New BMW 1M Coupé tested against Audi’s storming RS3 – then both compared to classic Eighties M3
What better way to kick off an M cars special than with a test of the latest model to hit UK roads? Of course, any new M-badged BMW is sure to get performance fans salivating. But for one to arrive at the same time as a new RS model from Audi is fast car nirvana... The new 1 Series M Coupé is the last hurrah for the entry-level BMW, with a new model due in September. It’s set to be a fitting swansong, with a 335bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder twin-turbo, while limited production numbers make it a potential collector’s item.
*Watch our head-to-head drag race between the 1M Coupe and RS3*
Looming large in its mirror is a familiar rival. The A3 is one of the longest-serving Audis, and the flagship RS3 is also a final fling to boost sales ahead of a replacement. It has four- wheel drive in place of the BMW’s rear-drive set-up and a twin-clutch S tronic box rather than a manual.
The third car in our line-up is the Eighties M3 E30. It should provide a driving thrills benchmark and show just how far the M Division has come.