The 2011 Car of the Year

According to me.

That might not mean much to the manufacturers but to you, oh faithful reader, it should mean the world (insert sarcastic tone here).

Over the course of 2011 I drove some pretty fantastic cars (MINI Countryman ALL4 S, Ford Explorer, Porsche Boxster S Black Edition, Aston Martin Vanquish, Mercedes-Benz SLK, Range Rover EVOQUE, Ford Flex Titanium, Nissan 370Z Nismo, VW Beetle, Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, and I could go on and on…), but there was one in particular that stood out above all the rest.

And it wasn’t a MINI (shock and awe, I know).

Of all the cars I got to pilot over the course of 2011, on in particular stuck in mind — and still sticks today. I find myself daydreaming about the Orange Valencia paint job, the spinning turbos and the out-of-this-world handling. I spend minutes on end staring at photos of this particular car on my lap top (and, in fact, have it as my desktop wallpaper at home and at work). There’s something truly intoxicating about this vehicle. Something addictive. Something otherworldly.

And I’m not the only one who thinks so. My (esteemed?) colleague, Matt St-Pierre, at Auto123.com feels the same way; and apparently so does Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear (so I’m in very good company in my opinion).

Haven’t figured it out yet?

If I could offer an award for the 2011 Car of the Year (it would be accompanied by a small M-shaped, gold coated trophy, of course), it would undoubtedly go to the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe.

Here’s a bullet-point rundown of the reasons why this car is so majestic (because I know you internet readers love lists):

– Small package, big power;
– It’s all in the style, baby;
– Handling (this ride gives MINI a run for its money);
– Oh the attitude;
– And the drive…

Oh, the drive. Piloting the BMW 1 Series M Coupe is absolutely fantastic. At the risk of repeating myself (for those of you, oh faithful readers, who follow me on Auto123.com, I apologize for sounding like a broken record), this car begs to be driven like it was stolen. There’s something about the 1M Coupe that makes you, the driver, feel invincible. It makes you feel like you could get away with it all behind the wheel.

And you almost can.

Tight styling, amazing German engineering and an exhaust note to die for made this particular vehicle stand out above all the rest. Unfortunately, the BMW 1 Series M Coupe will only see a 1-year production (ending this March *tear*), but I feel blessed to have driven this limited-edition mini powerhouse of a car.

This M gives the M3 a run for its money and runs the risk of dethroning the M3 as the best M out there right now (of course, I haven’t driven the new M5 yet …).

Small, sophisticated and sassy all at once, the BMW 1 Series M Coupe is undoubtedly my 2011 Car of the Year.

To pay tribute to this fabulous little ride, here is a gallery of photos care of my ever-talented husband, C:

True, this isn’t the most practical car (my boy, Owen, would probably only be comfortable in the back seat till he hit 10 or 11 years old), but it’s the ideal weekend joy ride toy. There’s nothing else like it.

I truly love me some M driving, and BMW didn’t disappoint with this miniature powerhouse.

Drive on,
– M.

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~ by drivingmsmiranda on January 3, 2012.

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