Chris Harris drives… Best of BMW: 1M, M2, Alpina, F10 M5, M2 Competition

Chris Harris drives… Best of BMW: 1M, M2, Alpina, F10 M5, M2 Competition


Here’s Chris Harris driving some of the best machinery BMW’s M division has ever cooked up. First off it’s a side-by-side comparison of the BMW M2 and the little-but-mighty 1M, followed by the F10 rear-wheel-drive M5 and some glorious old Alpinas… Series 28: The Online Geneva Motor Show: First Look: Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.

ah baby and cars follow commands so and this is the newest baby mdm2 it’s the cheapest high-performance BMW and it probably should be the least desirable but there’s something about them hips well 71 millimeters of extra girth over an m240 actually it’s 64 millimeters wider at the front – stronger lighter will carriers work with better suspension components and it also gets the clever variable locking differential from the F 80 m3 the motor is an N 55 3 to 6 rated at 370 horsepower and 343 foot pounds with 369 available on overboost it shares some trick internals with the m3 and it uses just one turbocharger in summary yum-yum it is so easy to accuse the m2 of not being a proper M car because it does like the m1 sorry 1m have a fairly ordinary based engine this time it’s called the n55 that’s the n54 in the 1m and that means that this has the same pretty much the same capacity so the BLA compared to quite similar this is the Ritz injection and it has a single sort of twin story turbo so it’s variable veins the idea is that it can do with 100 watt the 1m can do with 2 turbos so you end up with 370 horsepower and about sirillium 43 foot-pounds of torque for Cushing’s I mean it’s a fair bit under 1600 kilograms that never charged every time you put your foot down in gear roll on performances rather alone you like to call it he’s really quite good it gives you the impression that you have a lot more than you really do cuz I mean it’s got a comment no it means the thing just feels rampantly fast the whole time I think it’s a really good engine and I love the manual transmission I think I definitely would have a manual in my m2 but the reason for this comparison is that I still think the one end it’s sensational little car I think it’s got a spirit to it I kind of pugnacious Martinez that BMW hasn’t managed to repeat for quite some time and I always hope that this would be the car that would do that and in many ways you know what it does it feels so special it feels short small wheel D and even though it’s dry down a bit now some of the exterior shots you’ll see we’re shot when it was wet this thing is Larry turn the systems off and you have every chance of having a large accident and that’s what this car should bill about it’s fantastic I suppose the beauty of having your own video show is you can kind of choose which videos you want to make so this isn’t objective because I don’t think one M and M two respective owners are in the same camp one’s a bit of a collector’s car now this is a new everyday car this empty but the differences are quite interesting for example drive them back to back and whereas I thought the m2 is electric steering was a really good job in fact better than the m3 m4 coupe eh it feels quite inert at the front compared to the one that’s got a lovely hydraulic assisted rack and it just feels so direct and even though I don’t like the word feel I feel more connected in that car at the front than I do I also feel it turns quicker it’s got a quicker ratio the 1m so the whole car just feels up on its toes and more nervous but also more agile it’s got a shorter wheelbase and the wider tracks there’s an anger about that car that’s missing in this one this on the other hand counters by being much much more enjoyable on a long journey unless it also does this quite well it’s a proper em car it really is and you can just fling it about I think it’s less angry when you put the power in and go into the slide the m2 is much less likely that torque reaction gives you a nicer transition into a slide and you could notice it’s quite quick now so you could read and throw this thing in as ones that light into your mouth big smokey one yeah proper proper car what are these things now in Sterling fifty something thousand pounds some people saying it’s too expensive given it’s an ordinary BMW engine no it’s a proper end car oh I love this car it is man babby doozy what’d you think about the way they look you prefer this one number one for sure look the third gear slide let’s forget about the looks it’s just such a compelling recipe isn’t it small bodied car short wheelbase widen the tracks insert big motor keep manual gearbox keep people like me that wings about the on words creep of autumn eyes everything very very happy thing because this is the great car they really it I love it I think it’s fantastic it’s quite a difficult car to pigeonhole the m2 because it’s not really a goal fire rival it’s too much it’s too expensive and it’s too exciting in its – rear wheel drive it’s not really a focus RS rival what is it supposed to understand the m2 you shouldn’t need to know where it came from don’t you and that means I think you need to drive it back to back against one of these I first drove a BMW 1m in 2011 and I thought it was sensational I still think it’s sensational now it really is such a special little car this was a skunkworks project it was a bunch of engineers it said they wanted to do something but there wasn’t the time or the results to do it in a conventional fashion so they went and did it at weekends and it has that feel of being a bit a bit naughty so they took an N 54 twin turbocharged three litre straight-six out of a 135 i lighten the flywheel and then put it in the most fantastic sporty wide-body shell the result is one of the naughtiest cars I’ve ever driven it’s not the fastest but this personality wanting to be a bit troublesome and I have to say cards on the table this is mine I bought one because I think they’re so special I had to have one prices sent a bit silly at the moment but so what it really is worth every single penny and I’ve been a bit naughty with this one because I put a full but grab a [ __ ] exhaust on it which entertain iam and gorgeous and I’ve had it remaps so in a straight line we’re gonna find out a little bit whether it’s quicker than the m2 but the chassis on this thing it’s so extraordinary it’s so angry second year come into a hairpin and it goes so quickly that initial movement into oversteer is a snap and I love that combination ee9 t2m three differential manual gearbox very short wheelbase very wide tracks means this is a very very exciting car with snappy and it’s lively and we knew it at the time and I still don’t think there’s anything much spike here on sale today certainly not the m2 telling me I love the steering in this car as well the steering is just better it’s more direct I just feel connected in a way I don’t in the m2 and the speed and the powers that every well to know what the engine feels a bit freer revving that might because of the the lightened flywheel and this feels a bit pokey ER but then I have played a little bit so I can’t really say I think in standard form and m2 has the legs of an m1 sorry of course the etymology of 1m is quite interesting isn’t it it’s the only M car that has the number before the letter because the m1 is the original BMW supercar from 1979 and BMW felt that out the respected could kind of use a bad name what I do know is it just got an M badge on the boom I love the way it drives and that’s because it’s a special little car sitting on a weenie wheel base with big flared arches it has 335 horsepower and the same 369 foot-pounds of torque is the m2 but all the time not as overboost the differential is from the e92 m3 as is most of the rear suspension assembly and the brakes in fact it’s easier to view the 1m as an e92 m3 chassis wedged under a widened 1 Series body with a lightly briefed on 1 3 5 motor under the bonnet or hood depending on where you live there’s no doubting that this differential doesn’t feel as sophisticated as the one that’s fitted to the m2 so the traction this car is more confused more inconsistent sometimes it really put something goes on these Super Sport smacks you sideways and this does feel a properly old-school driving experience it may only be five years old but it might as well been mid 80s to me this is big turbo charging this is a modern-day sierra cosworth an angry dangerous especially competent not especially fast dole file we’ll leave this thing for dead British conditions on America go far I can’t do that okay bit of science then Litchfield stage one tune on my one I’m with an a crap a [ __ ] exhaust all the way through that’s an M two three two one go hahahaha it’s got the legs on it hasn’t it but you know what when they were standard or when this was standard that would have the legs on this in fairness fill my smoke though love it woman toys do well now you might have seen a couple of weeks ago on the internet that RM Auctions was dealing with a sale of around 130 cars from the 70s 80s and 90s and I saw the pictures of those cars in that warehouse and thought I got to see them guess where we are we’re with them this is and I don’t say this lightly the most extraordinary room full of cars I’ve ever seen I don’t have the stats but I think if you looked at my browser history for used cars more time will be spent looking at used BMW M cars Alpena’s AMG’s that kind of stuff than anything else those are the cars that for some reason I can’t get enough off and I’m just walked into a room well I’ll paint a mint mint that’s a b7 turbo mint that looks like a 65 CSI probably an m6 e 60 m5 in Europe paddles remember that big outcry journalist like me saying it didn’t have a manual gearbox like the only 39 but these ones well in America they did a six-speed manual for a while they’re both manuals over here in Europe I’m I wasn’t aware of any others in Europe I mean that is that’s special opens door inside stick look at the seat bolster on that car you show me any 60 m5 doesn’t have a collapsed driver’s seat bolster they all do this one doesn’t like everything else here it’s absolutely mint there are three three three a 38 Alpina 7 series is here there’s a 6 liter a 5.7 and another 6 liter I’ve wanted one of these ever since I first drove one in 2001 the only place I’ve ever seen more than one of these was I think the Geneva Motor Show I don’t think even then they only had two there are three here and then you just drunk on a 38 and you think well what’s behind oh look there’s a any 28 mint b7 turbo I’ve not seen one of those in the raw before so just um just stay there while I have a bit of man moment to myself right there I’m breathing okay right so this is an e 28 with with the Croft bucket seats I mean look at them they’re just perfect look at the steering wheel fellows sad people what’s the first thing you do when you approach an old BMW you look in the boot for the toolkit don’t you so