The latest model of BMW's M1, which is meant to rival the Audi R8, will go on sale in 2012. It may a long while to go but BMW says that we can expect "stunning design, impressive fuel economy and incredible performance" to come as standard with the new model. The latest M1 is based on the Vision EfficientDynamics Concept and was the company's star of the Frankfurt Motor Show.
It is visually arresting due to its ultra-low ride height, active aerodynamics and an aggressive rear end. For its interiors, two-plus-two seating is featured.
The car's low-slung driving position will be surrounded by cutting-edge technology, including a digital dash and multimedia connectivity. Information such as speed and speed limits and economy and sat-nav functions is available from a three-dimensional head-up display. You can also expect an advanced version of BMW's iDrive cabin control system.
For all its gadgets, the car has limited practicality. It appears BMW chose to deliver a machine that sets a new benchmark for performance and efficiency, rather than comforts.
A remarkable development is the 1.5-litre hybrid engine, a three-cylinder unit that will be paired with a powerful electric motor.
Together, they offer more than 350bhp and 800Nm of torque. For fuel economy, top speed is electronically limited to around 155mph and the car is able to go from 0-60mph in less than five seconds.
To make the most of this raw speed, the M1 will be equipped with BMW's Air Curtain system, which channels airflow through the front bumper and out ahead of the front wheels.
Turbulence is reduced in the wheel arches and this cuts the car's drag coefficient to 0.22Cd -- the lowest of any BMW.
Due to the subtle folds in the bodywork, a downforce is created without the need to use large spoilers. A source says that the engine is "virtually production ready" while part of the hybrid system will debut in the new petrol-electric X6 Hybrid. Its DCT gearbox, which is available in the M3, offers quick shifts. He adds that the car is ready for the road.