Just hours ago, several automotive magazines published a rumored story on the return of the BMW M1. According to them and unconfirmed by us yet, a redefined M1 Concept will make its debut at the Dubai Auto Show next week. While the previous reports remain at the rumor level, a new one has just surfaced.
The popular and somewhat on-the-dot UK magazine, EVO, brings out more details on the past rumored and reported by us, BMW 135i Supersport, the 1 Series based car with M-like capabilities but without the M1 badge.
According to them, BMW’s Motorsport division is working on a sub-M3 model based on the 1 Series Coupe and powered by a tweaked six-cylinder twin-turbo engine producing around 400 horsepower and 370 lb-ft of torque. This will be mated to the new seven-speed double-clutch gearbox and is likely to drive the rear wheels through the M3’s trick differential.
First rumors of the Supersport model surfaced back in January when your very own BMWBLOG reported the news of a tuned up version of the award winning twin-turbo engine powering the upcoming model.
Sources close to the magazine predict that other M-car features are likely to be implemented, including the M3’s complete suspension. The engineers are also working to remove about 70kg from the overall curb weight.
But here is where our reports differ from theirs. In the past, we learned that BMW will tease the BMW fans with an Supersport model based on the current 1 Series, a preview of what’s to come in the next generation 1 Series and the unofficial M1. EVO expects the Supersport to be based on Tii concept car displayed in Tokyo a couple of years back.
As mentioned several times before, there was and still is a debate over the name, many people within BMW are rooting to keep the M1 badge untouched, a symbol of a true supercar that might come in the future.
It is unknown when the 135i Supersport or whichever name will eventually take, might launch. And here is where EVO magazine deviates from their course, they continue down the M1 supercar path and mention that the new model will be available in 2012 and will be powered by both electric and high-revving gasoline motors to achieve sub-4seconds performance. To speculate even more, the drivetrain is said to be similar to the one in the Vision EfficientDynamics Concept.
Confused yet? We certainly are, especially after EVO throws the following statement at the end of their article:
M Division should have its own supercar built in three years,’ a senior BMW source said, ‘but we need to sell some cars first. That’s why the 1-series M-car is the higher priority.’
Alright, so let’s try again to shed some light here. The “real M1” to be unveiled in 2012 and an M1-like, 135i Supersport, sometimes in the near future, but before the new model change.
Hmmm….confused much? We are too, but hopefully we will learn more shortly.