An M version of the BMW 1 Series is in the German automaker's product development plan and now we have more details about how the new model might just turn out. The top engineer at BMW's M division has already said that a serious performance car below the M3 is a top priority and according to a report by EVO magazine this new M is likely to get a 400-hp version of the 135i's twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six, making 370 ft-lbs of torque. The range-topping 1 Series would also get a version of the M3's seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
In addition, BMW engineers are reportedly working to shave around 150 lbs of weight off the stock 1 Series platform. We expect a fully revised suspension setup, as well as some nice M interior components. EVO's sources say we should expect an exterior design similar to the 1 Series Concept tii (shown above).
As for price, it should slot in half way between the M3 and 135i, which would put it in the $45,000 range. The car should be on sale by 2011.
What we still don't know about this new car is what it will be called. Typical BMW nomenclature would suggest M1, but as that was the name of BMW's first exotic car, the German automaker is likely to retain its use for a top-level supercar that will rival the Mercedes SLS AMG. EVO also reports that BMW is working on such a car now!
More: Report: BMW 1 Series M Car to Get 400-hp, Lower Curb Weight on AutoGuide.com