TITLE: BMW M1 Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

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BMW M1 CAR

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BMW M1 (1978-1981) CAR HISTORY

Car review on BMW M1

The motivation for the BMW M1, still BMW's one and only mid-engine super car, came from racing and a new set of regulations. In the Group 5 Silhouette formula of 1976, BMW's aging CSL was losing out to Porsche's 935. To regain lost face, BMW needed a mid-engine chassis worthy of its magnificent twin-cam 3.5-litre straight-six engine: 400 examples would have to be built over a two-year period to qualify for the formula.


The M1 was conceived by BMW's Motor sport division. It was to be the first road-car application for BMW's superb M88 twin-cam straight-six engine. In Turbo Group 5 form it would give up to 700 bhp, but for the road, BMW deemed 277 bhp enough. Only the cast-iron bottom end came off the regular BMW production line; the M88 had a unique 24-valve twin-cam head with chain drive, a pukka forged-steel crank, race-style dry sump and longer connecting rods. It breathed through Kugelfischer-Bosch indirect injection.


The engine sat in-line and well down in the chassis behind the cockpit. Suspension was by unequal-length wishbones and coils, with huge vented disc brakes and rack-and-pinion steering. There was a five-speed ZF transaxle to put the enormous power down on the road.


Initially, BMW turned to Lamborghini to sort out the details of the tubular steel chassis, build prototypes and assemble the 400 road cars required for homologation at the rate of two a week. Giugiaro's Ital Design was contracted to shape the body, taking inspiration from Paul Bracq's 1972 BMW Turbo show car. Prototypes were seen being tested around Sant'Agata in 1977, but by then Lamborghini was in deep financial trouble- and the Ml looked like a possible casualty. Lamborghini's government funding ran out, and delays caused BMW to snatch its Ml project back in April 1978, by which time seven prototypes had been built. It decided to transfer production to Baur, in Stuttgart.

Formally launched late in 1978, the M1 immediately fell foul of new Group 5 regulations that were its raison d'etre. The revised rules said that 400 cars had to have been already sold to the public before a racing version could be used properly. By the time homologation was completed in 1981, the Group 5 M1 was already out of date, overweight and outclassed by a younger opposition.


If the M1 racer was never much more than a promising also-ran, the road car was always top-drawer material, not only fast (M1s were independently clocked at 161 mph, or 259 kph) but comfortable, refined, surprisingly frugal and beautifully built.

Handling was impeccable, and no mid-engine upper-echelon super car rode so well or cruised so quietly. Disparate and convoluted as its cross- Europe design and manufacture had been, the values and quality behind this unfulfilled racer were always pure Munich. It bridged the gap between yesterday's dinosaur heavyweights and today's versatile super-cars and is rightly regarded as one of the all-time classic super cars.


BMW M1

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE TYPE

6-cylinder

CAPACITY

3453 cc

POWER

277 bhp @6500 rpm

TRANSMISSION

5-speed manual

TOP SPEED

161 mph (259 km/h)

NUMBER BUILT

450

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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BMW M1 CAR

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TITLE: BMW M1 Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: BMW M1 Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Site Description: BMW M1 Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: BMW M1 Classic Cars, Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, VIN Check