BMW Proudly Presents the M1 Homage at Villa D Este

BMW M1 Concept
BMW M1 Concept

Production? If not, it should!

The Concorso D’Eleganza Villa D’Este, in the lake Como, in Italy, is sponsored by BMW since it was revived, in 1999, and the German brand always finds space to show amazing concept cars there. Sadly, none of them has made it into production so far. Some of the stars have been the Mille Miglia Concept and the Rolls-Royce 101EX. In this year’s edition of the event, BMW will pay homage to one of its most important cars, the M1, which celebrates 30 years in 2008. But the Bavarian company did not intend only to cherish its creation, it also wanted to present a modern interpretation of that supercar. Meet the M1 Homage concept. With it, the tradition on Villa D’Este’s concepts may be about to change.

It is not only the concept’s striking looks that may give it a chance to be produced, even if in a small scale. The new car may also have come to life in a proper moment for BMW to give its production a serious thought. Mercedes-Benz has realized it may be a good idea to offer supercars and, when SLR’s production ceases, in 2009, it already has plans to revive the Gullwing, currently being tested under a Viper-like body. Even Audi has given it a try and is not complaining about R8 sales and brand-image benefits. Hence, why would BMW stay out of such a market?

It is obvious no one likes to bet if there is no chance of winning, so BMW will probably wait to see public’s reaction on the M1 to consider production. Expect it to be present in the most important autoshows in the next few years, such as Paris and Frankfurt. Anyway, if BMW demands anything else than enthusiastic reception to give the greenlight to this machine, we are sure thousands of World Car Fans will be willing to know what it is. And to have it done.

UPDATE: Full press release now added below.

Source: Asphalte.ch via Autoblog
Published Apr 28th, 2008 9:41pm By Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

Design tribute to the BMW M1 celebrates its world premiere at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2008.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the BMW M1 super sports car, BMW Group Design is presenting a homage to this legendary model as part of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2008. The BMW M1 designed by Giorgio Giugiaro was a car of superlatives and a highly emotive vehicle that was uncompromisingly primed for the race track. Spawning this development was the BMW Turbo by Paul Bracq, a revolutionary concept car which, in addition to its groundbreaking functional design, also boasted a raft of technical innovations. It is from these two unique vehicles that the BMW M1 Homage takes its cue – a design study that pays tribute to its forerunner models and an embodiment of the competence, creativity and potential of the BMW Group Design team.

“For BMW, heritage is always also a living heritage. Drawing inspiration from your own past and thereby reinventing yourself – that is exactly what the BMW M1 Homage demonstrates in impressive style.” Dr Klaus Draeger, BMW Group Board Member, Development

A particular forte of BMW Group Design is to draw on its own powerful history and actively feed this into the design of the future. The BMW M1 Homage is a design study in the tradition of a BMW Turbo that represents a contemporary take on the BMW M1 and the mid-engine concept. This tribute exhibits an emotional design that showcases technology and integrates it into the overall aesthetics of the vehicle.

The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este provides the perfect backdrop for the BMW M1 Homage. Here automotive beauties from the past meet the concept cars and design studies of the future. It is in this dynamic field of tension between past and present that the BMW Group Design team affords insights into its own perspective on a historically inspired automotive future.

Homage to the BMW M1.

“For a company as for a product, it is important to be aware of one’s roots. In the spirit of Giugiaro and Bracq, the BMW M1 Homage unites the BMW values of design and technology in a highly emotional and exciting interpretation.”
Christopher E. Bangle, Director Design BMW Group

The BMW M1 was an utterly uncompromising super sports car oozing passion; its forerunner, the BMW Turbo by Paul Bracq, displayed innovative technical solutions that found their expression in emotional design. It is precisely this blend – of technology and design, rationality and passion – that the BMW M1 Homage embodies. It presents an exciting and authentic interpretation of the BMW M1 and the mid-engine concept from a present-day perspective, and the legacy of the BMW M1 Homage is obvious at first glance. Unquestioningly it takes up the graphic play of the hallmark BMW M1 colours black and orange and interprets them anew. The Liquid Orange paintwork exclusively developed for the BMW M1 Homage cites the classic BMW M1 colour, yet surprises with its powerfully iridescent play of colour and brilliant depth. It shapes the extrovert surface language and strikingly highlights the eloquent interplay of convex and concave surfaces.

Mention the BMW M1, and another feature that immediately springs to mind is the characteristic twin logo at the rear, on the right and left edge above the tail lights. For BMW, this particular arrangement of its emblems has always signalled a mid-engined model. In the development stage of the BMW M1 this dual emblem was the first styling element to be approved even before the initial sketches were drawn. Likewise, it was confirmed from the outset that the BMW M1 Homage would feature the same twin badges. Other specific styling cues taken from the BMW M1 are the air vents in the bonnet and the louvers on the rear windscreen, as well as the black cut line dividing the roofline from the rear section of the body. Overall, the exterior dimensions of the BMW M1 Homage are in keeping with those of the BMW M1; only the extended wheelbase indicates a larger passenger cell.

Emotional design at the flashpoint between tradition and modernism.

The BMW M1 Homage takes long familiar elements from the BMW Design repertoire, reinterprets them and couches them in a new context. Its design brings together past and present, expanding the observer’s perception through new design solutions that find their expression in typical BMW style. If the contrasting colours were a dominant design theme for the BMW M1, this contrast is perpetuated in the BMW M1 Homage through its surface styling. Familiar elements, such as the trademark proportions, are combined with new and exciting lines, surfaces and details to create an up-to-date interpretation of the BMW M1, which remains to this day an extraordinary car.

Shunning the strong wedge shape of other mid-engine cars, the BMW M1 Homage consciously opts for BMW’s characteristic proportions. A relatively long engine compartment, a clearly defined transition into the A-pillar and a stretched window line featuring the “Hofmeister” kink instantly give it away as a bona fide BMW. The horizontal flow of lines lowers the car’s visual centre of gravity and lends it an air of sovereignty.

Though the BMW M1 already boasted extremely harmonious and sporty proportions, its surface design was not yet an explicit styling issue and was dominated by high-contrast graphic themes. Today, however, next to the car’s proportions, it is primarily the unusual surface styling that determines the strong recognition value of a BMW model. For some years now, all BMW vehicles have exhibited a striking and unique design language. The sculpting of the surfaces demands substantial experience and craftsmanship at the highest level. Only through the combination of craft skills, state-of-the-art technology and a sure sense of the personality of each BMW can designers and modellers achieve the overall sculptural effect that lends a BMW its unique character. The BMW M1 Homage systematically melds the proportions and graphic themes of the BMW M1 with the surface language of the new BMW look – a combination that imbues the vehicle with an exciting, sporty and authentic emotionality.

The front-end styling of the BMW M1 Homage adopts many of the graphic design themes of the BMW M1: the contrast between the black, recessed surfaces and the car colour, the small, squat kidney grille and the “invisible” headlamps. And yet the front of the BMW M1 Homage is an absolute novelty for BMW. Each element assumes a function: the hallmark twin kidney, for example, is not only a distinguishing feature of the BMW brand but combines aerodynamic, cooling-air routing and safety solutions. The design of the headlamps, meanwhile, is a new iteration of the retractable headlights of the BMW M1. Like the lamps on the historic model, those on the BMW M1 Homage are only visible when switched on. When not in use they are discreetly integrated into the front-end design and “disappear” into the recessed black cutline, almost like pop-up headlights.

Along the side of the car all the lines, surfaces and details lead the eye from the front end along the stretched engine compartment and clearly defined A-pillars before converging at the centre of the vehicle. Two expressive lines are drawn from the front along the flanks of the vehicle towards the engine compartment area. The flow of lines begins in a straight, disciplined fashion at the front end, lowering the optical centre of gravity of the BMW M1 Homage and highlighting its low-slung stance. From the middle of the car, however, the lines break up. The power of the design is focused precisely where the power of the vehicle also lies – at the engine. Strong, sensuous sweeping lines accentuate the car’s mid-engine concept, the design emphasising the mechanics behind it, the engineering skills and the engine expertise of the BMW Group.

The roofline of the BMW M1 Homage is flatly tapered, extending into and around the rear. In so doing it draws a continuous line and forms a link between the two sides of the car. It is on this line, above the tail lights, that the hallmark twin BMW logo can also be found.

“Engineering is beautiful – let’s show it!”

The overall design is driven by functionality and each detail has its purpose. Aspects such as aerodynamics, cooling-air routing and safety lend the BMW M1 Homage technical substance and make it a genuine BMW. A telling symbol of this is the kidney grille design of the BMW M1 Homage, fulfilling as it does several functions at the same time. The twin kidney isn’t just a signature BMW feature, it is also part of the car’s honed aerodynamics: it guides the air to the engine cooling as well as constituting the front section of a crash box, similar to the monocoque chassis of a Formula One race car.

Inspired by aircraft design, the car as a whole also boasts sophisticated air ducting through the body. For example, the cooling-air routing for the engine is positioned below the roofline, in the black recessed cut line along the side of the vehicle behind the window graphic. Small flaps and openings guide the air stream into the engine compartment to ensure an adequate supply of cooling air.

Vision and inspiration.

