chief Albert Biermann we were able to get a pretty solid sense of what to come.

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