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2020 BMW 1 Series

2020 BMW 1 Series

The little BMW hatchback returns with state-of-the-art tech and new looks

The 2019 BMW 1 Series, also known as the F40, is the third-generation version of BMW’s smallest vehicle yet. Launched in 2019, the F40-generation 1 Series is the first of its kind to feature a front-wheel-drive architecture, as BMW ditched the RWD platform it has been using since 2004. Now underpinned by the UKL2 architecture borrowed from Mini, the 1 Series is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

The F40 1 Series replaces a highly dated model in a market that already includes a highly advanced Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the relatively old Audi A3. BMW has yet to announce whether the new 1 Series is coming to the U.S., but chances are we won’t get this generation either. Let’s find out more about the brand-new BMW 1 Series in the review below.

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2020 BMW 1 Series with M Performance Parts

2020 BMW 1 Series with M Performance Parts

M Performance parts available from launch on for the all-new 2020 BMW 1 Series

BMW has not wasted any time showing off the optional M Performance parts it plans to offer for the all-new 2020 1 Series hatchback. The all-new, front- or all-wheel-drive model has just debuted, but BMW has already showed off what it can look all decked out with official sporty bits and there’s certainly an air of boy racer about it. It actually looks like a traditional hot hatch with all of them fitted.

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2019 BMW 118i - driven

2019 BMW 118i - driven

Grab one new while you still can

BMW will soon stop production of the current, second-generation, F20/F21 1-Series, a model that is a truly unique proposition in the compact hatchback segment. What sets it apart from all other similar rivals is the fact that it has a longitudinally mounted engine and most examples are rear-wheel drive (although some xDrive-equipped models were also sold). This engine and drivetrain layout dominates the driving experience, and it turns the current 1-Series into a peerless car in its segment. And, it’s not rear-wheel drive just for the sake of it, because it handles like a true rear-wheel-drive car should, blending a surprisingly playful rear end when you want it to be, with a reassuring, surefooted feel when you want grip.

My 2019 BMW 118i five-door hatchback tester was also quite an interesting proposition because its power plant only has three cylinders and a displacement of 1.5-liters. However, thanks to turbocharging, the three-pot is surprisingly apt at moving the car and, since the engine is small and light, it improves the car’s overall handling characteristics.

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2016 - 2018 BMW 1 Series

2016 - 2018 BMW 1 Series

This is your last chance to get a RWD 1 Series

Unveiled back in 2011, the second generation of the 1 Series is now part of a growing family of BMW compact models, having been accompanied by the 2 Series Coupe, Cabriolet model and Active Tourer variant back in 2014. Available in either three-door or five-door guises, the smallest BMW model is rivaled by the likes of the Audi A3, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the Lexus CT, but unlike any of the aforementioned models it is the only car in its segment to be based on a rear-wheel drive architecture. Its engine lineup consists of a host of turbocharged four and six-cylinder engines, paired with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission sourced from ZF, while all-wheel drive xDrive traction is available on selected models.

With the model now a little over three years old, the Bavarian carmaker has recently facelifted its five and three-door range, restyling much of its controveral exterior design and refreshing the entire engine lineup. Bringing a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 12 percent, new 1.5-liter three-cylinder diesel and gasoline engines now constitute the base models, having been borrowed from the latest MINI. The model with the lowest fuel consumption in the entire range will now be the 116d EfficientDynamics Edition, whose 116 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque are paired with a combined fuel economy of just 69.2 mpg. The biggest surprise comes on the outside though, as the new BMW 1 Series Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) shows an completely different look. Gone are the "Angry Birds" headlights, having been replaced by restyled ones that are more in line with the current BMW design theme. Small improvements to the front and rear bumpers have also been made, while the square-ish taillights are now L-shaped, just like on pretty much every other BMW model.

