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First Drive: 2012 BMW 1-Series M

BMW’s most affordable M model sadly won’t be around long.

by on Jun.06, 2011

The BMW 1M is the smallest - and lowest-priced - model to carry the M designation.

The good news?  BMW has introduced the fastest small car in its line-up — and the most affordable car ever to wear the vaunted M badge.  The bad news?  It won’t be around for long.

More than two years in the making, we got the chance to take the 2011 BMW 1-Series M for a spin on the challenging Willow Springs Raceway, north of Los Angeles, discovering that both on and off the track it more than lives up to admittedly tough expectations.

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At just $47,010, including destination charges, the new 1M will likely have a lot of M aficionados checking their bank accounts hoping to find enough change hidden in the couch to plunk down a deposit.  But if you’re among them you’d better move fast, as the maker has an all-new 1-Series coming later this year.  The current 1M will be pulled from production, with no clear date set for its replacement.  (For more on the new 2012 BMW 1-Series, Click Here.)

Our day with the M started in suburban Los Angeles as we headed north through the back country canyons that can quickly test the mettle of even the most promising performance cars.  It didn’t take long to feel at one with the machine which, like all BMW M models, is clearly more than just muscle.