The 2011 BMW 1M against the 2011 Porsche Cayman R. Not the most likely of comparisons, but definitely one of the coolest.

BMW and Porsche have always had an interesting relationship. Not really direct competitors, the M3 fans always like to compare the M3 to a Porsche 911. How do I know this? Well I’m one of them. While the 911 will always be much more of a true sports car, the M3 isn’t far behind it.

But this brings us to a far more interesting 21st century battle; BMW’s all-new 1M against Porsche’s all-new Cayman R. The Cayman R has two seats. The 1M has 4. The Cayman R has a hatchback style storage area with the trunk in the front, under the “hood”. The 1M has a traditional trunk. The Cayman R has a mid-engine layout, while the BMW 1M has a front mounted motor. Let’s do the comparison with specifications, though.

2011 BMW 1M

  • 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-6
  • 335 hp at 5900 RPM
  • 332 lb-ft of torque from 1500-4500 RPM (369 lb-ft of torque overboost function at highway speeds)
  • 6-speed manual only
  • 3,362 lbs
  • 0-60: 4.2-seconds
  • Total MSRP (including destination & handling): $47,010
  • 10 lb/hp
  • Limted to less than 1000 total units/First turbo 6-cylinder M car ever
  • Compression ratio: 10.2:1
  • Limited-slip M differential standard
  • Single piston floating caliper compound disc brakes front and rear
  • Brake size front/rear: 14.2 in vented, cross drilled/13.8 in vented, cross drilled
  • Tires front/rear: 245/35ZR19 – 265/35ZR19
  • 104.7 inch wheelbase
  • 13.06 cubic feet of luggage space
  • Suspension front: Aluminum double pivot spring-strut front axle with trailing link; small positive kingpin offset: lateral force compensation; brake dive reduction
  • Suspension rear: Five-link axle in lightweight construction with drive-off and brake dive compensation

2012 Porsche Cayman R

  • 3.4-liter mid-engine flat-six
  • 330 hp at 7400 RPM
  • 273 lb-ft of torque at 4750 RPM
  • 6-speed manual or 7-speed PDK dual-clutch
  • 2,855/2,910 lbs (manual/auto)
  • 0-60: 4.2-seconds (WARNING .PDF link)
  • Total MSRP: $67,250
  • 8.6-8.8 lb/hp (depending on transmission)
  • 121 lbs lighter than standard Cayman S
  • Compression ratio: 12.5:1
  • Limited-slip differential standard
  • Aluminum monobloc calipers, ventilated cast iron rotors (carbon ceramic discs optional)
  • Brake size front/rear: 12.52 in vented, cross drilled/11.77 in vented, cross drilled
  • Tires front/rear: 235/35/19 – 265/35/19
  • 95.1 inch wheelbase
  • 5.3 cu.-ft./9.2 cu.-ft. front and rear luggage space
  • Suspension front: Wheels individually suspended on wishbones with trailing links, tie rods and spring struts (McPherson type, Porsche optimized)
  • Suspension rear: Wheels individually suspended on wishbones with trailing links, tie rods and spring struts (McPherson type, Porsche optimized)

As you can see, these are two totally different cars. While the mid-engine Cayman R is a true all out sports car, the 1M is more of an all-purpose sports car. But man, look at the price difference. The BMW 1M is a full $20,000 cheaper and has damn near identical performance. Granted, we know the lighter weight, more race bred Cayman R will be faster around most race tracks. Let’s take a look at a few pictures to better compare the two, though, and then we’ll look at some video reviews of the two.

So which one would I choose? Well, I love the BMW 1M for its usability and speed all at the same time. So it’s more practical. However, there’s nothing like a good, lightweight Porsche, especially the Cayman R. That amazing 3.4-liter flat-six is such a beautiful sounding motor.

But watch the videos to get a bit better decision.

Top Gear 1M review/drag race:

Autocar review/comparison:

evo review/track comparison:

So BMW 1M or Porsche Cayman R? Can I have both?