If you were one of the lucky 450 people who bagged a new BMW 1 Series M Coupé in 2011 for its list price of £39,990, then congratulations. Depending on how well you’ve looked after it and its mileage, it may not have lost a penny in depreciation.
As this was written, of the 25 or so 1 Series M Coupés, or 1Ms as they’re known, on a leading classified sales site, 20 were priced at £39,990 or more. In fact, three were nudging £60,000. The tragedy is that all the cars advertised for more than £40,000 had done less than 40,000 miles and the most expensive less than 10,000.
But their owners or sellers have first to achieve these prices, and considering how picky buyers can be at this level, that may not always be possible. The heads of those shopping for a 1M will also be filled with tales of previously stolen 1Ms – OBD programming thefts were a problem with some early cars – as well as scarily expensive repair bills.
However, they will also be filled with tales of just how good the 1M is to drive. It was launched in 2011, and once all 450 cars were sold (two thirds were snapped up before the first car hit the showrooms), that was it. As a result, most wear 2011/11-reg or 2011/61-reg plates although you do see the occasional 2012/61 car, not that it makes any difference to the value.
To distinguish it from lesser 1 Series Coupés, the 1M has a wider track and enormous arches, home to four specially designed 19in alloy wheels. From certain angles, it actually looks like a hot rod.
Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six that produces 335bhp and drives the rear wheels through a specially developed, short-throw, six-speed manual gearbox. Stab the M button on the steering wheel and an overboost function provides an extra 37lb ft of torque, taking the total output to 369lb ft across a highly accessible 1500rpm to 4500rpm.
Standard equipment included a limited-slip differential, DSC stability control whose intervention points can be adjusted by the driver, those 19in Y-spoke alloy wheels, dual-zone air conditioning and leather and Alcantara trim with orange stitching. Options included a Harman Kardon sound system, sat-nav, adaptive headlights and high beam assistant, none of them crucial to a 1M’s value.
What does help pile on the pennies, because it’s quite sought after, is Valencia Orange paintwork, one of only three exterior colours offered, the others being Black Sapphire and Alpine White. That said, some of the most expensive 1Ms are in these last two colours, proving that, ultimately, mileage, condition and provenance are the most important determinants of price.