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2012 BMW 1-Series M Coupe RS by Tuningwerk

Just when you thought that tuning programs for the BMW 1-Series M Coupe had died down, Tuningwerk comes out of the woodwork to present one, which they have affectionately called the 1M RS.

With the intention of creating a street-legal race car from the 1-Series M Coupe, the German tuner decided to shave off any excess weight from the stock model. That involved replacing a number of body panels on the car with carbon fiber, including the hood, the boot lid, the GT4 front lip spoiler, the rear wing, and yes, even the Recaro bucket seats. All carbon fiber, all the time. Moving on to the wheels, Tuningwerk fitted the 1M RS with a new set of 19" forged ATS superlight wheels wrapped in Dunlop Sport Maxx high-performance tires.

For the engine, Tuningwerk pretty much injected the 1M Coupe’s 3.0-liter turbocharged engine with enough upgrades to significantly increase the car’s output. The German tuner modified the turbochargers and the cooling system, installed a custom exhaust system, and remapped the car’s ECU unit, all of which were done to give the 1M RS an output of 514 horsepower and 453 lb/ft of torque and a top speed of 186 mph. If you think those aren’t significant, you only need to look at the stock model’s 335-horsepower and 332 lb/ft of torque numbers to realize how ridiculous the power upgrade is.

Rounding out Tuningwerk’s program for the 1M Coupe include the addition of a racing clutch, a sturdier suspension set-up, and a new braking system that come with optional carbon fiber discs.

For all the work done on this 1M Coupe, the cost pretty much reflects it. If you’re interested in the 1M RS, be prepared to shell out €119,000, which is around $156,500 based on current exchange rates.

Hit the jump for more information on the BMW 1-Series Coupe RS by Tuningwerk.

Exterior

BMW 1-Series M Coupe RS by Tuningwerk

From its outward appearance, the Tuningwerk 1M is not hiding the fact that it is pure German muscle. It features a white basecoat of paint with the signature M-series three stripes – light blue, red, and dark blue – running from the front-left corner of the car, over the top of the vehicle and down to the base of the rear-right quarter panel. Since this car is built to the owner’s request, different paint schemes are certainly a possibility.

It comes fitted with a carbon fiber hood, trunk lid, rear spoiler, and front lip. The owner can opt for additional carbon fiber components, like doors and sheaves, but it costs extra and you must also opt for the full roll cage at the same time. With the deletions and additions, the 1M likely comes out near its standard curb weight of 3,296 lbs.
With the exception of those few weight-saving and agility-increasing mods, the exterior of the 1M remains unchanged.

Interior

BMW 1-Series M Coupe RS by Tuningwerk

On the inside, the dashboard, steering wheel, paneling, and carpeting all remains standard. The guys and gals at Tuningwerk tossed in a partial roll cage, which you can change out to a full roll cage for FIA regulations, as needed. The team also stripped out the old front seats and installed a set of Recaro PolePosition carbon fiber seats. These seats appear to have a six-point harness system with a low buckle, as opposed to the uncomfortable chest-high buckle.

Don’t even think about bringing along more than one rider, as the rear seats are completely non-existent. All that is in the rear is a fire extinguisher for those pesky flame outbursts. Basically, the Tuningwerk 1M is a standard 1M with racing seats and harnesses, and a roll cage.

Engine and Drivetrain

BMW 1-Series M Coupe RS by Tuningwerk

Enough with the pretty stuff, let’s move onto the muscle. Unfortunately, Tuningwerk kept pretty hush-hush about what it did to the guts of the base 3.0-liter engine, but we do know that it is a bi-turbo, which replaces the TwinPower Turbo that BMW included on the 1M. TwinPower is a system that uses a dual-scroll turbo charger to produce twin-turbo-like performance, whereas bi-turbo is a true twin-turbo system. These modifications pump the engine’s output to an impressive 521 horsepower and 452 pound-feet of torque, both of which annihilate the 911 GT3 RS 4.0’s numbers.

Like we said, the guts of the engine are unknown and likely remain that way until you shell out a king’s ransom to own one. We can speculate, however. There is no way that the ignition system is factory, so it certainly has to have an aftermarket ignition system, combined with a slightly more aggressive camshaft profile. A set of forged pistons and stronger connecting rods are likely a part of this upgrade, as the hotter ignition requires greater strength. On top of that, Tuningwerk likely added in some low-compression rings to drop the compression from 10.2-to-1 to a more twin-turbo-friendly 9-to-1 or 9.5-to-1.

