The BMW supercar topic is making a comeback. That’s because the M division sees the new M8 as being fast enough to be called a supercar. However, in BMW’s history there is a car that had the looks and the performance to be worthy of the supercar title, and that’s the BMW M1 supercar. Its story has been told a number of times and now the guys from MotorWeek are going through it again.
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If you’re a fan of the BMW M1 you probably already know the story behind it. BMW wanted to create a mid-engine supercar with the help of some Italian minds but things didn’t exactly pan out as they were planned. The car was designed by one of the best minds in the business: Georgetto Giugiaro. You can see that he was behind the shape of the BMW M1 from every angle, this being one of the most outlandish looking cars the Bavarians ever put their badge on. As a matter of fact, it was so outlandish that BMW put two badges on the back to make sure people knew where it came from.
The performance was top notch too, BMW being the engine provider. The 3.5-liter straight six M88/1 unit became a legend later down the road but before all of that happened, BMW met with some issues. Lamborghini, who agreed to make all the BMW M1 models in time to get the car homologated for racing, hit a rough patch. It was so bad that they couldn’t deliver on their promise anymore and BMW had to step in and make the car themselves.
In order to have the BMW M1 homologated for racing purposes, 400 cars had to be sold in 24 months. That didn’t happen but BMW wasn’t going to let this project die so their set up their own racing series under the Procar title. It featured Formula 1 drivers going up against rally or Touring car drivers and it was a blast to watch their egos unfold.