Rumor: 2016 BMW M1

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Automobile Magazine speculates on the revival of BMW’s iconic super car, the M1. The M1 supercar came to life in 1978 as the M division’s first …

Automobile Magazine speculates on the revival of BMW’s iconic super car, the M1. The M1 supercar came to life in 1978 as the M division’s first ever creation.The M1 coupe was hand-built between 1978 and 1981 as a homologation special for sports car racing. The body was designed by Giugiaro, taking inspiration from the 1972 BMW Turbo show car.

In the past few years, the debates over the need of a new M supercar have intensified and on numerous occasion the Munich-based automaker argued that a business case for a new M1 or M8 is hard to justify.

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But there is hope. According to the U.S. magazine, the time for an iconic supercar may have finally arrived. “Now that we won our first DTM race, the leadership team is much more open to persuasion. They understand that the brand would benefit from a leading-edge sports car,” told a top manager for the M division to Automobile Mag.

The insider further ads that the new supercar is not built atop the upcoming i8 hybrid sportscar, but rather a new mid-engine two-seater, also dubbed “the greenest sports cars.”

A mid-engine supercar

The rumored and revised M1 will make extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum materials, in conjunction with magnesium, titanium, and high-strength steel. The monocoque will be built out of carbon fiber with a slim center backbone, strong sills, compact subframes, and firewalls with integrated rollover-protection extensions.

The unofficial target weight is 2750 pounds which makes the M supercar weigh 440 pounds less than a Porsche 911 Carrera S, 400 pounds lighter than the McLaren MP4, and 500 pounds less than the super expensive Lexus LFA.

Along with a mid-mounted engine, the M1 would include rear control-arm suspensions, carbon-ceramic brakes and electrically assisted power steering.

To successfully compete in the supercar segment, the 2016 M1 would embed new technology:

BMW expects that a sophisticated active aerodynamics package will provide the car’s most profound advantage over its competition. Adjustable flaps, morphing air deflectors toned into shape by wind force, and selectively blocked air intakes will work together to progressively dial in more downforce as the M1’s forward momentum increases. With the help of a designated onboard computer, axle lift can be reduced independently front and rear to respond to different surface qualities and variations in vehicle velocity. Other efficiency-enhancing factors are the commendably small frontal area, an excellent drag coefficient, a smooth underbody, lateral air curtains that bypass the separately vented wheelhouses, a full-width rear diffuser, and a so-called wiperless wind chute that allegedly keeps the windshield virtually rain-free. Our source estimates that these aero-reducing measures would be equal to adding 100 hp to the engine.

The “beast” needs a heart

What about the engine? As we reported last week, BMW is looking at a V8 TwinTurbo that will develop around 650 horsepower. The power will be sent to wheels via an M dual-clutch transmission with eight or nine forward rations.  As seen in the current S63Tu engine, patented technologies like variable induction and exhaust manifolds, adjustable camshafts and different-size progressive-vane turbochargers, will make their way into the new power unit.

To keep the fuel consumption levels in check, the new M1 would feature automatic stop/start, brake-energy regeneration and other yet-to-be-revealed fuel savings technology. The V8 will include dry-sump lubrication with an external oil reservoir that helps the car maintain a low center of gravity, a common trait in high-end supercars.

Automobile says that “BMW has thought about a using a high-output in-line six-cylinder, but it would be both longer (the current plan calls for a longitudinal engine layout) and less potent. ”

Furthermore, the report says that BMW dumped the idea of using a second electric engine that would have enhanced the power output. A senior M engineer says that a hybrid setup, while offering better weigh distribution, would also add complexity and unnecessary weight – anywhere from 330 to 660 pounds.

If the board decides to sign off on the M1 revival, a concept car could appear in 2014, followed two years later by the production model.

[Source: Automobile Magazine ]