When we first drove the clumsily named BMW 1 Series M Coupe, it was obvious that the M3 underpinnings and widebody styling missed one vital element—the M3's V8 engine. And while the upgraded 335hp N54 biturbo motor was a peach and perfectly suited to the chassis, we all know the 4.0 V8 would have made it impeccable.
Joe Gaffey from Performance Technic in Dublin, California, certainly felt the same, and his crew set about building Marco the ultimate BMW hybrid—using the 135i as the base model, adding the M3's V8 as well as the 1M's widebody styling for good measure. After all, there's no point installing the S65 motor and not letting everybody know about it. Admittedly, it might surprise a few owners of the genuine BMW 1M with its snarling exhaust note, but it should also bring a smile to everybody's face.
When we first stumbled across the car, it was parked in the Toyo Tires booth at Bimmerfest and could have easily been overlooked, since it looked like a mildly warmed-over 1M. However, we're happy we peered under the open hood because this car is a gem and thoroughly deserving of the front cover.
You can read more about the build and our driving impressions in the full feature elsewhere in this issue.
Some of you might be surprised to be reading my words again, since I bid farewell in the last issue. However, I'd offered to complete another issue while the company took time to find my replacement—I was going to suggest I was irreplaceable, but that was clearly false...
The good news is that Michael Febbo was persuaded to return to EC, having formerly been the magazine's engineering editor before taking some much-needed time to relax on the staff of Motor Trend magazine.
You'll definitely be in good hands with Mike at the helm because he's anxious to maintain the magazine's mix of high-performance European cars and ground-breaking editorial that makes us unique in magazine publishing, choosing to find our own path rather than follow in the footsteps of everybody else.
With Mike's technical bent, you can be sure he'll continue to build some affordable project cars and isn't afraid to give his opinions from behind the wheel of supercars and modified machines alike.
Mike will be in charge of the next issue and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org in the meantime.
As you might have noticed from the email address, the company has had a shake-up. Formerly Source Interlink but now The Enthusiast Network, the company is focused on maintaining quality print magazines but increasing its online presence.
By now you should be part of our 1.8 million followers on Facebook and among the million or so who visit europeancarweb.com each month, but if not, we'd encourage you to take a look at the web exclusive features and videos and join the online conversation.
You can also buy a digital subscription to the magazine via the dropdown menu on our home page at europeancarweb.com—it guarantees you get each issue on time and in high-resolution. If you're like us, however, you still like to feel something solid in your hands when reading in the bathroom library, so our print subscriptions continue to offer a very competitive price.
The artist formerly known as editor