Photo Comparison: BMW i8 and BMW M1

3 months ago by Eric Loveday 16

BMW i8 and BMW M1

BMW i8 and BMW M1

As a diehard BMW fan, I’ll tell you that the BMW M1 is one of the most sought after BMWs ever built.

In total, only 456 M1 were ever built.  Today, these “Ultimate Driving Machines” fetch upwards of $200,000 for pristine used examples.

BMW Blog describes the M1 as follows:

“The M1 came to life in 1978 at the Paris Motor Show as the M divisions first ever creation.The M1 coupe was hand-built between 1978 and 1981 as a homologation special for sports car racing. The body was designed by Giugiaro, taking inspiration from the 1972 BMW Turbo show car.”

“At the time of its launch, it was one of the fastest and most dynamic cars on the market. It featured a 277 horsepower 3.5-liter straight-six engine and could reach speeds in excess of 160 mph. The redline came at 7,000 rpm and the M1 was capable of accelerating from 0-62 mph in 5.6 seconds.”

i8 and M1

i8 and M1

Auto Motor und Sport had the rare opportunity to capture the BMW M1 along with today’s equivalent, the BMW i8.  The comparison write-up found on Auto Motor und Sport is worth a read (it’s in German though).

But what caught our attention is how similar the two BMWs appear from the outside.

While the M1 was decades ahead of its time, we’d say the i8 is leading us into the near future.

i8 and M1

i8 and M1

Seeing these two rare machines side-by-side provides us with a perfect example of how BMW continues to incorporate its design heritage into its modern-day automobiles.  Perhaps that’s not true with the i3, but it’s ever-so clear with the i8 when it’s seen next to the M1.

Source: Auto Motor und Sport via BMW Blog

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18 responses to "Photo Comparison: BMW i8 and BMW M1"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    Eric a die hard BMW fan. I have friends like this. and I had a very fast K12S motorcycle and Tom M is a BMW fan so I will try to temper my comments from hear on out (spelling error Anon you better jump on that).

    The Germans are good engineers. I had to work with them on the Airbus A320 program. I must say they are very attentive to the details.

    but I can’t for the life of me understand their fascination with straight 6′s…..and then they will do something like put 2 turbo’s on ONE straight 6. I know, I know, I have heard the technical rationale (torque blah blah) but that M1 should have a V8 in it.

    1. James says:

      George, you know I’m no fan of BMW, but as a kid I loved the M1, it’s rarity and mystique. Truthfully’, I’d rather have a later-run Acura NSX – V-6 and better dynamically in every way. As an investor, you have to go M1 – maybe sell it to Loveday or some other BMW trooper and pocket the big payday ( and then buy the NSX or NSX-T ).

      Also used to be enamored with German engineering of anything from coffee pots to clothes steamers – but later realized Germans can make garbage just like everyone else. Just because a bunch of ex-Nazi rocket scientists got our space program off the ground and to the Moon – it doesn’t mean Space-X and privateers cannot do it better right here grown in the USA. Tesla should show the world that good stuff can still come from America and we don’t need Frank Weber or any other German to make it happen. No German car can match Tesla for what a luxury passenger car was made to do. Race cars? That’s a different story.

      I used to think – as useless as i8 is to anyone but a rich – very rich early adopter who has no need for a back seat – that i8 was very slick and futuristic. Instead of growing on me, the curvy black panels and blue highlights just annoy me now. I think i8 has many goofie looking elements – McLarens, Bugattis, Porsches and others achieve equal functionality without all the carbon fiber flaps and air inlets that look like something off of a Hot Wheels car.

    2. James says:

      George – I’m not sure how old you are, but I believe we’ve been around enough to learn that the straight six ( and slant six ) are history’s most reliable piston engines. Some Chevrolet straight sixes have been known to go nearly a million miles before a rebuild. DOHC European sixes are reknowned racing engines credited with many epic victories over the decades. There is something about the straight bank of cylinders that lends to extreme reliability and also packaging that fits into a narrower, sleeker car.

