So, maybe it was a money issue or a timing issue, but you held off on putting your deposit down on the limited-run 1M Coupe. Now, you’re likely kicking yourself as you realize just how popular it was and just how tough it may become to get your hands on one of the 6,331 of them in existence today. If you don’t feel like waiting for a reasonably priced 1M to hit the used market and really only care about the performance of the 1M and not the “official” name, German Tuner, TJ Fahrzeugdesign, may have the answer for you.
TJ Fahrzeugdesign, which translates out to TJ Vehicle Design, has released a tuning and appearance kit that will give your run-of-the-mill 1-Series coupe the look and feel of the 1M coupe. Actually, you will likely annihilate any 1M coupe on the street in this machine, thanks to four extra cylinders and loads more power than the stock 1M.
So how does TJ Fahrzeugdesign’s really stand up to the 1M coupe?
Click past the jump to read our full review and find out.
The exterior of this 1-Series modification kit includes the body kit that matches the one you’ll find on any 1M perfectly. We’re not too sure if this is a BMW M Sport kit modified to fit a standard 1-Series or an aftermarket kit that’s a really good knock-off. Either way, it looks to be spot on.
Our assumption is that this is a direct buy from BMW, as there are really no kits out there that mockup the 1M kit this accurately. And if one exists, we’re sure Bimmer would be at their front door rather quickly with a lawsuit in hand.
At the corners, you get a set of staggered 20-inch rims, wrapped in 245 mm (9.64-inch) and 285 mm (11.22-inch) wide rubber on the front and rear, respectively. This not only gives this 1M knock-off a stout appearance, but also plenty of grip in the twist. To compensate for this extra rubber, it appears as if TJ Fahrzeugdesign has modified the base 1-Series wheel wells, so they flare out over the wheels.
The example model that TJ Fahrzeugdesign has tolled out for us is draped in all white on the outside, but we’re sure you can have whatever color your heart desires. One issue with this build is that it does add a little flab to the otherwise nimble 1-Series coupe, bringing its weight up to 1,630 kg (3,593 lbs) – a 231-pound weight disadvantage to the 1M.
In all, this exterior is sweet. We have seen plenty of hack-job 1M knock-offs, but this one certainly comes very close to the real deal; at least from the outside.
On the inside, the only information we have is that TJ Fahrzeugdesign will include the steering wheel and gear shifter from the 1M. Other than that, it appears as if the rest of the interior styling is completely up to you.
Engine and Drivetrain
Under the hood is what really makes this 1M copycat an awesome piece of work. TJ Fahrzeugdesign will lift out your stock 1-Series engine and plop in a massive 5.0-liter V-10 powerplant from the last-gen M5. To boot, the tuners at TJ Fahrzeugdesign re-mapped the ECU to pump out some extra ponies and allow the engine a little more room to rev, increasing its redline to 8,600 rpm and its output to 550 horsepower. Given this is a re-mapping of the ECU, the V-10’s torque should remain the same at 383 pound-feet.
TJ Fahrzeugdesign also pulled the propeller shaft from the M5, shortened it and will install it in your 1-Series. Plus, you will get the SMG automated 7-speed manual transmission.
The combination of the engine and transmission net this 1M lookalike a 0-to-100 km/h (62.1 mph) time of just 4.2 seconds – 0.4 seconds faster than the 1M – and a 0-to-200 km/h (124.2 mph) time of less than 12 seconds. Its top speed is set at an astounding 325 km/h (201.94 mph). So you may not have an official 1M, but you have all of the look and the raw power to kick nearly any 1M’s ass up and down the track!
|Engine|| 5.0-liter V-10 from E60 M5 |
|Engine Output|| 550 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque |
|Engine Redline|| 8,600 rpm |
|Transmission|| 7-speed SMG automated manual from E60 M5 |
|Acceleration 0-to-100 km/h (62.1 mph)|| 4.2 seconds |
|Acceleration 0-to-200 km/h (124.2 mph)|| < 12 seconds |
|Top Speed|| 325 km/h (201.94 mph) |
Suspension and Handling
Okay, as we stated before, this modification adds a ton of bulk to the 1-Series chassis and puts it a full 231 lbs heavier than the 1M. With this extra bulk comes the potential for diminished handling and braking. In combination with the extra-wide rubber on the front and rear, TJ Fahrzeugdesign also installed the Club Sport suspension kit from KW, which is more than enough to compensate for the extra weight.
The front brake system is borrowed from the X6 M, which means it gets 15.6-inch ventilated discs up front. On the rear are the standard 1M brakes. The only real way to test the suspension is to drive the car, but unfortunately, it is all the way in Germany right now. So, we can only really judge it by what’s on paper.
Suspension and Handling Specifications:
|Suspension|| KW Club Sport Suspension Upgrade |
|Front Brakes|| Stock X6 M Setup (15.6-inch rotors) |
|Rear Brakes|| Stock 1M Setup |
The 1M, when it was new, retailed at $46,135 and the 1-Series coupe cost just $31,200. At the time of this article, used 1M models ranged from $55,000 to $63,500. To have this upgrade performed, you need to pony up €20,000 ($25,729 at the current exchange rates), which would put your 1M’s cost at just about the same price it would cost to get a used 1M, if you can find one.
You would also have to calculate in shipping the car to Germany, if you’re not already there.
So now we have to really weigh out our options here. If you are based in the U.S., you are looking at a minimum of $10,000 to ship your 1M to Germany to have this modification performed. This puts the modification total at $36,000. Figure in the $31,200 base price you paid for your 1-Series and you have nearly $70,000 invested in a mockup 1M.
For comparison’s sake, if you were to sell your base model 2011 128i, you could likely get about $27,000 for it, according to NADA. Add that $36,000 to the selling price and you have more than enough money to buy a used 1M. With the leftover money, you can toss in some mods to get it to perform just as well as this model.
As we said before, finding a used 1M is a task in itself. Auto Trader shows just six of them available in the U.S., so if you really want the performance of the 1M and cannot find one, this may be your only bet. If you happen to stumble upon a 1M and have to decide, we say go with the 1M all day, as it will be worth some serious cash in the future because only 1,000 of the 6,331 made were exported to the U.S.
550 horsepower V-10 is a beautiful thing
No internal modifications on the engine, so there’s room to grow
Looks just like the 1M from the outside
It’s still a knockoff
Way too expensive
For U.S.-based buyers, it is cheaper to sell your 1-Series and buy a 1M