A brief cameo from a Bavarian superstar

Back before it was building oodles of luxury compact crossover coupes, BMW had its hands full with some very serious performance cars. One of the most impressive of them all was the BMW M1, which was actually the first model to sport the now ever-present M badge. Now, the M1 is back in this brief 39-second long BMW M Town video.

Straight Outta 1978

The video starts with a business man (who looks a bit like Patrick Bateman) trying to withdraw some cash from a “Bank Of M Town” ATM. The ATM is very close to the road, so the business man must lean over the side of it and dodge traffic.

Then the BMW M1 rolls in. The driver simply goes straight up to the machine, withdraws his money, and leaves. The message is clear - if you live in M Town, make sure you have the right car.

BMW's New M Town Video Showcases the Legendary 1978 BMW M1
- image 833339

It’s always nice to see the M1 in action, even if it’s just on a run to the ATM. The particular example featured here is finished in white, and although we would have liked to see it on screen a little longer, it still looks amazing.

We love the M1’s ultra-sharp front end, plus those pop-up headlights and fastback roofline.

It’s definitely sporty, exotic, and aggressive, but in a blocky, late-‘70s / early-‘80s kind of way. Good stuff all around.

1978 - 1981 BMW M1 Exterior
- image 574641

For those of you who may be unaware, the M1 is an absolute icon in the world of BMW. The M1 was originally co-developed with Lamborghini as a mid-engine sports car destined for race tracks around the world, but BMW ended up finishing the project all on its own.

The body was designed by the famous Giorgetto Giugiaro, who also penned the DMC DeLorean, the De Tomaso Mangusta, the Maserati Ghibli, the Mk. 1 Volkswagen Golf, and many, many others.

1978 - 1981 BMW M1 High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 725102

Motivation is sourced from a twin-cam 3.5-liter inline six-cylinder engine, which produced 273 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque when new. Routed to the rear axle through a five-speed manual transmission from ZF, the BMW M1 could hit 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and go on to reach a top speed of 164 mph.

1979 BMW M1 Procar Restored By Canepa High Resolution Exterior
- image 689409
Note: BMW M1 Procar pictured here.

While the car featured in the above video is a standard street-spec M1, BMW also produced a number of Procar iterations for a one-make professional race series back in the day.

The Procars competed in a support series for Formula 1, and had such legendary names as Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet on the drivers roster.
1978 - 1981 BMW M1 High Resolution Exterior
- image 725107

Just 453 examples of the M1 were built. These days, the M1 is considered one of the most desirable BMWs money can buy. Due to its rarity, unique powertrain, and heritage, individual examples can cost upwards of $500,000. Find one of the top Procar trims in perfect condition, and that figure can jump to an hefty $1,000,000.

What would you do with a BMW M1?

BMW M1 Drivetrain Specifications

Configuration M88 in-line six
Location Mid, longitudinally mounted
Displacement 3.453 liter
Bore / Stroke 93.4 mm (3.7 in) / 84.0 mm (3.3 in)
Compression 9.0:1
Valvetrain 4 valves / cylinder, DOHC
Fuel feed Bosch / Kugelfischer Fuel Injection
Aspiration Naturally Aspirated
Power 273 HP @ 6,500 RPM
Torque 243 LB-FT @ 5,000 RPM
BHP/Liter 80 bhp / liter
Power to weight 0.21 bhp / kg
Top Speed 264.7 km/h (164.1 mph)
0-60 mph 6.5 seconds
0-100 mph 13.3 seconds

Further Reading

1978 - 1981 BMW M1 High Resolution Exterior
- image 574575

Read our full review on the 1978 - 1981 BMW M1.

1979 BMW M1 Procar Restored By Canepa High Resolution Exterior
- image 689403

Read our full review on the 1979 BMW M1 Procar Restored By Canepa.

1978 - 1981 BMW M1 High Resolution Exterior
- image 725114

This Very Orange 1980 BMW M1 Is Up For Sale For $745K

Video: Petrolicious has a Look at the BMW M1
- image 554157

Video: Petrolicious Has A Look At The BMW M1

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: