Partly the result of an aborted partnership with Lamborghini, the BMW M1 represented a couple of forward steps for the Bavarian automobile manufacturer. This unique mid-engine concept was conceived of as a homologation enterprise that would yield racing cars in fairly large quantities. Disagreements between the two companies saw the shared project abandoned by Lamborghini, which led to the BMW M1 becoming a strictly BMW automobile. For a brief stretch of1978-1981, the BMW M1 was manufactured (hand-built, in fact) by BMWs motorsport division that was responsible for the companys Formula One designs and other racing-related undertakings.
Under the guiding vision of Italian car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, the BMW M1 was modeled in part on Paul Bracqs innovative 1972 BMW Turbo. From its low-profile chassis to its aerodynamic body, the M1 embodied the racing mystique in both form and function. Situated between the front and rear axles, as the M1 was a mid-engined design, was the 3.5 liter, 6-cylinder, DOHC (twin-cam) M88 motor, and, like the 2002 Turbo, used a mechanical fuel-injection system. Producing 204 kW, the M88 pushed out a remarkable 273 horsepower, which allowed for a face-stretching top-speed of 162 miles per hour. The racing-quality turbocharged models could yield 850 horsepower, or triple that of the non-racing variant.
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