BMW's supercar icon, the M1, blew out the candles at the Concorso d'Eleganza at Villa d'Este this weekend. In honor of the car's thirtieth birthday, BMW rolled out the new BMW M1 Hommage, a concept/design study that pays tribute to the original M1 and shows what could be possible if BMW were to produce a new mid-engined sports car. Follow the jump for the breakdown.
The BMW M1 Hommage blends a wide, aggressive stance with intentionally retro/modern twists on the key visual elements that defined Paul Bracq's original BMW Turbo concept and the Giugiaro-designed M1 homologation special that followed. It is instantly recognizable as an M1, particularly in profile, where the M1 Hommage's basic shape clearly mimics that of its forebear. BMW's stylists also incorporated similar nods the particulars of the original, such as the louvered rear window; the badge placement in back; the line extending aft from the side glass; and even the wheel design, which is an exaggerated take on the ones you'll find on the original road car. Poring over the details of the Homage is akin to going on an Easter Egg hunt.
The greatest departure is seen in front, where BMW has given the M1 Hommage a sinister, imposing face. Naturally, BMW's prominent double-kidney grille is front and center. Its joined by outboard intakes and a trapezoidal lower opening designed to swallow and direct air for both cooling purposes and aerodynamic effect. The car's four round headlights lurk behind thin slits in the front fascia, remaining essentially invisible until they're illuminated -- a tip of the cap to the hideaway nature of the classic M1's flip-up lamps.
There appears to be no interior, and BMW doesn't even bother mentioning specific powertrain possibilities. The M1 Hommage is strictly a design exercise meant to celebrate an icon, but it also reminds us that Munich can do the supercar thing, too. Maybe one day it will again.