Two other colours will be available - Black Sapphire metallic and Alpine White - but hopefully of most interest to potential recruits to the M brand will be the 340hp straight six with twin turbochargers that gives the 1M a power-to-weight ratio of 227hp/tonne.
Aside from the distinctive colours, the new M car stands out from the crowd with some equally distinctive body mods. The rear wheelarches are fattened to cover increased track width and there's a rear lip spoiler but the most obviously uprated body elements are at the front. A pair of what BMW calls 'air curtains' are generated over the front wheels by twin cut-outs in the front apron, designed not for cooling, but to reduce de-stabilising aerodynamic turbulence around the front arches. Clever stuff, probably!
Internally, the car gets its sporty messages across with little touches like leather sports seats with contrasting orange stitching, alcantara bits and bobs and some M badges. The instruments have a unique grey finish, and you get an M footrest and sill panels as part of the spec.
The car goes on sale in May in the UK, priced from £38k which is £13k less than an M3. So what do we think?