This is a really interesting thread and I have been thinking about this for a bit. I heard talk at Cars and Coffee yesterday about people are waiting for the M2 so they can get one at a reasonable price and it will "put those guys asking 60K for a 1M in their place." So the M2 is a big deal for us that love the 1M so here are my thoughts:
On 4 vs 6 Cylinder
The 6 has a nicer sound and less vibration than a 4 cylinder in general but the 1M should be about outright performance in my humble opinion. In this case, if you can make a 4 Cylinder M2 that weighs 500 lbs less with less turbo-lag, then that's a winner. While I love the 6, I didn't buy the 1M for smoothness. If I wanted that I would've gotten a Lexus. Car and Driver found the current 4 cylinder to be a little more coarse then the 6....and they liked it! If done right, it can sound cool and give you more performance per lb.
We already lost the "sound" war with turbo-charging and the award for best sound goes to the E90/92 M3. Despite this, I chose the 1M over the better sounding E90 because it felt much more dynamic and exciting at lower speeds and RPMs.
At very high speeds it feels a little scary...in a good and exciting way where the M3 feels more secure....ZZZZZZ.
"All about performance"
So after saying it's all about performance, I figured we need to define this better. There are already reviews on the M135 and 135is comparing it to the 1M. They say these are a better value, just as fast, cheaper etc. It is all true but if you read the fine print the electric steering is not quite as good and there is no full-lock diff. The suspension is more steel and less aluminum than ours and it comes with electro-mechanical shocks for a cushier ride. You can also get an automatic and probably sunroof too. Even internally, Dackel mentioned the N54 is all forged internally while the N55 is more cast.
So while the numbers are the same, how they feel, perform and are built is very different. There are 100 cars today that would beat an E30 M3 around the track or 0-60 yet the E30 M3 is a more desirable machine for how it feels doing it. I learned this lesson when I flew in a 1930s open-cockpit biplane. It so much more thrilling going 70 mph in that thing than going 650 mph in a 747 and maybe even more thrilling than going 1,400 mph in the Concorde!
1M vs M2
I think the M2 has the potential of being a significantly better machine especially if they make weight a priority and the 4 cylinder is a big part of this. If you don't believe me take an engine block and chop off 1/3. Then chop off 1/3 of the head, throw away a couple of pistons, rods, rod caps, bolts, chop the cam down and put all that aluminum in tub. Right away you've saved all that weight. Now it takes less coolant, oil and probably a smaller intercooler too. All of this adds up.
You also have the partnership with the carbon fiber company and you can throw some carbon bits in there and make a great machine that anyone can buy. All of those people that are still bitter about they way they were treated by dealerships trying to get a 1M will have a new hero and the value of 1M will probably drop significantly if the M2 is done correctly.
With that said, I believe the 1M represents something special that can be remembered for future generations and still might make it more desireable after the M2 comes out:
1. It will probably be the last BMW ONLY offered with a manual transmission.
2. It will probably be the last M car only offered with a stiff non-adjustable mechanical suspension.
3. It was first use of air-curtain technology in a BMW. I can already see the copy-cat body kits.
4. I think the 1M will be last hairy-chested, testorenized ///M car made. If you want one, you HAVE to drive a stick, give up the sunroof and live with a stiff suspension and undersized gas tank and you only got it in three colors....
So a lot depends on how the M2 is built but I'm not hopeful. I was dissapointed so many 1Ms were ordered fully loaded and the calls for automatics. BMW has to make their customers happy so the M2 will have all the fluffy stuff optional or included...... and that is exactly what will make the 1M special and relevant.
Despite all the loaded 1Ms, it's still the last hairy-chested ///M car. The next generation ///M cars will be more James Bond, Tuxedo super fast luxury machines as witnessed by the piped in digital engine sound in the M5.
So I believe that this is the 1Ms claim to classic-hood...and while heavier, slower and less refined than the M2, it will be more significant in the future much like the E30 M3 is today.
Ask yourself would Steve McQueen drive a stiff, manual 1M or an automatic, electro-magnetic suspended M2?
Last edited by nachob; 07-08-2012 at 05:49 PM.