Post about "Motorsports"

The BMW M1 – A BMW Motorsport Legend Super Car

Back in the early 1970′s BMW decided that it was high time that it took on the established supercar elite of Porsche and Ferrari and that the best way to achieve this aim was to design and build a car that could compete in the popular Group 5 race series.Homologation rules stated that BMW would also have to build 400 of these cars for road use and so the BMW M1 was born. Sadly however, the BMW M1 race car had a troubled gestation period and its story is now regarded by many as an important lesson on how not to build a supercar.Initially the BMW motorsport department turned to Lamborghini to use their experience to help design and build their new racer. The result was a sleek, low slung, mid engine supercar with body work designed by Ital Design and a 3.5 litre engine that could be turbocharged to produce 850 bhp in Group 5 racing spec.Unfortunately Lamborghini was in dire financial circumstances at the time, which meant that the project suffered frequent delays and in the end the whole project had to be moved to the BMW motorsport department in Baur, Germany. However, by the time the M1 was ready to be launched in 1978, two years after its initial conception, Group 5 racing rules had changed meaning that the M1 was no longer practical.In an effort to save the project from total disaster the head of BMW motorsport devised a one make race series called the Procar BMW M1 Championship. The series was very successful as it ran as a support race for the Formula 1 world championship, and pitted many past and present F1 stars, including Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet and Nikki Lauda, against each other in identical machinery.Whilst the race series was a success the road car BMW M1 never really took off, even though in standard trim it produced 277 bhp, could reach sixty in 5.6 seconds and top out at 162 mph. Eventually just 456 models were built making it one of BMW’s rarest models and one that is highly sought after by enthusiastic collectors.As a road car the BMW M1 was superb, featuring genuine supercar performance wrapped up with BMW’s legendary build quality, and considerably lower running costs than other supercars of the era. Externally the M1 was striking with its twin kidney shaped front grill, pop up BMW headlight bulbs and the heavy black slats over the rear windscreen.Whilst commercially the BMW M1 was never really a success its engine was subsequently used in the first BMW M5, and its design inspired BMW’s recent M1 Homage concept car.