  2. Brandon TSLA says:

    In general BMW’s are pretty overrated… and the drivers are complete dicks lol and thats a fact not an opinion.

    1. cs4444 says:

      Wow, very insightful comment. Its a perfect example of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. I guess this is a good summary of all Tesla owners?

      1. James says:

        While Frandon TSLA paints with a very broad brush encompassing ALL BMW DRIVERS, it would be fair to say the stereotype that all BMW drivers are dicks on the road became so because in a large part it is true. I’ve never been run off the road by a fat accountant in a Tesla who thought the freeway offramp was LeMans and he was taking an Audi for the Prototype win…But this seems to be the case for parking lot dorks nationwide who drive BMWs. Even many women who bought the X3 or X5 Sport Cracktivity Vehicle run you down as you try to cross the mall parking lot!

        You see, cs444 – perhaps you drive your BMW sanely on the street and don’t put people’s children at risk – and it’s those other BMW drivers who bought into spending more than their annual wage for “THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE”, and bought into the hype and PR. Maybe you only drive fast and loose on the track. Good for you. But for all those other BMW drivers – they do drive like dicks and
        most likely it’s because they don’t engage their brain before they engage their BMW’s ignition.

        1. cs4444 says:

          I couldn’t disagree more, to stereotype BMW drivers in such a way is childish and inaccurate. News flash dicks drive all car bands, without bias. Maybe you just notice the BMW’s because they perform better than your average car so they stand out. Just seems like you guy have some insecurities that need to be resolved.

          1. cs4444 says:

            BTW I don’t drive a BMW, I just find it humorous that people that dislike the brand go out of their way to post(and try and spread misinformation) on an article about BMW, because of insecurities they may have. Seems kinda weak to me…

            1. Aaron says:

              Speaking of that, have they started installing the turn signal stalks on BMWs yet? None of the turn signals seem to work on the BMWs around here.

              /I keed…

        2. Interesting says:

          Maybe I’m driving on the wrong roads, but I if consider the number of times I see people swerving in traffic aggressively, tailgating, or flying by at unsafe speeds as “dicks” then Mustangs top my list, followed by modded Asian imports and VW Golfs.

    2. edmspirit says:

      Its not a fact, it is a stereotype. Honestly I bet more than half of all of you on this website haven’t owned a bimmer and never will; so you all should really reconsider judging drivers by their cars because those who drive BMWs never seem to say anything about other drivers, yet those who drive 12 year old Chevy Malibus always seem to be shit talking them either way. I think it just envy of success. Besides the point, BMWs have a legacy with the i8s design cues to fulfill and historically have used the straight 6 in their racing cars just as Porsche has used boxers 6s in most of their racing cars. I rest my case.

  3. Jack says:

    I always like the joke…

    What is the difference between a porcupine and a BMW??

    The porcupine has the pricks on the outside…

    Though now I will be looking at the i3 when my Leaf lease runs out…oh well.

  4. Spec9 says:

    It looks like a Delorean.

  5. pjwood says:

    I think BMW is far ahead, and much closer to winning product in PHEV/BEV, than VW Group (VW, Audi, Porsche). Detlev, here, practically admits diesel’s failure, before Matt Miller saves him:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/video/new-850k-porsche-is-very-cheap-for-what-it-is-ceo-L0aTKp9eTqWUMKEo_Xpf~Q.html

  6. vadik_veselovsky says:

    BMW builds extremely good cars worth every dollar, also based on an unfortunately too short a personal experience.

    No other car drives so well and I never felt seated better.

    Hopefully the i series will carry on the glorious marque.

  7. Elroy says:

    BMW engineering is usually way ahead of its time. Ellipsoid headlights in 1988. Xenon in 91, and now Laser even. All their cars had ABS in 1986. They also make some of the finest motorcycles today. The straight six is still one of the smoothest, best balanced, and powerful engines for its displacement. Plenty of straight six 3-3.2 liter supra, and M3s make 1000hp nowadays.

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