I almost shed tears a few many years ago on understanding that BMW was only preparing to generate a very restricted quantity of its then-new 2011 1 Series M Coupe. In simplest terms, the 2-door was a 1 Series fitted with a modified model of the automaker’;s twin-turbocharged 3.-liter inline-6, and the running gear (gearbox, driveshaft, axles) from modern M3 designs. It was also a return to kind for the brand. Aggressively quick and stubby in stature but packing telltale flared wheel arches that hinted at its possible, the 4-seater was a spiritual successor to the authentic (and considerably loved) E30 M3 from decades earlier.
After paying a day with the unique high-functionality one at New York’;s Monticello Motor Club, I declared, “The small coupe with the large flares is outdated-college retro cool and deliciously fun to drive … the new BMW one Series M Coupe isn’;t going to target boy-racers, it targets enthusiasts.” Yet sadly – and despite strong demand – BMW limited the model’;s production to just one particular yr. All told, only 740 units produced it to the States, and every single was gobbled up at a starting value of $ 46,135, a price tag tag history will demonstrate to be a bargain.
Since I had little hope of even driving one particular yet again, I deliberately pushed all recollections of BMW’;s 1 Series M Coupe from my mind – right up until my phone rang just lately. On the other finish was a representative from Dinan Engineering who wished to know if I would be interested in driving the company’;s new S3-R BMW 1M. A swift Google search exposed it to be a heavily modified version of the discontinued one Series M Coupe. As if they needed an reply…
Dinan prides itself on its meticulous engineering.
Dinan Engineering is properly identified and nicely regarded as a BMW tuner, but it does not want to be linked with the dozens of other retailers who tinker, tweak and piggyback upgrades on Bavaria’;s finest. As an alternative, the organization prides itself on its meticulous engineering. The California-based outfit deciphers factory ECU codes and then spends months strengthening the programming to produce tunes that supply reliably greater performance. But it is not just a application organization – Dinan has been engineering parts, creating engines and supporting factory racing packages for decades.
A discontinued, constrained-manufacturing 2011 model is admittedly an odd choice for an pricey new advancement program, so I asked Steve Dinan why he had chosen the one Series M Coupe. “We developed the vehicle due to the fact we needed to develop the greater turbochargers for the N54 engine and required a platform. These big turbochargers will match on any [model equipped with the] N54 engine … we truly like the 1M at Dinan and it sounded like a genuinely fun venture.” With 2 modest turbochargers and direct injection, the all-aluminum N54 was employed extensively by BMW from 2006-2008, in 3 Series sedans, wagons, coupes and convertibles. It was also dropped beneath the hood of the X6, Z4 and the one Series – it’;s a popular engine with fans.
This triple-black coupe has a timeless, if upright, BMW appearance.
It may possibly be a number of many years old currently, but this triple-black coupe has a timeless, if upright, BMW look. Individuals unfamiliar with the factory providing could accuse Dinan of bolting on much more than a handful of gaudy aero bits, but the aggressive front splitter, fender flares and rear fascia are all 100-% stock pieces from the one Series M Coupe. Aside from the wheel/tire package deal, Dinan’;s only exterior add-ons incorporate the carbon fiber mirror caps, carbon fiber rear spoiler and a chrome “DINAN” brand on the rear decklid. Inside, the cabin has barely been touched, with Dinan displaying restraint by only installing its own floor mats, aluminum pedal pads and a discreet serialized plaque.
Pressing the commence/end button quickly spins the 1M’;s engine to existence. In stock form, the 1M arrived with a twin-turbocharged 3.-liter inline-6 (internal code N54B30T0) tuned to deliver 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque (an “overboost” perform increased turbo stress to permit 369 pound-feet for brief intervals of time). Dinan chose to retain the match greater turbochargers, a substantial-capacity oil cooler, larger air-to-air intercooler, cost-free-movement exhaust and elevated improve to generate 444 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque.
The sound emanating from the quad pipes is aggressive, but it never ever crosses into the realm of annoyance.
Even at idle, the sound emanating from the S3-R’;s somewhat larger quad pipes hung below the real valance is aggressive, but it never ever crosses into the realm of annoyance. Dinan is justifiably proud that its stainless-steel exhaust techniques are all but free of charge of the irritating drone and resonations common in the aftermarket globe. The system’;s mellow demeanor beneath light throttle implies you can sneak out of the driveway for an early-morning canyon run without having waking the neighbors, or your considerable other – request me how I know.