To help cool this beast, Tuningwerk had to modify the entire cooling system, as well as add in second oil cooler.

Let’s move onto what slings this power to the rear wheels… The rear end’s ratio was increased from 3.15-to-1 to 3.20-to-1, with an optional 3.45-to-1 ratio available. This ultimately makes better use of the 1M’s torque band, allowing for fewer downshifts to hit the torque “sweet spot.” The standard clutch is a sport-tuned model, so it minds its manners on the street, but still has a mild bite to it. An optional racing clutch can be added, but that virtually eliminates it from being driven on the street. We dare you to attempt getting a car with a racing clutch going on even the slightest incline and you’ll see what we mean – you either roast the tires or hit the car behind you, take your pick.

BMW 1-Series M Coupe RS by Tuningwerk

The driveline and engine combine to allow the Tuningwerk BMW 1M to hit a top speed of 186.4 mph, depending on tire selection. Tuningwerk provided no details on this beast’s 0 to 60 time, but reasonable estimation would put it somewhere around 3.5 seconds.

That’s about all the information that Tuningwerk released on the drivetrain, but we are still excited to see one in action for the first time. Not to mention that this car still has a ton of mechanical potential left in it.

Let’s move onto what makes the twisties possible, the suspension and braking systems. Just as with the engine, Tuningwerk was careful not to release too much information to the general public, but we do know a few details.

The brakes are pretty much ignored, unfortunately, as Tuningwerk fits it with rather pedestrian-like 14.56-inch cross-drilled rotors, as the standard braking system. You can, however, opt for an upgraded set of 14.9-inch carbon rotors. An unspecified Mov’It brand set of calipers squeeze an undefined, but likely racing compound, set of brake pads onto the rotors.

On each corner, Tuningwerk tosses in a set 9-inch x 19-inch forged ATS superlight wheels on the front and a set of the same wheel, but measuring 10 inches x 19 inches on the rear. A set of 245/35R19 Dunlop Sport Maxx tires wrap around the front rims and 285/30R19 Sport Maxx tires wrap around the rear rims. This adds an extra 20 mm (0.79 inches) to the rear footprint, helping keep the rear end stable.

Price

BMW 1-Series M Coupe RS by Tuningwerk

If you gotta ask, it’s just too expensive! Okay, we’ll tell you. To buy the base level 1M and have Tuningwerk modify it to the base level specifications above, this will set you back a cool €119,000 ($156,116). As you add more options, the price goes up from there.

Competition

BMW 1-Series M Coupe RS by Tuningwerk

Being a custom modded car, there is not much competition to compare it to, but you can pit it against the Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0, just to get an idea of what you’re looking at.

First off, the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 has an MSRP of $185K, making it significantly more pricy than the Tuningwerk 1M. The 911 GT3 RS 4.0 pumps out a respectable 500 horsepower and a rather average 339 pound-feet of torque. This puts it at about 0.166 horsepower per pound and 0.1130 pound-feet of torque per pound. Compared to the estimated 0.158 horsepower per pound and 0.1371 pound-feet of torque per pound, the GT3 beats it out in horsepower, but the Tuningwerk comes out on top in torque, meaning much better acceleration.

In reality though, we are comparing an naturally grown apple to a genetically enhanced apple. Plus, it is unlikely that a shopper considering a custom ride like the Tuningwerk 1M would ever consider a factory-built car like the 911 GT3 RS 4.0.

Conclusion

BMW 1-Series M Coupe RS by Tuningwerk

We can sum up the Tuningwerk 1M in just one word, badass! There is nothing on the road like it and you are nearly guaranteed to have the baddest 1M in your area. Its base pricing is reasonable and its performance is out of this world. The only problem being, you have to order one from Germany, so that could hit the pocket book a little hard.

The only other downside is that being a modified car, the maintenance will be ungodly high and there will be zero warranty, of course. Then again, if you are spending over $150K for a car, paying for repairs and maintenance are likely not on your list of things to consider.

BMW 1-Series M Coupe RS by Tuningwerk
LOVE IT
  • Tons of power for a compact car
  • Not too over-the-top of a design
  • Carbon fiber panels with the option to add more
LEAVE IT
  • Very high price for a 1-Series
  • Roll cage should be optional
  • No 0 to 60 time provided



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