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BMW M1 concept news - Up the M1 - 2008

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The BMW M1 is back! Well, sort of. This is the M1 Hommage, a concept study unveiled and organised by BMW at the Concorso d’Eleganza di Villa d’Este 2008 this weekend. The where?

The Villa d’Este is an upmarket little concourse on the banks of Lake Como. The sort of place, in fact, that you’d expect to find a mint 1978 M1, so just the sort of place to introduce this to concept celebrating the 30th anniversary of the original M1.

With similar proportions to the original M1 - though with a longer wheelbase - the Hommage sits wide and low, and frankly looks a little bit scary. Sinister, even. In a nod to the M1’s flip-up headlights, the four headlights hide behind the front fascia, meaning they’re near-invisible until lit.

More echoes of the Seventies icon can be seen in the slatted rear deck and bonnet vents, but that strange love-it-or-hate-it ‘flame surfacing’ is pure modern Bangle styling. There are, of course, the standard high-concept touches - tiny wing mirrors, invisible door handles, oversized shiny alloys…

So is this the forerunner for the much-rumoured mid-engined competitor to the Audi R8? Erm, no. Sorry. BMW is at pains to point out that the Hommage is a mere design exercise in celebration of an icon, and makes no mention of even theoretical powertrains or, in fact, any technical details of any kind.

We reckon the 4.2-litre V8 from the M3 would fit rather nicely under that rear deck, BMW. Just a suggestion…

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