let’s just choose one this is a 635 CSI come in come on you know pop the boot up it goes look inside undo undo undo perfect absolutely perfect look while this point is so good my spoiler thought that good is that all the brothers just right and it’s not perished vectors is fast car history is curious it’s first the ISF was actually a decent time at irritating the BMW m3 its most recent however the RCF was mostly terrible in between came the LFA super car which is still one of the most desirable machines I’ve ever driven this is the new GSF Lexuses answer to the big fast saloon question it costs over 70 thousand pounds this one is very blue but before you assess any very fast large saloon car you have to roll out the m5 because let’s face it the m5 is the daddy the whole class is named after the m5 it’s called the m5 Prime so first of all let’s go for a stroll in the 30th anniversary m5 and find out just what the best fast German saloon car is all about well it has such a colossal numbers advantage you wonder why the gsfe bothers to term at the race we’ve got nearly 6 a.m. you know hot hatchback more than the lexus has we’ve got adaptive damping we’ve got alterable steering wait we’ve got the totally configurable car we’ve got a larger body with more space we’ve got more grip from wider tires I mean it’s got more of anything this is a numbers fest it is the ultimate expression of the rear-wheel drive German very large saloon car and these in the most part very very good however I’m not going to drive to the bottom of a really good well road and then drive back up it and today what it’s like to drive fast because in some ways it’s surprisingly good than others I’m finding it a bit of a pea if a standard F 10mm 5 is already a very punchy set of numbers this 30th anniversary special takes things a step further that means a 600-horsepower for the 4.4 liter twin-turbo v8 and 516 foot pound of talk it’s 50 kilograms shy of 2 tons and with the optional drivers package will do 190 miles an hour and that’s still limited you get some forged 20-inch rims matte paint and ceramic discs taking the price to over 90,000 pounds now for my configuration I’ve gone longest throttle comfort dampers and the lightest steering I might just go this doing one more so that’s the middle steering but there’s a theme here by stacking everything off in this car and make it as soft as possible it has effectively the composition price especially on it and it’s still on a Welsh a road way too stiff for me that’s the problem that’s why it’s being a bit of painting because it’s got so much parent to talk there you go airborne an hour but it just can’t get it onto the road so the point I’m making here is yes it’s great the m5s got 600 horsepower it’s an absurd number and when it does get all of it onto the road the feeling of acceleration is outrageous but the number of times they can actually do it without something a little bit scary happening and or the tragic control light flashing are so limited that the legs is is power output seems to be more sensible in fact what I’m getting at here is the latest power and torque figures really do work much more sensibly with the available grip from its rear axle the m5 just got too much power and torque 40 can put down on a day like today on a road like this you can IQ will live somewhere hofstra and find a wider Road there’s breakfast yes but you can’t always have that can you the other thing is the stiff suspension slightly ruins the steering for me as well there’s doing a bit over line and not really with me and I get a lot of chatter and kickback through the rack because everything’s so stiff but the gearbox is magnificent the engine itself is magnificent twin turbocharged and it revs as high as the latest is normally aspirated motor and once it is hooked up it is so damn fast in a straight line I think it’s 911 Turbo fast what a magnificent thing and of course I love the way it looks on the outside I love the cabin dog vision statement it is the all-round but I had expected the chassis to be a little bit better and for the wheels to not look like they were port from rich speed otherwise the m5 is a superlative motor vehicle lovely the many cars that would suffer more on a limited test drive I got one hour out the showroom and back test drive than the Lexus GS F cuz it just takes so long to reveal it’s quite considerable under that predator esque mug lies a five liter 470 horsepower atmospheric v8 with just 391 foot-pounds of torque it weighs less than the m5 at eighteen hundred and sixty five kilograms and this model suspension is way simpler to no fancy adjustable dampers just a fixed Sachs shocker this car is totally unconventional it’s quite unlike the conventional sports thrown out of Germany the controls are all different the way it drives them what it offers is different and when you first get in it you think yes this is completely rubbish but you have to persevere if you give up at that point you will just walk away and save yourself yeah it’s not very fast it’s not as good-looking and it’s not as impressive as any of the German cars in this class but if you stay with it either there’s a bit of a treat in store because I’ve spent some time in this car and I’m really enjoying it let’s start with the driving position it is absolutely spot-on and has one of the best seats of any car I’ve driven in the last five years it’s supportive and super comfortable and I feel right in the centre of the vehicle it’s a strange thing to describe but the