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Retro

This glorious BMW M1 could be yours for the price of a Lamborghini Revuelto

Spare £400k lying around? You've got a new vs used decision to make

Published: 28 Mar 2024

How’s this pristine 1981 BMW M1 to kick-start your Thursday morning? It’s being offered by RM Sotheby’s and is expected to fetch between £340,000 to £430,000. But before we delve into the details, a short history lesson...

Originally conceived to help the Bavarians compete with the mighty Porsche 935 on track, BMW sought a partnership with Lamborghini during the early stages of the M1's development. The collaboration was eventually canned though after just seven prototypes were built. 

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BMW took back control of the project, and in total 56 race-trim cars were built alongside a further 400 road cars for homologation purposes. The example you see here might just be one of the neatest that's come up for sale in some time. With a Brillantrot exterior (or shiny red in plain English) coupled with a Schwarz interior (or black in even plainer English). At its core sits a 3.5-litre inline-six producing 273bhp and 243lb ft of torque. 

But the performance, which was plentiful for its day, isn’t the main reason why the M1 is a hero car for so many; it’s the design. Penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign, the sharp silhouette is led by that pair of kidney grilles and those closed-off alloys with lined gaps acting as the wheel’s spokes. BMW could learn a thing or two from, er, itself, where its modern design language is concerned.

So, for the price of a new Lamborghini Revuelto, you could have this M1 instead. Yes, it’s slower, likely less comfortable and almost certainly not as efficient… but it has pop-up headlights. And we're told that’s often the deciding factor in this kind of debate.

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