Smaller M car is favoured over a new supercar
4 November 2009

BMW is looking at a new M model below the M3, according to highly placed sources from inside the firm’s M division, who suggest the new car has been favoured over a BMW supercar.

Based on the next-gen 1-series, the new car will be designed to introduce younger customers to new M cars. It would compete with cars such as the next-generation Audi S3, with pricing starting at around £32,000.

“We’re conscious that our existing customers are gravitating towards larger and more expensive models such as the X5/X6 M,” said an M division source. “We’re looking at ways to attract new customers to the brand, and an entry-level model is part of those plans.”

Among the new car’s biggest backers is newly installed BMW M division boss Kay Segler. The former head of brand management at Mini, he has experience with fast, compact two-doors: he oversaw the introduction of the Mini Cooper S and Cooper S Works.

Asked whether BMW’s M division was considering producing a sports car to go up against the Audi R8, Mercedes SLS and Porsche’s 911 Turbo, Autocar’s source said, “Such a project would fit nicely with our operations and would be greatly accepted by the engineers. But the priority right now is a more affordable model underneath the M3.”

The car is likely to be based on the next 135i, meaning it will use a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six producing around 330bhp. And BMW may well revive the M1 badge for the car.

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest BMW reviews, news and video

Our Verdict

BMW 1 Series
BMW 1 Series gets nip-and-tuck treatment for 2015

Can a final facelift enhance the appeal of the rear-drive 1 Series?

Join the debate

Comments
2

4 November 2009

There is plenty of scope for the numbers game M1,,or M0.5 really small could be M nano.

Then they could add fwd so you could have M1 + 4 or M0.5 + 4 the small one at Mnano+4 is a bit naff but some will like it

Good l;uck to the concept chap

4 November 2009

Yet again, another U-turn by BMW:

"There will not be an M1 based on the 1-series. The name has too much heritage"

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Seat Leon ST Cupra 2.0 TSI 4Drive 300PS DSG
    First Drive
    28 April 2017
    Seat's fastest Leon ST is fun to drive quickly and has enough space for all the family, but VW's own Golf R Estate is even better to drive
  • Porsche 911 GT3 manual 2017 review
    First Drive
    28 April 2017
    The new 911 GT3 is an excellent machine; does the addition of a manual gearbox make it even better?
  • Skoda Karoq
    First Drive
    28 April 2017
    The Yeti has morphed into the Karoq for its second generation, and this early drive reveals a solid, practical small SUV that could challenge the class best
  • Opel Ampera-e
    First Drive
    27 April 2017
    Opel's second-generation Ampera is smaller than the first, and now purely electric. It's also very capable with a remarkable range
  • Lotus Elise Sprint
    First Drive
    27 April 2017
    The latest incarnation of the Elise may be out of its depth on track, but on the public road it is probably the purest version since the original