driving position of the guys I mean it’s often overlooked and laters it’s absolutely nailed it with this one then there’s the engine ok it doesn’t have any of the big bombastic and hey look at the size of my Willie numbers at the German cars have but it’s normally aspirated how many normally aspirated engine other left in fast cars howdy r8 Lamborghini Huracan same car this one and not many others that’s something to be celebrated and this one it absolutely screams it feels like it’s revving to about nine it isn’t it’s going to about seven and a half but it’s a complete event and it reminds you why we all love normally aspirated engines I just think it’s a complete and utter tonic everything about the Lexus is less headline ear and those weird lexus exhaust tips still make my teeth launch brakes are steel and 380 millimeters up front the 19-inch rims and tires are also smaller than the BMW’s the gearbox is a torque converter auto not a DCT I’m going to configure my Lexus but I’ve only got one thing here so I can go to normal or economy Sport Sport+ I don’t like support person when they go to sport and I can have a manual option on the gearbox but unlike the BMW this gearbox is an automatic with a manual function whereas that one is a dual clutch so first off nobody talked about they spectacular engine and I’ve got no adaptive dampers and I’ve got no choice of damping hansel I’ve just got one setting then over this road it’s better than the BMW whatever you say I know you can take that compliment back off the BMW right now I’d rather be in the Lexus in terms of its ride and handling compromised quite important in the car that steering I prefer the steering rack in this car it’s got none of the kick back and then others fidget and I feel more confident when I turn the car about the turn moment I can judge better in this car and the whole body just feels a bit smaller so I can place it better the visibility is better out of the car sounding a bit now this engine is a joy it’s got a proper step as well at about three and a half where’s there yeah about three six it comes on cam the VTEC boys will love it at about three six the intake noise hardens and then it just scoots all the way up to the limiter and you pull the paddle and hit another gear the gear change even in the fastest mode it’s not fast enough isn’t a patch on the BMWs and on downshift it’s a bit slow and sometimes the Rev match is not great so the gearbox is weak it has to be said but you enjoy driving faster than cars you owned an e39 m5 I think you might prefer this over the new m5 and as for the way the parent talk work with the grip available on a wet British Road it’s just a more enjoyable thing to drive because you don’t have to constantly worry about the traction I turn it with the traction control off it’s wonderful it’s got loads of grip from those sticky mentioned in to doesn’t like this cold weather quite so much the brake pedal it’s really good I’m not having any fade yet it breaks everything about it and the way it goes down a road it’s so much better than the RC F thing they lost this is a infinitely better bit but back and it’s got really special personality that as I said it grows on you and I’m enjoying that more and more however we then get to the thorny issue of the cabin I want to talk you through this cabin I think it’s the craziest car cabin on sale at the moment genuinely I have to stop and do it station because if I try and do it moving along there’s a chance I’ll crash I need to start the engine for this so you can see the full madness of this cabin it really is like the inside of someone’s head first of all the steering wheel which has a load of buttons I don’t know what they do this one here’s the volume for the radio there’s a mode button in the middle and then there’s a whole load of stuff going on dashboard there’s an up and down here for a menu but there’s also a square one here that’s got up down side aside from any one another one in the middle that’s I don’t know what that’s for there’s a back button another menu button here that’s your radar cruise and that’s your lane departure warning that’s your voice trying to give voice commands and there’s a phone on and off there I can’t fathom them because there’s two sets of menus going on here this is all electronic inside here I’ll have a look at it close-up now it’s beautiful it’s quite LFA esque in the way they’ve put it together which is really cool I love some of the detail and design I love the way the sort of a tungsten look to the surrounds the dials and the small speedometer is quite Aero it’s really cool indicators on the right side given this is a Japanese car and the windscreen wipers work completely counter intuitively the wrong way around the paddles fill out their form a cheap gaming steering wheel so this is actually in GSF terms quite conventional if a little baffling however let’s get down here to the full madness on this hump here there’s a sort of rectangular an oblong thing that moves you round your menu system here and I have no idea quite how it works there’s an up/down button there that I still don’t understand what that does there’s a main menu which will get you through to your you know everything from climate to your media input or your CD player which is by the way this hole in the dashboard here you can access your heater controls from there but they’re all repeated here they do this lovely roll up and down thing as well when you go up and down it’s very pretty ergonomically it’s a total