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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.