For someone who does not know how an M button works, or how it is different from the MDM button, this explanation from Bimmerpost will be really helpful. Knowing the difference in detail will help us better understand the new BMW 1 Series M Coupe. What do these buttons do? Are they both programmable? These are the common questions that requires answers before we actually buy the vehicle. Please refer to the explanation below and the corresponding photograph:
The red circle shows the M button on the steering wheel and the blue circle shows the MDM button.
Unlike the M3 and M5/6, the M-button on the steering wheel (red circle) is not programmable. It’s always set to trigger a sharper throttle response mapping (comparable to the POWER button in the E9x M3), and nothing else.
The M Dynamic Mode aka MDM cannot be programmed to be activated by the same M button. Thus it’s triggered by the MDM button (blue circle) located at the dashboard. As usual with BMWs, a long press of said button will deactivate DSC completely.
Finally, iDrive has no affect on this functionality. In other words, no matter if you’ll order NAV or not, these buttons are always pre-set. I hope this helps to clear most of the earlier confusion about this.
Personally, I don’t consider this a bad solution. Remember that the 1M is a ‘back to the roots’ car of some sort where people wouldn’t program their cars deciding out of plenty of different options but rather enjoy driving.
MDM or M Dynamic Mode is a DSC mode which allows the best of two worlds, so to speak. While driving with a fully engaged Dynamic Stability Control might be as safe to drive as possible, it might also be too intervening when driving on a race track. Switching DSC completely off however is not intervening at all, but neither provides it any safety instance to avoid losing control over a car. To offer another option, BMW developed MDM. It allows the car’s rear end to step out a bit more before applying any instance of correction. MDM made its first appearance in the E46 M3 CSL and then found its way into every M car going forward.
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