BMW M1 Concept Car

The M1 Hommage concept (left) with the original production M1 (middle) and the original M1 concept (right).After Mercedes produced its SLR McLaren and Audi its R8, one would expect BMW to join the supercar fray.  Hell, anything with Mercedes’ twin-turbo torque-monster V12 runs like a supercar.  Well, BMW is finally taking steps in the right direction: behold the M1 Hommage concept car.

The original M1 arrived in the late ’70’s and early ’80’s as the brainchild of Paul Rosche, head of BMW Motorsport.  The car was supposed to be a homologation racer, and it was somewhat successful at that endeavor.  The design was by Giugiaro and most of the body production took place in Italy.  It was powered by the BMW M88/1 inline-6, longitudinally mid-mounted, which produced around 277bhp in roadgoing form. Racers, especially with turbos saw between 750-850 bhp.  BMW probably lost money on the whole deal,  having produced only around 450 cars.   Yet most of the original M1’s survive to this day and are important to BMW’s history: they marked the first official production M-car.

Well, looks like BMW may try it again.  This is the M1 concept that debuted at the Concorso D’Eleganza Villa D’Este in Italy (a BMW-sponsored event).  It is easy to see that the designers worked hard to modernize and then incorporate the original M1 and M1 concept’s design cues.  For example, the new car’s shape and silhouette are nearly identical to the old one, albeit much larger. The rear side windows and rear-end design evoke the old M1, as well.  The wheels and hood louvers definitely pay homage. It’s when you get into the details that the new concept strays.  For instance, the no-grille with double kidneys treatment in the front doesn’t look like anything–ok, maybe a robotic beaver.  From the front and at certain offset angles, the new concept tends to look like a transformer.  It will almost certainly create controversy.  Then again, it is a concept, and that’s what they’re for. 

The bigger question is: what kind of power will it have if indeed a version is put into production?  The obvious choice is BMW M’s 507 bhp V10 from the M5 and M6.  Even better would be the upcoming turbocharged version of that engine, coupled with the new M-DCT dual-clutch sequential manual.  I personally would like to see a lighter car with an enlarged and reinforced version of the N54 six, possibly at 3.8 or so liters pumping out 450 horses.  BMW may even experiment with its new hybrid drivetrain, but the M guys probably would not go for that.  An M V-12 turbodiesel, anyone? 

One thing we all want:  no stupid i-Drive!  More Pics:


2 Responses to “BMW M1 Concept Car”

  1. Lee, I stand by my assertion that are in fact the RAIN MAN of cars….cool blog!

    P.S. I still think it should come in pink!

    P.P.S A robotic beaver? Hilarious

  2. It looks okay from most angles except the front…from the front it’s just butt ugly.

    Also, did Shelby do that hood for them? Obviously they’ve got a few designers that don’t know when to quit. 😉

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