“The BMW M1 Homage clearly manifests the creativity and potential of the BMW Design team. A project such as this is a valuable source of inspiration for our day-to-day work.” Adrian van Hooydonk, Director Design BMW Automobiles

The BMW M1 Homage holds great significance for the BMW Group Design team, its genesis epitomising both a living tradition and an innovative future. This vehicle is designed as a source of inspiration; it sets out to challenge us to question and rethink what we see around us. The BMW M1 Homage pays eloquent tribute to the BMW Turbo and the BMW M1, which in their design were well ahead of their time. Originally slated as “merely” a design study or small series, their influence remains very palpable today – 30 years on.

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Comments (77)

falcon925 falcon925
i love the design on it.i want it so badly
Nov 7th, 2009 12:30pm
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Triou Triou
It must require special talent to make something so much ugly. I really can't express how ugly this abomination is.
May 9th, 2008 2:59am
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Moko Moko
frankly, it is growing on me lol...the front is really bimmer like and the back is stunning indeed.I wish the sides would have been better looking but the car is great.Will it ever see production?? only time will tell lol
Apr 29th, 2008 6:03pm
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Aesthetics Aesthetics
wow....bangle flaunting his ego again....applying flame surfacing to the legendary giugiaro original M1.
Apr 29th, 2008 3:51pm
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out4ride out4ride
Bmw's 850 was the best looking sports car. Why don't they bring it back? It looked better then this or is this new 850?
Apr 29th, 2008 12:09pm
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ck314 ck314
haha the 850 was the most boring, soft bimmer design ever
Apr 29th, 2008 11:39pm
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benz_man benz_man
May 2nd, 2008 9:53am
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v6s_stink v6s_stink
It does look like a spanner crab. I see that BMW is now copying MB's lead with their spiny boxfish. I think the boxfish is much less fussy than the crab, though
Apr 29th, 2008 11:30am
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bassam bassam
frist,i like the idea of this concept. second,i want to tell all of those who say they don't like the design especially the rims is that this car has to look like the old one in some ways (so it calls m1 concept) third, don't say your opinion before look to the old one finally,it is just an idea this is not aproduction car if it goes into production (and i hope)there will be alot of differance. I LOVE BMW
Apr 29th, 2008 8:51am
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I love it. (Except the wheels and the gaping hole beneath the kidneys.) BMW needs a super car badly. It's the only missing piece to a perfect beautiful puzzle.
Apr 29th, 2008 7:19am
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odysseus odysseus
i like it too! :))
Apr 29th, 2008 6:15am
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w00d00 w00d00
KURVA! ktory kokot mi zmazal prispevok???
Apr 29th, 2008 4:58am
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norther norther
i like it, it's pretty nice. it reminds me of the bmw NAZCA..of course that one was a beaut. what this just isn't, but im sure they will change a lot of things till this would be ready....if they intend it for the streets.
Apr 29th, 2008 4:53am
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_M7_ _M7_
Nice...ugly rims, mabye they trying to made the same thing as american...no imagination to designe so they made old-new cars
Apr 29th, 2008 4:00am
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unknownuser unknownuser
WOW!!!! That thing is beutiful. I really hope there is a chance for production.
Apr 29th, 2008 2:17am
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JohnnyG JohnnyG
I am not liking the front at all. I also am not a fan of the rims.
Apr 28th, 2008 11:06pm
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Speedoholic Speedoholic
Looks aggressive and beautiful. BMW are only celebrating M1's 30th anniversary. Like it or not they're not producing it.
Apr 28th, 2008 9:57pm
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The_woo_factor The_woo_factor
car looks like a spanner crab
Apr 28th, 2008 9:36pm
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kevoluetion kevoluetion
I think those wheels would look good as my bathroom drainer
Apr 28th, 2008 9:21pm
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amade.ch amade.ch
wow, am i the only one who likes the design of this car? it is a fantastic mixture of the original bmw m1, the bracq car and a new bmw design. there are plenty of details that remind me of the original bmw m1 which i always liked a lot. the wheels, the bmw-badges on both sides of the rear end, the flat frontlights.... i can't get enought. please build it, just like this!
Apr 28th, 2008 6:25pm
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Moko Moko
im not in love with it but i kinda like it lol, it's striking and at this point we know that Bimmers have that "wtf is that car" effect...hopefully upgrades will be made and the car will see production...cant wait for the Benz response, yes indeed
Apr 28th, 2008 6:22pm
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The_woo_factor The_woo_factor
BMW proudly presents M1? I think they should be ashamed of themselves! This car looks like bits of metal mashed together, or a car wreck! Seriously guys.... u cant say this looks good.
Apr 28th, 2008 6:05pm
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Lutzie Lutzie
yes i bloody can!
May 4th, 2008 4:27pm
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The_woo_factor The_woo_factor
Wow....it is different. American styling front and Lambo/ferrari back? Another ugly styling. Come on people, cant anyone in BMW design?
Apr 28th, 2008 6:02pm
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