Someday, the automotive world will appear back at BMW’;s slick-shifting, brief-throw, 6-speed guide gearbox (the only transmission presented on the factory M Coupe) and recall it as getting a single of the ideal of its kind. In truth, why wait to value? I grasped its leather shift knob with my hand, smiled, and flicked by means of the gears gingerly as the crankcase oil warmed. As I directed the black BMW gradually across town, I came upon a Toyota Prius, whose pace demonstrated that the driver was not in any hurry (as if they ever are), so I settled in a protected hundred feet behind its Kamm tail. In this mild-mannered state, the smooth 6-cylinder engine proved completely docile – it’;s all but not possible to tell it truly is a tuned engine – and it purrs without a hiccup or stutter. In is, for lack of a far better description, as pleasant as a standard BMW 1 Series.
The automotive globe will look back at BMW’;s slick-shifting, quick-throw, 6-velocity manual gearbox and recall it as being one of the best of its kind.
The trip, meanwhile, is firm and absolutely much more aggressive than stock, but that is to be anticipated – Dinan has swapped out most of the suspension’;s underpinnings with substantial-overall performance parts of his very own design. All 4 corners of the 1M put on the company’;s adjustable coilover struts and springs, accompanied by a light-weight tubular adjustable front anti-roll bar, Dinan spherical monoball front bearing and precision rear toe back links. The coilovers are adjustable for ride height (which assists reduce the roll center), and the hollow tubular roll bar saves excess w7 The new front bearings, and rear toe backlinks, allow exact suspension tuning even though getting rid of the factory rubber bushings to enhance response. On the LA Basin’;s reasonably polished roads, these new elements do their task inoffensively, and there isn’;t a single squeak, rattle or rumble from the chassis.
With the oil toasty (kudos to BMW for fitting an analog oil temperature gauge on the dashboard), and the roads empty, I slow to a crawl and disabled Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) to see what a 3,350-pound auto with 444 horsepower is genuinely capable of. Slamming the throttle down hard from a slow, in-gear roll instantly rips the tires from the pavement. As soon as they hook up, shifting into 2nd yet again breaks them free anew. Even third gear os prone to shredding 1M’;s broad tail-end rubber. Throttle response is near-instant and practically entirely free of charge of turbo lag (a identified N54 power). The resulting acceleration tends to make the 1M come to feel faster than a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray or a Porsche 911 Carrera S.
“Leading speed need to be around 180 mph.” – Steve Dinan
The stock 1 Series M Coupe will crack the 60 mph benchmark in about 4.5 seconds, a extremely fast sprint in today’;s automotive planet. No person reputable has hooked the Dinan S3-R 1M to accurate test gear yet, but based on my drive, I would not be amazed to see it shave almost a second off the stock car’;s time. And, even though the normal 1M is capped at 155 mph, this coupe is not limited. “Prime pace ought to be around 180 mph,” Steve reviews. “I have personally driven it that quickly,” he adds, proudly.
As would any warm-blooded enthusiast, I headed straight for the mountains to check the 1M’;s agility. The factory put sizeable rubber on its 1 Series M Coupe (245/35ZR19 front and 265/35ZR19 rear), but Dinan has bumped wheel widths up by a half-inch each front and rear, thanks to its Dinan-branded BBS CH-R cast alloys. As a result, the company has been in a position to squeeze 275/30R19 and 295/30R19 Michelin Pilot Super Sport summertime tires into the wheel wells. This steamroller rubber tends to make its presence known with a street surface rumble, a noise that is specially pronounced on coarse pavement, but their sizeable footprints provide the items when the street begins to snake.
All of the things that produced the factory one Series M Coupe so specific have been amplified in the Dinan. Setting up for a corner is effortless, as the BMW’;s tall “gentleman’;s” seating place gives a panoramic see out of the greenhouse. Diving into corners reveals a firm brake pedal, with nary a hint of fade regardless of how much is asked of the E92 M3’;s stopping package deal (these may possibly be the best single-piston calipers on the planet). Flip-in is sharp, with only the slightest bit of understeer – I’;d practically contact its managing completely neutral. Most impressively, the chassis responds instantly to the throttle, as the 2-door eagerly blasts out of every corner fighting for grip. This harmonious stability of acceleration, braking and cornering capability is gorgeous. As a total package, the Dinan 1M is breathtaking.
