Revival race to be held this July.
BMW has made – and raced – an impressive array of high-performance machinery over the years. But (with apologies to the i8), it only ever made one proper mid-engined supercar, and it raced it extensively. Now 40 years later, the Bavarian automaker is bringing it back for a one-day-only event.
The car to which we refer is the M1, designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro and developed jointly by Lamborghini and the nascent BMW M division. At its head sat a relatively modest 3.5-liter straight six, producing 273 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque. But the racing versions went even further.
In Group 5 spec and with a turbocharger in place, it packed as much as 1,000 horsepower. But the racing version for which the M1 is arguably best remembered is the Procar that bridged the gap to the road-going version to produce 470 hp. But what it may have lacked in power it more than made up for in spectacle.
Running in support of European grands prix, the Procar series saw F1 pilots competing against independent and up-and-coming racing drivers. It only ran for two years in 1979 and 1980, with Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet winning the titles to go with their Formula One crowns.
Now four decades later, BMW Group Classic is pulling fourteen M1 Procars out of its archives for a revival race, set to be held in July during the DTM race at the Norisring – one of the circuits that hosted the 19 races back in the day. And among those set to take the wheel are Jan Lammers and Marc Surer, both of whom competed in the series 40 years ago.
BMW's only done this twice before: at Hockenheim in 2008 and at the Red Bull Ring two years ago. Rare as the chance is, we're looking forward to seeing the M1 Procars back in action.