It didn’t take long for the BMW 1 Series M Coupe to become a modern classic. Although we’re only ten years removed from the model’s introduction, one look at the cabin—which could be specified without iDrive—confirms just how much has changed in the time since. The 1M isn’t about tech, however, as it’s the driving experience of the wide-body E82 that set it apart within the pantheon of great BMWs. A short wheelbase, full M3 running gear, and a twin-turbocharged N54 inline six with a spiky rev-band mated exclusively to a six-speed manual: The 1M came from the factory with all of the ingredients necessary for a good time.
But what if there’s more? A few have asked the question in regard to the 1M over the years, and the inevitable answer can be found somewhere within the S65 M V8‘s 8,400-rpm rev range. In a recent video by DriveTribe, a righthand-drive 1M powered by an S65B40 V8 runs the gamut around a track. The swap appears to have been a professional affair, with the engine seeming perfectly at home within the E82’s bay beneath a hood with a power dome, and any worry as to whether or not the added weight of the all-aluminum 414-horsepower V8 alters the nature of the 1M is quickly put to bed after the negotiation of a few corners.
Although the 1M has since been superseded by no fewer than three distinct variants of the M2, which quickly became the most popular current M car, the parts-bin special characteristics of the 1M are reminiscent of legendary BMWs like the E30 M3. With this in mind, it’s no wonder why the 1M lends itself to the S65-swap. This is by no means the first S65 V8-swapped 1 Series we’ve seen, but it’s the first we’ve been able to witness being driven in the environment in which it thrives—around a circuit.—Alex Tock
[Photo courtesy BMW AG. Video courtesy Drivetribe on YouTube.]