disaster because you’re controlling stuff here and then you’ve got stuff to do on the steering wheel here and everything overlaps it’s totally counterintuitive and best of all the navigation won’t recognize postcodes it is a total disaster however it looks fantastic and it feels brilliant and I just think it’s wonderfully wonderfully crazy the gear leaver for example the D tends to make it move are the wrong way compared to any other gear leaver so you find yourself constantly fighting against the resistance point yeah three-point turns take about ten minutes but you’re wrestling with this lever it’s got quite a storage space you can you know hide stuff at every point someone’s gone I know what let’s just stick it there because it might look cool I quite like the single-mindedness of just doing it the way they want to do it and then there’s the cabin materials count the number of different materials in this place one two three four five six seven eight nine ten so I can count ten different materials here in the bin double isn’t there a three it’s an absolute mess but rather a wonderful mess it’s even got exposed fake allen bolt heads here that go into the Alcantara that whole done on the dashboard it’s insane normally when BMW adds a competition badge to an M car it needlessly ruins the suspension and adds some ugliness to the wheels but with the m2 competition it has done something different something better because the m2 competition actually gets a new engine the s55 unit from the m3 is now wedged in there and you even get the funky carbon strut brace you also get a new chassis new brakes and a decent percentage of a new cabin you know have 410 horsepower and 405 foot-pounds of torque big increases on the old car but you also get an extra 55 kilograms but BMW loves these traditions so it’s added some uglier wheels just to stay faithful to the competition heritage did you have a good summer holiday I did but the way to get back into work is the new BMW m2 competition now it looks like BMW has very kindly given us an m2 with an m3 power bond but it’s not quite simple as that because the old m2 engine was killed off by the latest emission regulation so either the MP who had to die or BMW had to bolt this engine in so he had a lot more power bit more talk we get some more weight as well and that’s the same a bit sniffy about the power-to-weight ratio of this car isn’t that much better than a normal m2 so let’s see what it’s like on the circuit the last century was always quite a handful what have we got here then we’re at Claremont on which is one of the great circuits not been here before have no idea why I didn’t know about it because it’s superb the elevation changes are amazing keep on dct in this one it’s really really sharp I reckon this the shifts are that much quicker a little bit of rain coming down at the moment so I’m losing a bit of traction engine pulls like a horse doesn’t feel quite as angry as doesn’t the entry and for me there’s always been a personality about the m2 that was missing in the m3 and it comes from that short wheelbase the car just changes direction so aggressively but it also feels a little bit spiky there’s an element of danger like it’s a 2002 turbo being on I mean and I love that about these things balance is good with a little bit of understeer in the middle of the corner and we’ve got oversteer coming out really as much as you want let’s just demonstrate that here we go so we get on the gas there you go armfuls have you wanted very controllable typical BMW instruments they’ve got a sort of em new m5 style instrument pack in evidence quite technical brakes very good I said the brakes actually are quite a standout for this this car still doesn’t have the agility of a Cayman but what I like is that even though it’s a complete yabo when you want to be far more over your battery than they came in it can now carve the straight line a load more than it could so it’s a fast car it really is a fast car if you wanted something to run everyday do the occasional bit of track work I would never have advised the last m2 it wasn’t up to the job this one certainly is as tested this car still breaks fairly normal spec into one is 49,000 pounds that’s an awful lot – series based car but I don’t know what else we’ll do this for the money of course the main competition for the m2 really is it used m3 isn’t it you even pick one of those up for about 40 grand so would you have a used m3 or an M – I think my money’s on the m2 competition there’s something about this it’s quite spiky it’s quite good fun there’s a personality here but I really really enjoy yeah I’m taking one of these that’s a bit of slidy stuff here look at this why is it that BMWs engine is just know how to make cars feel super super partly the way they let them go all the way to the limits of grip and the tire never gets really spiky the drop-off in grip is always to sit and also the power steering the electric power steering on this cars a bit lifeless however consistently assistance all the way to the lock stop they go somebody useful consumer information this circuit wow what a place yeah there is a bit of deafness in the steering you know he’s just a little bit lifeless but I don’t know all sewer systems tend to be like that seated position still a bit too high for me on a wide BMW or into that these over they seem to be what a thing slippery there yes slippery today it’s slippery today phones in the oil price you

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