Update 5/9/2017: BMW will update the current 1 Series Hatch one last time before it ushers in a new-gen, FWD model to replace it. Check out our special section below to see the new spy shots and to learn more about it.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 1 Series

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2017 BMW 1 Series Sedan

2017 BMW 1 Series Sedan

The battle in the compact premium sedan market is about to get serious

The second-generation 1 Series has been around since 2011, when BMW redesigned the compact it first introduced in 2004. Unlike its predecessor, the current 1 Series consists of only three- and five-door hatchbacks since the two-door coupe and convertible was renamed the 2 Series back in 2011. In 2017, a third body style was added to the lineup, in the form of a four-door sedan.

Based on the Concept Compact Sedan that BMW showcased at the Guangzhou Motor Show in 2015, the 1 Series Sedan is a China-exclusive model and it’s manufactured as part of the joint venture between the BMW Group and BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd in Shenyang, alongside the long-wheelbase versions of the larger 3 Series and 5 Series.

The logic behind BMW’s decision to sell the 1 Series Sedan in China is pretty simple. The German firm sold over half a million cars in the country in 2016, which makes China BMW’s biggest market. The need of a smaller sedan based on the 1 Series appeared following customer requests of a more compact, yet premium vehicle for the crowded streets of China’s largest cities. Of course, the 1 Series Sedan is also a response to the popular Audi A3 Sedan, but BMW won’t be able to compete properly against its German rival unless it brings the new sedan to Europe and the United States too.

It remains to be seen whether this will change sooner or later, but until it happens, let’s have a closer look at the BMW 1 Series Sedan.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 BMW 1 Series Sedan.

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2018 BMW 1M Sedan

2018 BMW 1M Sedan

The 1 Series lineup could soon expand to include a high-performance sedan

The second-generation 1 Series went on sale in 2011 as a redesigned version of the compact that BMW first introduced in 2004. But, unlike its predecessor, the current model consists of only three- and five-door hatchbacks, while the two-door coupe and convertible are being sold under the 2 Series. Pretty much a competitor for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Audi A3, the current 1 Series stands out as the only vehicle in its niche to use a rear-wheel drive architecture. In 2016, BMW unveiled the first sedan version of the 1 Series and word has it that an M-badged performance version will follow.

Although styling cues are similar, the platform underneath the sedan model is not. Unlike the hatchback, the four-door sedan rides on a front-wheel drive platform shared with the Mini Cooper; the same that will underpin the third-generation 1 Series. This is what makes an M version somewhat complicated due to the traditional RWD layout of the nameplate, but BMW definitely needs a competitor for the hot Audi RS3 Sedan.

Although BMW said that the sedan won’t be sold outside China for the time being, we do believe that the four-door will eventually find its way into other markets, including Europe and North America. When that happens, the German brand will expand the lineup to include more trims, including performance oriented versions. This could happen as early as 2018, but nothing has been confirmed so far. An M-badged version would definitely be in the works in that scenario, which is why we went ahead and asked our designer to come up with a 1M Sedan. More about its design features and what it may bring to the table in our speculative review below.

Keep reading to find out more about the 2018 BMW 1M Sedan.

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2017 BMW M140i

2017 BMW M140i

BMW’s range-topping hatchback gets a new engine, but no upgrades inside and out

BMW introduced the second-generation BMW 1 Series in 2011, when the redesign also brought a split between the hatchback and the coupe models. While the former continued to use the 1 Series badge, the latter was renamed the 2 Series. The new 1 Series had a fresh design, updated technology, and revised engines. However, unlike the first-gen car, the F20/F21 models didn’t get a proper M variant. Instead, BMW launched the M135i, which was equally powerful despite not being a full-fledged BMW M.

While Munich doesn’t seem very eager to build a new 1M anytime soon, it has just updated its range-topping 1 Series for the 2017 model year. It goes by the name M140i and comes with extra horsepower, optimized fuel consumption, and improved performance. On the flipside, the new badge changes nothing in terms of exterior design and interior features, leaving the performance-oriented hatchback unchanged for the 2017 model year.

