I would not say that the car is a direct successor to the 1M Coupe , more of a successor to the 135iMSport. Journalists that say it is ? I cannot fathom exactly why? Except that the M135i is a car the meets all expectations like the 1M.
In regards to the E81 and E87 , BMW came close to introducing a 135i but then reconsidered as the Coupe and Cabrio's main party piece.
The US will get to experience this car but it will be in a Coupe and Cabrio body and be called the M235i.
The best thing I like about the 1er is that it is distinctive , it deliberately stands out and that is important, I do not give a Golf or Astra a second look because they have blended in, when you look at the 1er it stands out.
When you compare sales , the F20 has completely oversurpassed the previous E87 since they hit the market in the same time frame.
Looks may be subjective but I am sure that the F20 owners here have people glancing over their shoulder and giving their car a second look.
The whole BMW design revolution was to give each BMW that desirability and that noticeable effect and that has been an enormous success which has driven us to the very top.