I’ll admit to having high hopes for the upcoming BMW 1 Series M Coupe. Early on, I suggested that BMW build the car as a de-contented driver’s car without electronic gizmos like rain sensing wipers and self adjusting headlights. Cloth seats, the nice kind that you can still get in the EU, would be just fine and I’d be happy with a manual climate control. My biggest fear was that BMW would up-content the car and price the 1 Series M beyond the reach of most enthusiasts. Sell it at or below the price of the new Mustang GT (call it $35k, nicely equipped) and I’m interested. Push the price beyond that point and the 1 Series M becomes just another toy for wealthy BMW aficionados.
If Autoblog is right, I’ve got good news and bad news, even though I don’t have any details on price. The good news is that the 1 Series M comes in shift-it-yourself flavor only, so slackers who’ve never learned to drive a stick need not apply. More good news is that the 1 Series M will come in Alpine White, Jet Black or Valencia Orange Metallic colors only, so BMW really is taking steps to reduce price and target serious drivers.
Since I always like to counter the good news with bad, here it is: BMW will build just 2,700 examples of the 1 Series M Coupe for worldwide distribution. No one knows exactly what percentage of those cars will be U.S. bound, but I’d be willing to bet the answer is “10% less than customer demand”. In other words, prepare for dealer price gouging, just like on the Ford Mustang Boss 302. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see the 1 Series M Coupes selling for $5-10k over sticker. Disappointed, yes, but not surprised.