One of the main reasons cited by BMW for the lack of such a model is the need for a suitable business case.
However, you only have to look at the success of the Audi R8 and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG to realize that there is substantial demand for high-end sports cars from the mainstream luxury brands.
The more likely issue at hand is that BMW plans to launch its own eco-friendly super sports car next year in the form of the i8 plug-in hybrid, which no doubt would be in competition with any M1 successor.
To circumvent this issue, Automobilwoche, citing Autobild, is reporting that BMW M will wait until 2016 to launch its M1 successor so that the i8 will have sufficient time to establish itself on the market without additional competition.
Given the lengthy gestation period for the new M1 then, engines, performance, and just about everything else is up in the air. The German reports suggest a turbocharged and direct-injected V-8 with between 600 and 650 horsepower on tap.
It’s also said to be a completely new project, and not to be based on any current BMW vehicle. It will instead be something completely unique to BMW M--just like the original M1. To distinguish it from the i8 and keep costs down, conventional steel and aluminum construction will likely be favored over more exotic carbon fiber. The targeted curb weight should be around 2,800 pounds.
Note, there’s a good chance that the new car won’t be called the M1 due to the halo status of the original. Instead, we’re likely to see something similar, possibly even M10, which BMW recently trademarked.
Pictured above is the stunning M1 Homage concept first shown at the Villa D'Este Concours in 2008.