- Homologation: 01.03.1983 (B240)
- Weight: 1150 kg (2535 lbs)
- Engine: 3453 cc Inline 6 cylinder
- Power: 430 hp
The BMW M1 first competed at world championship level on the 1983 Tour of Corsica, the same event as Lancia’s 037. Driven by Bernard Béguin, it produced 430Bhp from it’s 3.5l 6cyl engine, and weighed 1150kg. The car was run by the ORECA team and sponsored by BMW & Motul. The car retired from the event but went on to score two second places, one on the 1983 Lyon-Charbonnieres rally and another at the Antibes rally. Main problems with the car were reliability and size. It was a good twenty cm wider than anything else competing at the time. The car never competed on a gravel event.
The BMW M Legacy
The BMW Motorsport department was tasked with designing and building a powerful, lightweight derivative of the three series. The purpose of the M3 was to compete in the FIA Group A racing. Over five-thousand examples were hand-built by BMW Motorsport.
The first M3 was based on the E30 platform and was introduced to Europe in 1986 and the United States a year later. Production continuted until 1990. In a short amount of time, the E30 M3 scored thousands of victories making it one of the most successful touring machine in history. Under the hood of the M3 lurked a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with twin-cam four-valve head with Bosch fuel-injection and rated at 192 horsepower. There was also a 238 horsepower “Evolution” engine offered in Europe. The 2850 pound vehicle with five-speed manual transmission could go from zero-to-sixty mph in less than seven seconds. The top speed was 140 miles-per-hour.