The bad news is that BMW still doesn’t want to bring the second-generation 1 Series to the United States, and as a result we won’t find the updated M140i in dealerships. This leaves us with the similarly sized M240i Coupe that BMW launched alongside the hatchback or the absolutely wild M2. Until BMW decides otherwise, let’s have a closer look at its most powerful hatch to date.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M140i.

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2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe By Alpha-N Performance

2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe By Alpha-N Performance

The German tuner has brought out the vicious side of the revered sports coupe

The BMW 1 Series M Coupe is one of those cars that will last the test of time. I’m calling it as early as now, even though it’s only been four years since BMW stopped production of the car in 2012. In total, only 6,309 units of the 1 Series M Coupe were made and despite having exited from our lives, the sports car is still revered as one of the finest works to come out of BMW.

Proof of that lies in the number of aftermarket programs that are still being made for it. Yes, it’s 2016 and yet, there are still tuners like Alpha-N Performance that are taking the time to build kits specifically for the car. That tells you all you need to know about the stature of the 1 Series M Coupe.

Alpha-N Performance’s program for the sports coupe is a real treat considering the length by which the tuner developed that engine mod. The tuner did so in lieu of making any exterior and interior changes, but what it was able to bring out of the car’s 3.0-liter twin turbo straight-six engine is utterly impressive. I’m not going to spoil the actual number Alpha-N managed to get out of that N54 engine, but I will say that it well exceeds the output of some of today’s sports cars. In other words, it’s beyond ridiculous and is fitting, I might add, of a car that’s been described in the exact same words.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 1 Series M Coupe By Alpha-N Performance.

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2018 BMW 1 Series Sport Cross

2018 BMW 1 Series Sport Cross

Just when it starts to look like BMW has created a car to fill just about every niche it could possible conceive, rumors begin to emerge about a future niche-filling model in development. Where could the German automaker go beyond Gran Coupe, Grand Tourer, Gran Turismo and coupe-inspired crossovers? If Automobile Magazine is right, BMW is working on a new off-road version of the 1 Series that could wear the Sport Cross name.

Going after the active-lifestyle crowd who demand a somewhat capable vehicle that isn’t too expensive or harsh on the environment, the BMW 1 Series Sport Cross is expected to be ready for European customers by 2018. It will essentially split the difference between the existing 1 Series hatchback and the X1 crossover, while having its own distinctive look and feel. It’s not likely that the 1 Series Sport Cross will be the Ultimate Off-Road Driving Machine, but BMW could definitely have a nifty soft-roader on its hands when this thing debuts.

Note: Standard BMW 1 Series pictured here.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 1 Series Sport Cross.

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2015 BMW M135i

2015 BMW M135i

The BMW 1 Series arrived for the 2012 model year, and the following year, the wild M135i hatch made its debut, giving Bimmer the hot hatchback that Europeans crave so much. As we head into the 2015 model year in Europe – they are one model year behind us – the M135i is receiving a slight update that gives it cues similar to the rest of the BMW lineup. On top of its new looks, the 2015 M135i also gets a slight power bump and the option to send the ponies to all four wheels.

With this refresh, it is obvious that BMW is looking to do more than simply make the M135i look like the rest of its lineup. The extra power and the addition of all-wheel drive is a sign that Bimmer is playing keeping up with the Joneses with the A45 AMG 4MATIC and the upcoming Audi RS3, both of which feature all-wheel drive and quicker acceleration times. So, can the extra power and xDrive all-wheel drive close the gap enough to allow the Bimmer hatch to keep pace with the its Mercedes and Audi competitors?

Click "Continue Reading" to read my full review of the 2015 M135i to find out.

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2013 BMW 1 Series M CSL By TJ Fahrzeugdesign

2013 BMW 1 Series M CSL By TJ Fahrzeugdesign

The first-generation BMW 1 Series hatchback, be it a three-dour or a five-dour, wasn’t exactly appealing from the styling point of view. The 1 Series Coupe, on the other hand, was a completely different story. Marketed as a successor to the iconic 2002 model, which was built between 1968 and 1975, the 1 Series Coupe received a much-praised M Performance version that carried the 1M moniker. The coupe was discontinued last year, as BMW was readying its successor, the 2 Series Coupe.

