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All Tests
F7 F9 

  BMW 2 - 1978 M1 (E 26)

BMW M1 3.496 cm3 (93,4 * 84,0), 9,0 : 1, DOHC, 4V, mechanical petrol injection, dry sump lubrication, 330 Nm 5000/min, 204 kW (277 PS) 6500/min, 5-speed, double wishbone, coil springs, disks ventilated, 10,0/23,5 x 16/12,5/25,0 x 16, 4,36/2,4/1,82/1,14 m, 300 litre, 116 Liter, 1.300 kg, 250 km/h, 12V, 55 Ah, 910 W, 1978-81 (399)

Here the Kugelfischer injection with 'space cam', but for 4 cylinders

Already in the chapter about the Turbo X1 we pointed out the differences in technology to the M1. Here it goes on like this, because the M1 is by no means a showpiece with limited utility value, but is the result of concrete considerations, which presumably come from the Motorsport department that has existed since 1972. In contrast to the decade before, BMW is doing splendidly. The six-cylinder start was a success and the CSL has already achieved considerable success in motorsport.

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But what happens next? The main designer of the Turbo X1, Paul Bracq, left the company for Peugeot in 1974. And a racing project is also a completely new number. After all one avoids (still) Formula 1, but for the homologation in group 4 of the brand world championship at least 400 vehicles in 24 months are required. The idea, which seems to be quite conclusive, is to develop a competitive racing car and derives a production vehicle approved for road use from it.

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The brochure also admits this openly and looks for buyers who are looking for a vehicle related to the racing version and obviously also for BMW dealers who are looking for a representative top model for their exhibition. After all, 100,000 DM were initially targeted. Since they only had the capacity for pure technology, Ital Design, under the direction of Giorgio Giugiaro, was chosen to be responsible for the styling and Lamborghini with the production. Unlike Turbo X1, this time the body is made of GRP over a steel grid frame.

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Unfortunately, Giuguaro had obviously been limited to much by the definition of style elements of the Turbo X1. Paul Bracq had been quite free because of the lack of time. So some of the experts were quite unwilling to accept the result. The public, on the other hand, was quite different. However, they did not see the car at the Geneva Salon in spring 1978, as planned, but only in autumn in Paris. But Lamborghini was getting worse and worse. Ferrucio Lamborghini had since long sold the company. Don't they notice that enough in Munich?

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The company had actually committed itself to providing the 400 copies by the spring of 1979, but none of this was done. Finally, a trio of Ital Design, Transformationi Italiani Rimini, who was responsible for the GFK skin, the Marchesi company provided the frame for an emergency completion. Baur from Stuttgart was also be involved. In addition there was a nevertheless quite sluggish demand. Thus, the possible date for homologation was considerably delayed. Only in 1981 would this have had been possible.

The car itself got good marks, except for the enormous noise pollution and the handling, which needed getting used to by normal drivers, when a certain lateral force is exceeded. Naturally for mid-engine sports car typical phenomena and the first gear down left e.g. a 914/6 also had. Astonishing for a project derived from racing was the driving comfort, even compared to very sporty today of nowadays. Again such a difference to the Turbo X1: In front coil springs are installed instead of torsion bars. The front part of the car therefore offered sufficient support.

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20 cm longer is the M1 with 16 cm more wheelbase. The longitudinally mounted straight six-cylinder makes it necessary. Width and height are almost the same. It should weigh only 1,300 kg, despite 20 litres of coolant and two tanks with a total of 116 litres of fuel. Exemplars, which are driven at the possible performance limit, can inhale up to 20 litres/100km. With 44 to 56 per cent the car is despite mid-mounted engine slightly tail-heavy. The top speed of 262 km/h shows the body as relatively streamlined. 390 Nm 7000/min and 345 kW (470 PS) possible in the racing version show 9100/min, which potential is still in the production engine.

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In 1979 Andy Warhol painted an M1 from the Procar series and increased the value considerably. We report about the racing version of the M1 in an extra chapter.

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