DEC 17th 2014

Conceptual Art: 2008 BMW M1 'Hommage'

bmw-hommage-m1-concept

As names for concept cars go, the ‘Hommage’ doesn’t sound like something I’d want to boast about. ‘Firebird’, ‘Testarossa’, or ‘Phantom’ yes, but to be asked by what means I’ve arrived somewhere and have to answer ‘oh, I’m in a Hommage’ would give the impression that I’m driving something like a Cedric (Nissan) or even a Lettuce (Mitsubishi) …

bmw-m1-hommage-concept

However, in this case the dodgy moniker was applied by BMW to its 2008 M1 retro-concept and the car is way more stunning than its name might suggest. The overall shape is instantly recogniseable as a descendant of the original 1978 masterpiece, but makes use of what BMW described as ‘flame surfacing’. This is a design style which apparently used the arrangement of shadows and highlights to define the surfaces of the car, just as it did with the Bangle era 5-series et al.

bmw-m1-hommage-concept

There are one or two aspects to the design (which, like the original was created by Giugiaro) that were echoed on the i8, like the rear deck-lid and the way it swoops down to meet the rear light units. The rest of the shape reprises the original M1 with the exception of the double headlights at the front instead of pop-up items. 

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The signs are that it was never intended to be built, but used instead as inspiration for the i8 along with the BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics concept. This is a shame because surely something like this would sell easily today? The amount of units built would need to be limited of course (just 453 M1s were built) but a chunky premium would unlikely put buyers off, and would probably pinch a few sales off the likes of Lamborghini and Ferrari in the process. 

bmw-hommage-m1-concept

Alas, as with so many gorgeous concepts it remains just that. Damn it looks good …

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