Although production of the 1 Series was halted about eight months ago, the Coupe, as well as its high-performance 1M cousin, are still popular among BMW enthusiasts. Some have labeled it as the best vehicle Munich has made in the 21st century, while others have seen its launch as a sign that BMW wants to return to its roots.

As with most compact, ankle-biting BMWs, the 1 Series Coupe and the 1M Coupe have been quite popular with tuning companies like Leib Engineering, Sportec and Vorsteiner.

Each of them are cool in their own way, but none are as intriguing as the one developed by the folks over at TJ Fahreugdesign.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 1 Series M CSL By TJ Fahrzeugdesign.

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2014 BMW M135i M Performance Special Edition

2014 BMW M135i M Performance Special Edition

The Middle East no stranger to seeing special edition vehicles, but it did look strange to us that BMW Abu Dhabi would go the route of preparing a special edition version of the M135i. It’s called the "M Performance Special Edition," and to be fair, it does look sprightly, especially the way the Mineral Grey metallic hue combines well with those red and orange accents.

Racing stripes with a checkered flag design also run down the middle of the M135i, which is a nice touch and fits in well with the whole special edition identity BMW Abu Dhabi is trying to convey. Carbon-fiber mirrors add a touch of sporty exclusivity to the mix, as does the new set of M alloy wheels.

All the exterior and interior changes to the M Performance Special Edition are impressive. But that’s the extent of it, because the model doesn’t carry any engine upgrades. Instead, customers will get the same 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that develops 320 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque.

BMW Abu Dhabi has an interesting M135i in its hands, but how much attention will it really get in a market so used to getting its supercar on?

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M135i M Performance Special Edition.

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2013 BMW M135i MH1 400 By Manhart Racing

2013 BMW M135i MH1 400 By Manhart Racing

While the world’s attention is focus on the recently launched M235i sports coupe, the German tuner Manhart Racing came with a very cool update for the old M135i. The tuner’s package is called MH1 400 and is a clear indication of the engine’s new output: 400 horsepower.

In order to obtain the extra power, the tuner remapped the 3-liter, straight six-cylinder engine’s ECU and installed a new, stainless steel exhaust system with two end pipes measuring 90 mm (3.54 inches). As a result the M135i is now delivering a total of 403 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque.

The only problem is that the speed limited was not removed, so the new MH1 400 still goes up to 155 mph.

In order to handle the extra power, the car was equipped with a new, KW Clubsport-coilover suspension system and new, 380 mm (14.96 inches) and 356 mm (14.01 inches) brake discs gripped by eight and four-piston calipers respectively

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M135i MH1 400 by Manhart Racing.

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2013 BMW M135i MH1 400 by Manhart Racing

2013 BMW M135i MH1 400 by Manhart Racing

The 2013 Essen Motor Show has just concluded, giving us a sense of what’s going on in the European tuner car scene. Manhart Racing had very special car on display, much like other tuners who had gathered at the annual exposition. But, before we come to that, let us give you a brief background of the donor car.

The BMW M135i has captured the imagination of every auto enthusiast on this planet. A small, affordable hatchback with a pokey little in-line six-cylinder engine developing loads of power and bucket full of adrenaline.

Manhart has taken the M135i and turned it into a rear-wheel drive drift maniac. How have they done it and why are we so excited about it? Well, we think 400 horsepower would answer all your questions.

Yes, this tiny BMW M135i now produces 403 PS (397 horsepower) and 561 newton meters (413 pound-feet) of torque from its six-cylinder engine. That’s 63 PS more than the standard car. So, you have 403 horses driving the 19 inch OZ Ultraleggera wheels. What could go wrong, apart from lots of tire smoke.

