2011 1 Series M Coupe: Michaela Hart
2011 E82 1 Series M Coupe #VP76305
3.0-liter N54 turbocharged inline six-cylinder, 335 hp/332-369 lb-ft
July 16, 2011
Michaela Hart (since 2013)
As the 21st century entered its second decade, BMW’s cars were experiencing serial bloat, and old-school enthusiasts were clamoring for a back-to-basics model like the legendary E30 M3.
BMW listened, and thus was born the 1 Series M Coupe. Engineered quickly and on a very tight budget, the 1M Coupe borrowed everything it could from the E92 M3: the quicker 12.5:1 steering rack, Variable Diff Lock, electronic traction control, aluminum shocks and control arms, Competition Package wheels and brakes.
What the 1M didn’t get from the M3 was significant, too: an M-DCT gearbox and Electronic Damper control. Instead, the 1M got a conventional 6-speed manual and fixed-rate shocks tuned for the Nürburgring. The seats had manual adjustments to save weight, and no sunroof was available. Under the hood, the 3.0-liter N54 was tuned to produce 335 hp and 332 lb-ft, with 370 lb-ft available on overboost, allowing the 3,296-lb. 1M coupe to reach 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
All of that makes the 1M not only fast but fun, which is the whole point for enthusiasts like Michaela Hart, who bought the car you see here in 2013. Hart was driving a tricked-out Mustang when she got to Santa Clara University for her MBA. On the advice of a professor, she switched to a more discreet 2001 BMW 330i, but when that proved too slow she upgraded to a 2004 E46 M3. In 2013, she swapped it for the 2011 1M Coupe you see here.
Satellite radio was the only option ordered by original owner Ignacio Barragan, but Hart couldn’t resist upgrading it with Dinan Stage 2 engine software, Dinan coil-over suspension and front anti-roll bar. She also swapped the hood for one from a battery-powered ActivE, with its “M-appropriate power bulge.”
A VP at a global pharmaceutical company, Hart drives an X6 M daily, saving the 1M for back-road drives and more than a few BMW CCA Golden Gate Chapter track days—hence the car’s Schroth harnesses.
“I enjoy the social, educational, and driving aspects of the club,” Hart says. “That’s what we do, but there’s also how we do it, and that’s with the utmost respect for each other. We don’t care what gender you are or what color your skin is, as long as you love your BMW!”
That we do, and Hart certainly loves her 1M Coupe. “I’ve thought about replacing the 1M with an M2, but that car just doesn’t look as balanced as my 1M. This car is most definitely a 1M for her!”