Published on July 6th, 2012 | by Ramon Trotman0
Return of the BMW M1 in 2016?
The M1 is without doubt one of the BMW fan favorites! Can you image the joy felt by many when this rumor touched the air waves?
BMW’s high-performance M division hardly suffers a shortage of products these days. But what’s been missing in the proliferation of M-badged models is a raw, high-end sports car — a modern incarnation of the iconic M1 that got Motorsport GmbH into street car production way back when. The time — and the high-tech hardware—for such a supercar may have finally arrived.
“Now that we won our first DTM race, the leadership team is much more open to persuasion. They understand that the brand would benefit from a leading-edge sports car,” comments a top manager for the M division.
The M1 is not to be confused with the souped-up version of the i8 sports car that BMW had once considered building but rather is a distinct model with a different mission.
“If the i8 is the world´s sportiest green car, then our new mid-engine two-seater needs to be the greenest sports car,” says our insider.
To achieve that mission, the M1 will capitalize on but won’t limit itself to technology developed for Project i. For instance, carbon fiber and aluminum—the centerpiece materials in BMW’s green-car program — will likely feature prominently in the M1 but so will magnesium, titanium, and high-strength steel. The unofficial target weight is 2750 pounds — that’s 440 pounds less than a Porsche 911 Carrera S, 400 pounds lighter than the McLaren MP4, and 500 pounds more svelte than a Lexus LFA. Key ingredients are said to include front and rear control-arm suspensions, carbon-ceramic brakes, electrically assisted power steering, and a mid-mounted engine.
The core of the M1 will be an uncommonly stiff carbon-fiber monocoque with a slim center backbone, strong sills, compact subframes, and firewalls with integrated rollover-protection extensions. As with many modern supercars, the M1 will rely on powerful computers to oversee stability control, steering, and torque vectoring to access new levels of grip and control.
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