Click past the jump to read more about the Manhart Racing’s BMW M135i

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2013 BMW M135i by Tuningwerk

2013 BMW M135i by Tuningwerk

Tuner, tuner on the wall, who is fastest of them all? Tuningwerk from Germany just launched its upgrades for the factory BMW M135i hatch, a body style and trim name not sold in America. This upgrade goes far beyond engine management, with big changes under the hood, in the suspension and on the limited-slip diff out back.

Power is a quoted 355 horsepower for the light upgrade, and a whopping 443 horsepower with everything included. From a posh commuter car, this Tuningwerk M135i is a triple threat with its monster sprint pace, high-speed overtaking power that is on par with supercars, and its track and racing prowess

In the magic world of aftermarket performance, verified claims are always hard to nail down.

Even so, an extra 50 or more Tuningwerk horsepower creates quite a handful of a sports car, and one that is so powerful that driving it safely on the road can become part of the thrill and challenge.

Tuningwerk really cranks up the menace of the BMW 1 Series, and this humble hatchback is suddenly a lot more like the ‘breadvan’ Z3 M Coupe as a real banshee of power over-steer.

All good things. After all, hatchback car guy is grumpy when trouncing big Audi’s or Porsche’s in stoplight drag races.

Click past the jump for a mega photo gallery of the 2013 BMW M135i by Tuningwerk.

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2014 BMW 1 Series

2014 BMW 1 Series

It looks like BMW is preparing a surprise for all its 1 Series fans, as our spy photographers have caught a 1 Series five-door prototype that carries a mild facelift. Of course, you shouldn’t expect big changes to the model, thanks to its youth, the facelift will be drastic enough to care for some of the model’s shortcomings and to keep it fresh.

As you can see from these spy shots, updates will will include a redesigned front spoiler with larger air intakes and a slightly revised the kidney grille. A real sore spot for buyers are the outdated Bimmer headlights that do not continue all the way to the grille and it looks like this revision will bring the headlights to the grill and re-size them to better fit the smaller front end of the 1 Series.

We don’t anticipate any under-hood changes to the 1 Series, so most likely the revised 1 Series will carry the engine lineup from the current model. This means the U.S.-spec models will carry a series of 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engines with power ranging from 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque in the 128i to 320 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque in the 135is.

We anticipate this revision coming as a late-2014 addition to BMW’s lineup. This may explain the delay in seeing the 2011 1 Series here in the States.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 1 Series.

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2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe by Sportec

2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe by Sportec

Even though it has been out of production for over a year now, the 1 Series M Coupe remains one of the coolest models ever offered by BMW. To sweeten the pot even more, BMW built just 2,700 units, making it one of the most appreciated BMW models.

German tuner, Sportec, obviously loves the 1 Series M, as it is serving up a pair of upgrades for the compact Bimmer. In its natural state, the 1M Coupe is plenty powerful, as it delivers a total of 335 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 332 pound-feet of torque from 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. This is enough to launch the compact coupe to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds.

In Level 1, Sportec reprogrammed the ECU to push the output to a total of 385 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. By our estimation, Level 1 should drop the naught to 60 mph time to about 4.3 seconds.

Level 2 is more complex, as and includes a larger oil cooler, a downpipe with 100-cell metal catalytic converter and a sports air filter. As a result, the TwinPower 3.0-liter in-line-6 engine delivers a total of 420 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, which we estimate to drop the 0-to-60 time to just over 4 seconds.

Click past the jump to see the BMW 1 Series M Coupe by Sportec in action and other details on this custom 1 Series M.

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2014 BMW 1-Series GT Seven-Seater

2014 BMW 1-Series GT Seven-Seater

The standard BMW 1-Series GT was caught testing many times, but this is the first time our spy photographers managed to catch the longer, seven-seat version. To be completely honest with you, the car was not really “testing;” rather, was just parked inside a BMW test facility.

