What’s the price for perfection? Well, it can vary a lot – just like the definition of perfection. Is the 135i the perfect car? Far from it; it has some funky angles, old tech, and is surprisingly heavy for how diminutive it looks. That said, it also packs a lot of punch; in either N54 or N55 guise, it’s got 300 horsepower, Brembo brakes, and is a hoot to drive on the road. These cars were priced in the high 30s when new, and really good examples have never gotten very cheap. Today’s car is a great example of that – probably one of the best-condition and original E82s in the US, with a scant 15,000 miles on the odometer. It was also ordered with the M Sport package. Is it perfection?
Much like the E28 M5, the E82 was a legend before it even hit the market. Press releases and journalists gushed over its superlatives; while most felt it was a return to the classic BMW form, some went so far as to suggest it was the best M product ever. Debate still rages over that and generally fans of each chassis manage to come up with plenty of justification as to why theirs is the most special M produced. However, one thing is undeniable; the 1M might be the only M car to ever immediately appreciate on the market. Perhaps it was the combination of those aforementioned press articles or the limited nature of the model; a scant 983 were produced for the U.S. market over a 10 month production cycle in 2011. As with the E28, color choices were quite limited (though, thankfully more than just black!) â€“ 326 Alpine White III (300), 222 Black Sapphire Metallic (475), and 435 Valencia Orange Metallic (B44) â€“ the modelâ€™s signature color. All were mated with the same interior: LWNZ Black Boston leather with contrasting orange stitching. They all featured the same drivetrain specification, too â€“ the boosted twin-turbocharged N54 turned up to 335 horsepower and mated only to a 6-speed manual with a limited slip differential. Wheels were the Competition Package BBS-made Style 359M 19â€³ options from the E9x. The result was magical – if you can afford it…
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 BMW 1M Coupe on eBay
I’ve previous spent a fair amount of time dissecting the 135i lineup – one of the true gems of the late Naughts for BMW, and one often overlooked by enthusiasts. The 135i combines great handling, a gutsy motor, and good looks in a surprisingly spacious package. But if outright speed – and the more expensive repairs associated with it – weren’t your first priorty, BMW offered the same package with a little less flair.
The 128i was, effectively, just about the same package as the 135i, but turned down a few notches. It was a little less hardcore, and a little more GT. Power came not from the twin turbo N54 or twin scroll N55, but from the N52K, here rated at 234 horsepower. You could opt for a six-speed manual transmission, too, and packages included the Sport option, which gave you the same M Sport Suspension found in its bigger brother, along with effectively the same interior. But if anything finding a clean 128i Sport is even harder than locating an un-modded 135i: