BMW's performance division has made such a name for itself that the letter M has become synonymous with high-performance German sedans and coupes. But the vehicle that started it all was about as Italian as any Teutonic sports car could ever be: a low-slung, mid-engined machine designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro's ItalDesign and built in cooperation with Lamborghini as a homologation special.

The only mid-engine BMW ever made, the roadgoing M1 featured the naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter 279hp twin-cam six later used in the 635CSi and M5. Like a great many short-lived supercars, we have homologation regulations to thank for the M1's existence: 456 examples were built between 1978 and 1981 in order to qualify for Group 5 competition.

Although the turbocharged 850-horsepower version was never a great success in Group 5 racing, it was later entered in the Procar series in support of Formula One races in the late seventies, in which a Marlboro-sponsored Niki Lauda took the title in 1979. The M1 went on to win the IMSA GTO title in 1981.

Follow the jump to check out the video action.

[Source: Carscoop]



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • From Our Partners

    You May Like
    Links by Zergnet
    Cars for Sale Near You

    Share This Photo X