This makes it pretty easy to spot the differences between the new, seven-seat version and the standard 1-Series GT. Up to the B-pillars, the two cars look the same, but this is where the changes come. The rear doors are longer and the overhang at the back is also longer on the seven-seat model. The back is also more upright, offering more room for the rear passengers.

The seven-seat version will be built on the same UKL1 platform as the standard 1-Series GT and will be offered with a front-wheel-drive setup. Under the hood, the engine lineup will again be shared with the standard version and will include the new three-cylinder, hybrid three-cylinder and four-cylinder powertrains.

The standard 1-Series GT will make its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and the seven-seat version is expected to arrive six months later.

Updated 05/23/2013: Our spy photographers managed to caught the upcoming 1-Series GT Seven-Seater out for another testing session.

Click past the jump to read more about the seven-seat BMW 1-Series GT.

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2013 BMW M135i by Sportec

2013 BMW M135i by Sportec

There was no way Swiss tuner, Sportec, was going to miss the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. And why would they considering that, given it’s right in their own backyard.

Presenting its new program for the BMW 135iM, Sportec treated it to a comprehensive performance upgrade that has made the fierce sports hatchback even more powerful than it already is from the factory. That’s a huge task, especially since the stock model’s 3.0-liter inline-six engine already boasts of 320 horsepower. But thanks to Sportec, that output has now been bumped up to 380 horsepower with an improved 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) time of just 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 171 mph, significantly faster than the 155 mph the stock 135i comes with.

Complementing the massive power raise are many new components fitted on the sports hatch, including: a new flap exhaust system with titanium tailpipes and a set of lightweight 19-inch forged SP10 alloy wheels.

It’s not the sexiest tuning program at Geneva but for sheer purpose and thrills, this Sportec-tuned BMW 135i just got a lot scarier.

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2013 BMW 116i Fashionista

2013 BMW 116i Fashionista

BMW has just announced a new special edition 1-Series for the Japanese market. Built on the 116i version, the new "Fashionista" will be offered exclusively in a five-door body and will be limited to only 370 units. The model is now on sale at a starting price of ¥3,460,000 (around $37,500 at the current exchange rates).

The new special edition is distinguished by a stylish and sophisticated design, and can be ordered in three exterior colors: Crimson Red, White III Arupin and Deep Sea Blue metallic. Each color will be combined with chrome kidney grille bars and a black finish for the window surrounds. The model will sit on a set of 17-inch alloy wheels in a Y-spoke design, which further emphasizes the elegant and sophisticated appearance of the car.

For the interior, BMW offers Oyster Dakota leather for the seats, sections of the doors and the handbrake. The leather is offered in warm colors and it is combined with a gloss off-white finish for the dashboard, lower center console and door arms.

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2013 BMW 1-Series M Coupe by Schwabenfolia

2013 BMW 1-Series M Coupe by Schwabenfolia

No matter how difficult it is to say or write their name, you can always be sure that German tuner Schwabenfolia will release programs that will definitely catch your attention.

Their latest run on the factory saw them take a BMW 1-Series M Coupe, as tidy a compact sports car as they’ll come, and gave it a show stopping program. The most obvious thing you’ll notice about the program is the Lime Green foil wrap that will definitely steal its share of eye balls. From there, the German tuner also added a black foil wrap on certain sections of the 1-Series M Coupe, including the iconic BMW double kidney grille, the side indicators, and the roof. Carbon mirrors were also added at an extra cost, as are the new set of powder coated alloy wheels with its own lime green accents.

In terms of performance, Schwabenfolia added a new sports suspension system from Bilstein, a titanium exhaust system, and a new engine kit that improves the 1-Series M Coupe’s output from 335 horsepower to 420 horsepower.

Schwabenfolia has listed pricing details for the program, of which the lime green foil wrap costs €2,150 (US$2,900), €800 ($1,100) for the wheels, €99 ($130) and €109 ($145) for the front and rear wheel spacers, €2,499 ($3,300) for the Bilstein suspension, €2,299 ($3,000) for the titanium exhaust, and €1,299 ($1,700) for the engine kit.

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