As mentioned earlier, the gym I go to every day is also my office… ; ) My personal trainer showed me a great BMW concept car and after seeing the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage winning an important award at Chantilly I think this is a nice continuation! This styling exercise, without interior nor engine, was revealed at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2008, almost 30 years after its predecessor was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in 1977.
This concept is a worthy successor with those lovely slats above the engine (which is not present), also seen on the Lamborghini Miura. Soon after the flashy concept was revealed it was announced by BMW that this brand new M1 was not one to reach the production process, sadly.Let’s take a look at the history of the legendary BMW M1! The original M1 was produced from 1979 until 1981, a special BMW indeed with its M88/1 3.5 liter 6 cylinder mid-engine. The engine was a modified version of the existing M30. A nice new feature was a specially designed cylinder head, as well as mechanical fuel injection and dry sump lubrication. The engine was completed in 1977.Another special feature about the M1 is that it is one of those rare production cars that actually has a racing variant derived from it! The race version, named the M1 Procar, has only few modifications to the chassis but produces a power output varying from 277 to 950 HP. The road version of the M1 has a top speed of 262 km/h, whereas the circuit-Procar can reach 310 km/h! The BMW M1 was made in cooperation with Lamborghini (tubular chassis), T.I.R. (syntectic body), ItalDesign (components) and Baur (assembly). Production numbers were small with only 800 cars built.
The original M1, also known as the E26 project, is an important heritage of BMW and so it deserved a Hommage, which was realized for its 30th anniversary. The revolutionary but functional design of the original model was done by Giorgio Giugiaro, who we already know from the modern designs that his company ItalDesign made for the Maserati Boomerang to name just one. Some great technical innovations came with the Hommage to lift the M1 to an even a higher level than its predecessor.
Though the concept didn’t make it to production it really shows excellent craftsmanship, creativity and the potential of the BMW Group Design team! A great car, but not one that had an easy development process. For sure this is a great piece for many collectors and BMW (racing) enthusiasts!
Next up I will get back to the mighty Parisian coachbuilders!
If there is a car or any other car related subject that you like to get to know more about, then please let me know in the comments! I am always glad to make an article about a specific car, coachbuilder, etc.
Written by Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos