BMW gracefully avoided naming the M version of the 1 Series as an M1 since that could have triggered outrage from the fans and introduced the 1 Series M Coupe as the top-performance version in the model's lineup.
When BMW introduced the 1 Series on the market as a more affordable sporty, RWD vehicle, many people saw it as the rightful successor of the E30 3-Series. As expected, the German carmaker offered its smallest model in the lineup with an M treatment.
With its more aggressive stance, the 1 Series M featured a new front bumper that sported a lower apron with a chin, a broad center grille, and two side scoops. These were not just aesthetic upgrades but functional as well, helping to cool the engine and the brakes. BMW installed enlarged fenders to cover the wider wheels and tires. In addition, a pair of functional vents were added behind the wheel-wells to extract the air and decrease the aerodynamic uplift of the front. The two-door only 1 Series M featured a lip spoiler on the trunk and a completely new rear bumper in the back. A quad-exhaust system was installed to visually confirm the sport-oriented vehicle and the inline-six breathing abilities.
Inside, the carmaker installed bucket seats with high-bolstered areas for the front occupants. At the same time, the rear bench could hardly host two occupants in the back. Moreover, since it was designed for performance, the 1 Series M was not offered with a sunroof, thus increasing the headroom and allowing for helmet use.
Under the hood, the 1 Series M hosted a 3.0-liter inline-six engine. Helped by a pair of turbochargers, it developed 335 hp (340 PS) and could rocket the car from 0 to 62 mph (0-100 kph) in less than five seconds.