AC Schnitzer Automobile Technik is a well-known third party tuning company based in Aachen, Germany. The tuning firm specialises in offering complete packages for BMW and MINI cars, as well as BMW motorcycles. The Germans invited GTspirit for an exclusive look into their company design study and work shop, while head designer – Michele Viandante – displayed his skills with respect to their upcoming program for the BMW 1-Series M Coupe.
The Orange BMW 1M test mule was spotted at a German petrol station a few weeks ago, but we can now give you a closer look at the development process for the smallest M Powered car.
The 1M Coupe comes standard with a six-in-line twin turbo engine creating 340bhp together with 450Nm of torque. The power is delivered to the wheels via a manual six-speed clutch making the sprint from standstill to 100km/h possible in just 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 250km/h in about 30 seconds.
The AC Schnitzer design philosophy, easily visible in the current phase of the development process, has a basic principle of combining aesthetic and technical characteristics. All AC Schnitzer design concepts are created by one Italian designer, who we interviewed in his personal office close to the workshop.
Michele discussed his complete work flow, which starts with a computer design, followed by a clay model created using hand modeling at a temperature of 50 degrees and remodeling after cooling down. The third phase is molding a negative model using a polydur process. During the process a glass fiber textile, impregnated with liquid gypsum, is applied to the clay model. In negative form, a glass fiber matting and epoxy resin are then laminated into a GRP positive model, which finally receives surface finishing and painting. The last step in the process is creating the series part. Digitalization and mirroring of the GRP positive model are performed. The final form is structured on the basis of the GRP positive model and digital data. The result is a body part made from carbon fiber or PU-Rim, a rigid material easy to paint in every possible body color.
The development process of the new AC Schnitzer body parts fitted to the BMW 1-Series M Coupe follows the exact same principle. The Germans will include a new front lip, rear diffuser, and roof spoiler to the standard exterior setup of the 1M. The front lip and rear diffuser are available in carbon fiber.
Other upgrades available for the BMW 1M include a suspension kit lowering the vehicle by 10 or 20mm, a complete 20 inch wheel set and a brand new slip-on exhaust system with signature tail pipes. The improved braking system outfitted to the Orange sports car in the workshop is the same as on the BMW E92 M3 by AC Schnitzer.
All parts are internally developed and tuned to the ‘new’ setup of the 1-Series M Coupe. If requested, a performance upgrade is available. Exact figures have not been revealed, but you can expect them to cross 400 horsepower and 500Nm of torque.
The finished BMW 1-Series M Coupe by AC Schnitzer will have its official debut at the IAA 2011 in September together with the new AC Schnitzer program for the 2012 BMW 650i.