It is a perennial topic for motoring enthusiasts the world over. When is BMW going to make another mid-engined supercar? They of course made a go of it way back in the 1978 with the original BMW M1. That car had a 3.5-litre straight-six at its core, it weighed 1 400 kg, and BMW only produced 456 units before it was discontinued. The M1 even spawned a bizarre one-make race series, but then that was about it for the first, Munich born, mid-engined supercar.
Now again, as it does every year or so, new rumours are circling within motoring enthusiasts circles about a 21st century BMW M1 being reborn. We could just dismiss the rumours as such, but quite honestly, we’re also obsessed with the topic and can’t help but entertain our own minds to the idea of a modern day BMW M1. The rumours are that the modern M1 will most likely be powered by a 447 kW, twin-turbo V8 and run on a construction of ultra-lightweight carbon fibre. The curb weight should therefore be around 1 200 kg. This will give it a 0 – 100 km/h sprint time of 3 seconds and a top speed of 320 km/h. It will also have an eco-worthy engine start/stop system and highly efficient 9-speed gearbox.
We aren’t so convinced it will be that light. Carbon fibre is very expensive to produce as we know and, if the current heavy weight BMW M5 and M6 are anything to go by, BMW are still some ways away from figuring out light weight. Further conjecture states the next M1 will feature active aerodynamic flaps and vanes that change shape at speed, much like the Ferrari 458, McLaren MP4-12C, Pagani Huayra and other supercar exotica.
A first concept car could be visible as early as 2014, with a production car making its debut in 2016. Should this happen, it will no doubt have a look inspired by the M1 Hommage concept first seen at the 2008 Concours d’Eleganza in Lake Como, Italy. That car was designed by Giorgio Giugiaro and was commissioned to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the M1.
The M1 supercar is touted to cost in the region of £250 000 or R3.2 million. BMW has neither confirmed nor denied the report. Why would they? Just the continued conjecture over a 21st century M1 is marketing in itself.