• Watching One BMW M1 ProCar Do Gurngel Hillclimb is a Treat, Three is Heaven On Earth

Watch three BMW M1 race cars doing hillclimb runs at full throttle

BMW may be famous nowadays for its premium sedans, sports coupes, and grand tourers, but at some point, it built a really awesome mid-engined sports car. Yes, I’m talking about the short-lived M1, which was built from 1978 to 1981 in only 453 units. Developed and built by BMW’s racing division, the M1 was a homologation special for sports car racing. The initial intent was to field it against Porsche in Group 5 racing, but delays in production and changes in Group 5 forced BMW to compete in Group 4.

Watching One BMW M1 ProCar Do Gurngel Hillclimb is a Treat, Three is Heaven On Earth
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The M1 proved competitive on the race track, scoring notable results in Group 4 and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. BMW also created a one-make championship for the M1, which ran for two years as a support series for Formula One. The road car was powered by a 3.5-liter inline-six engine rated at 273 horsepower, but the race cars were notably more powerful than that. With only 453 units built, the M1 is a rare collectible, but the race-spec cars are even harder to find. Of the 453 examples built, 399 were road-going units, while only 53 were made for racing. So being able to see not one, but three race-spec M1s being driven hard at a Hillclimb event, like in the video below, is downright incredible.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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1978 - 1981 BMW M1

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