Back when it was new, a BMW 1 Series M Coupe borrowed most of its performance parts from other BMWs. Its engine wasn’t even the M-specific engine.
Instead, the 335-hp inline six was borrowed from the Z4 sDrive35is. But thanks to the vehicle’s compact dimensions, relatively light weight, and the low production volume, it quickly became one of the most desirable BMWs on the market.
Despite how it may look, a heavily modified 1 Series in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage didn’t start life as the 1M Coupe. Instead, it was the more common 135i.
But once the owner started modifying it and racing it, he says he ended up hitting the limits of what a stock engine could handle.
So he did the only logical thing and swapped in the V8 from the E92 M3. Even that wasn’t powerful enough, though, so he got rid of that engine and replaced it with the 4.6-liter stroker engine from Dinan. Now, his little 1 Series makes more than 500 hp.
Despite several other suspension and handling upgrades, it’s still the street-legal car. But it’s definitely meant to be tracked. It may not be the real 1M, with the V8 and way more power than stock, this vehicle might even be better for it.
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