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May 06, 2008

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The BMW M1 HOMAGE Stands For Heritage As Inspiration

Munich/Cernobbio - To mark the 30th anniversary of the BMW M1 super sports car, BMW Group Design presented 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.

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.

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 louvres on the rear windscreen, as well as the black cutline 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.

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.

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.

Photos: BMW

(April 30, 2008)


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