600bhp BMW M1 on way
Legendary BMW M1 is to be reborn as a 200mph supercar, with a 600bhp turbocharged V8
Audi has the R8 and Mercedes has the SLS, but BMW is currently missing a flagship two-seater supercar in its range. And while the i8 is on the way, the company is also aiming to have a successor to the legendary late seventies M1 supercar on the road by 2016.
BMW insiders have confirmed that the M1 will be a mid-engined two-seater, but with a different approach to the ultra-efficient i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.
Where that car uses electric motors and a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, the new M1 will most likely be powered by a 600bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. However, some of the i8’s technology – such as the ultra-lightweight carbon fibre body – will make it into the M1’s construction. That should mean the car tips the scales at around 1,250kg, which is considerably lighter than the 1,625kg R8.
To further boost performance, the M1 is also set to feature active aerodynamic flaps and vanes that change shape at high speeds, much like those on the Ferrari 458 Italia.
All of this technology will work together to give a 0-62mph time of around three seconds and a top speed of nearly 200mph. Eco tweaks like stop-start and an efficient nine-speed automatic gearbox will help BMW ensure the new M1 is one of the greenest performance cars on sale.
If the project gets the go-ahead, we can expect to see a concept in 2014. It’ll have a look inspired by the M1 Hommage show car, which appeared at the 2008 Concours d’Eleganza on the shores of Lake Como, Italy.
The new M1 is likely to have less of a retro focus, though, and will be priced in the region of £250,000 when the final version goes on sale in around 2016.
Production of the original BMW M1 began in 1978. It had a 273bhp 3.5-litre straight-six and could sprint from 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds. Only 456 were made, and they can now fetch up to £200,000 at auction.