Just been out to the Nurburgring and back in a BMW 1-series M Coupe, partly for the 24-hour race but mostly to join the festivities at the M Festival, a gathering of fans of M division’s mostly fine products (obviously I’m not including the X5M and X6M in that category).
I have to confess that I’m besotted by the 1M; the little coupe is a proper, old-school hooligan of a car and a potential classic like the E30 M3 that it so obviously aspires to be like. It’s the car I’ve most wanted to drive this year – over and above even the McLaren MP4-12C – and when the time came it more than lived up to my expectations.
The chance to put a thousand miles under the wheels of Steve Sutcliffe’s new long-term 1M, with the prospect of a lap of the Nordschleife thrown in, was too good too miss.
In Valencia Orange, the 1M attracts attention like you wouldn't believe. The occupants of British-registered hot hatches, obviously on their way to the ’Ring as well, kept coming up beside me on the motorway and doing ‘floor it’ gestures. Normally I’d rise above such juvenile behaviour, but not in a 1M. It’s got the torque to accelerate pretty swiftly at motorway speeds even if you leave it in top gear, but dropping a gear or two and flooring the throttle for a few seconds is so much more fun…