This harmonious balance of acceleration, braking and cornering ability is beautiful.
Although taking part in in the mountains, I rapidly discover that there are a couple of buttons on the 1M that have to be pressed every time the coupe is started out. The very first is the “M” button, on the proper spoke of the steering wheel, which switches the accelerator pedal to a much more aggressive engine map that improves throttle response. The 2nd is the “DSC” handle button at the center of the dashboard. Holding it for a number of seconds initiates “M Dynamic Mode,” a sportier setting that makes it possible for much more wheelspin and slight tail-out drifts ahead of the electronic nannies kick and save the paint (I experimented with disabling the DSC entirely in the canyons, but it allowed as well much wheelspin, hampering forward progress). Ignoring both of people actions severely cripples functionality and driver enjoyment – there is no great way to put it.
Most tuner automobiles have a a single-track mind and frequently solely focus on pace. But carving canyons speedily is not the 1M’;s only talent. I would drive Dinan’;s small toy for 3 glorious days, incorporating it into my family’;s schedule, one thing I try out to do with each and every press car. Regardless of its diminutive physical appearance, its cabin is surprisingly roomy thanks to its upright roofline. I sat 4 adults inside its confines, and the only challenge was constrained backseat knee area behind tall drivers. The trunk is accommodating, and the back row of seats split/fold to enhance utility. During one particular 100-mile round journey on the highway, the on-board pc claimed I was averaging thirty.one miles per gallon – especially remarkable contemplating the EPA costs the stock 1 Series M Coupe at just 26 mpg on the highway.
I think about Dinan’;s minor coupe a single of the greatest street cars that I have ever driven, but there are a couple of tiny dings on its report card.
I think about Dinan’;s small coupe a single of the ideal street vehicles that I have ever driven, but there are a couple of small dings on its report card. Every single time I pushed the 1M hard, I found myself cursing its tires. Whilst the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires are a great higher-efficiency upgrade for most sports autos, their UTQR treadwear rating of 300 tells me the rubber compound is also challenging – and all of the S3-R’;s inadvertent sideways action drives the stage house. If it have been up to me, I’;d wrap absolutely nothing with a treadwear rating above 140 around its alloys (taking it 1 phase even more, R-compound rubber would make this small BMW a giant slayer). I would also swap out the stock drilled rotors, which make a hole-induced whirling racket beneath tough braking, with some reliable or slotted ventilated units. Along that note, Dinan gives a Brembo improve kit, which was not fitted to my check automobile, but I will not believe it’;s needed.
BMW is just days away from allowing fans to drive its all-new F82 M4, a model that utilizes an M-modified single-turbocharged inline-6 (S55B30). We asked Steve how the Dinan 1M will very likely examine to the factory giving. “The 1M will be a small more rapidly than a stock M4, but after the M4 is modified, it will be a good deal faster … a quicker factory automobile will almost often yield a more quickly aftermarket automobile because of the inherent characteristics and products that the factory bakes into the auto.” As anticipated, Dinan is keen to work its engineering magic on the approaching M3/M4.
It was so totally formed and well-rounded that it felt like BMW itself had made it.
I’;m not a single who generally raves about modified cars, as aftermarket tuners frequently concentrate all of their focus on 1 aspect of overall performance (i.e. highest best speed or quickest -60), which benefits in unbalanced, as the rest of the automobile is not up to the challenge. Even worse, many aftermarket modifications are temperamental or unreliable, enough for me to want to physical exercise distinct care or hold back throughout spirited driving. But that was not the case with the Dinan S3-R. They dropped it off with a smile and advised me to appreciate it, providing no special precautions. I took their advice and proceeded to drive the snot out of it. Regardless of what I threw at it – or how challenging I tossed it – it by no means skipped a beat. It was so totally formed and properly-rounded that it felt like BMW itself had made it.
As an automotive enthusiast who craves a strong, balanced and engaging driving expertise, I am totally smitten with this tiny black coupe. BMW constructed a close to-best auto in 2011 with its one Series M Coupe, but the established group at Dinan Engineering has demonstrated that it can indeed polish and improve a masterpiece.