• BMW M1 Family Tree
  • Left to right: BMW M1 Hommage, BMW M1, BMW Turbo concept

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Every spring, the finest automobiles ever to grace tarmac gather on the shores of Lake Como for the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. It's a chance for the most beautiful classics to compete for awards and for automakers and design studios to show off their concept cars under the soft light of the Italian sun. But while most of the vehicles old and new that show up for the concours are ones we've seen before, BMW takes things a step further.

Automobile has taken a look into the medium-term future product plans of the German automakers, and one of the interesting nuggets is that BMW is still working on an M8. An updated BMW M1 has been a fantasy since the last of the 456 original M1s rolled off the line in 1981, and we're told that the coming M8 will finally be the proper successor.

For at least two years, BMW has been teasing the idea of making a supercar, the kind that would glare with laser headlights at the Audi R8 and say, "Yeah, I'm lookin' at you." Way back in early 2008, the car was rumored to be a twin-turbo V10 with 625 horsepower. A year later, it was going to be the gentler, greener two-seat Z10 ED with a twin-turbo six cylinder and 400 hp. A year later still, the 1.5-liter, three-cylinder, hybrid i8 inherited the green supercar mantle.

Inside Line reports that BMW's M division wants to play with the other kids and develop its own car, but it's got to wait on parent BMW to say Alles klar. This isn't new; they've been public about the desire for at least two years. The holdup, naturally, is that bean-and-spreadsheet wielding boogeyman named The Business Case: any in-house M offering has to feed the profit motive before getting the okay.