The BMW M1 is one of the Roundel’s most iconic models, but was extremely short-lived due to an unfavorable climate and story as to how the car came to be, leading to its demise in 1981.
As the story has it, the BMW M1 was a cooperative project between the German automaker and Lamborghini, and was built as an homologation special so that the M1 could compete in the World Championship for Makes, leading to the introduction of the equally famous, BMW M1 Procar, as well as its own racing series as a supportive supplement to the Formula One Program.
However, that program was sacked and the series ran for a very short period, as did the production of the M1.
But according to CARandDRIVER, who spoke to the Alpina’s founder, Burkard Bovensiepen, BMW could’ve continued producing the M1 had they entered an agreement with Alpina. However, Alpina wanted to implement a series of changes to the M1 in order to make the car competitive with other supercars at the time.
Such changes included extending the car’s wheelbase to deal with complaints about the original M1’s confined and cramped passenger cell, given the car was designed for the racetrack, though modified for production and consumers. But ultimately, Alpina decided not to continue building the M1 due to high costs and the long list of changes needed to be made in order for the car to succeed. Essentially, it was a classic case of the car not making a viable business proposition.
But either way, imagine what could’ve been had Alpina decided to continue making the M1… Shoulda, coulda, woulda though.
– By: Chris Chin