The BMW M1 supercar wrote history back when it was launched. It was a necessary car for the Bavarian car maker and one that could’ve changed the automotive scene forever. That’s because during its development, BMW actually pondered buying out Lamborghini. Imagine how things would’ve looked today if that happened. It didn’t though and BMW had more headaches coming in from Italy than rewards.
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The story behind the M1 was discussed by its creator, Jochen Neerpasch, time after time. We actually had the chance to sit down with him several times and talk about it. However, if you’re not up to speed with how things went down, the video below might be the fastest way to get you up to speed. It’s exactly 1 minute long and features the legendary man behind the entire M division, Jochen Neerpasch.
Basically, the first ever M car, the BMW 3.0 CSL turned out to be quite an expensive experiment, to get it to run in various motorsport competitions. That’s because they created the race car after the road-going model and adapting it was a terribly complicated and expensive ordeal. For their next car, the Germans decided to go the other way around and create a sports car first and then adapt it to be roadworthy. That’s how the M1 came to be.
Due to its peculiar design and mid-engine setup, BMW needed a partner to build it and Lamborghini was chosen for the task. They would ship out the engines and transmissions and every other component needed to Sant’Agata Bolognese and the cars would then be assembled by Lamborghini on their production lines. Unfortunately, Lamborghini went bankrupt and BMW had to take over, causing some serious delays and problems. You can read all about them in our extensive coverage of the car’s history.