Five months on from starting to think about buying a new car, I’m no nearer a decision on what (if anything) I want to replace my current BMW 3-series with. Other than occasionally leafing through the pages of What Car or Top Gear with the same care and reverence comic book aficionados apply to their treasured possessions, I haven’t really done anything other than mull things over in the back of my mind.
The furthest I’ve got is to narrow down my criteria a bit, which is a start. Before, I was considering everything from big and practical to two-seater and wholly impractical. I’ve cooled on the idea of getting a big family car – that’s what Heather’s car is for, and as the boys grow we’re happy to upgrade that in, say, four years’ time. And I’ve also accepted that having a two-seater would make life just that little bit too inflexible, as it would mean we would always need to use Heather’s car and couldn’t do things separately, taking one child each.
My revised thinking is that the new car must be practical enough to be able to squeeze a child seat into the back and, more importantly, it must still be a decent driver’s car. So while (in BMW terms) that rules out a Z4, it also eliminates the X3/X5 and the 5-series from my thinking.
Which is why this particular piece of automotive pornography from BMW caught my eye this week, the latest in their teaser campaign introducing the 1-series M coupé (try saying that five times quickly):
The word is that it will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show next month. Rumours suggest it will launch next summer with a tweaked version of the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo engine from the 135i, with somewhere between 330-350bhp and a 0-60mph time below five seconds, putting it in M3 territory performance-wise – but, at a likely price of £35,000 or so, considerably cheaper than its big brother.
Guess what’s just jumped to the top of my wish list?