When You Modify a BMW 1M, It Goes From Good to Great

A slightly modified future-classic plays well into the hands of a buyer.

When BMW introduced the 1M back in 2011, it looked like BMW was tapping directly into its old roots of small, nimble and raucous two-door performance cars. And in a world slowly filling with oddly-shaped, misguided crossover and compact SUVs, it was a moment of relief. The 1M seemed so special and so out of the blue for BMW, it instantly became a future classic — and it didn’t long for a hard-earned premium to set in. Low mileage examples are regularly selling for tens of thousands above the original MSRP of $50,000. But when it’s mentioned in the same breath as cars like the E30 M3 and 2002tii, that should come as no surprise. The 1M is a categorically great car, but a handful of upgrades can make it even better.

Dinan Cars is known for its high-quality, high-horsepower under-the-hood and chassis upgrades, most notably for BMWs. This little 1M received a Stage-3 treatment from the independent tuner which includes a carbon fiber cold-air intake, Stage-3 software, a high-capacity oil cooler and a high-performance intercooler, all generously bumping the coupe’s output to 398 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. An upgraded suspension system, roll-bars and exhaust also make their way under the car.

Now that the BMW 1M has dutifully achieved a future-classic status, in part by simply being a joyously fantastic car to drive, prices will only continue to climb. But, like any classic or vintage car, it’s the purest of the pure, factory spec examples that swell in price because, well, they’re almost exactly as they were the day they left the factory. Modified examples take a hit — bad if you’re selling a 1M, great if you’re buying a one. As far as performance and handling go, this Dinan S3 1M coupe is a better car than when it left Bavaria, and you can have it for nearly $25,000 under its original price.

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