The BMW Turbo Concept & Its M1 Successor

As most of us won’t be attending the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Lake Como (May 25-27), we won’t have the opportunity to see one of the storied concepts in automotive history: The first concept car ever built by BMW.

As most of us won’t be attending the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Lake Como (May 25-27), we won’t have the opportunity to see one of the storied concepts in automotive history: The first concept car ever built by BMW.

So here it is:

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The BMW Turbo debuted in 1972. The car was designed by Paul Bracq.

The first BMW concept car in 1972?!

Yes. According to a BMW spokesperson, “The company had done one-offs before then, particularly in the 1930’s, but those were race cars, usually built for the Mille Miglia.”

Arguably, eight years later that concept took form in the 1978 BMW M1, as is apparent from this:

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While it is now the norm for concept cars to be damned close to what shows up in production, clearly BMW was ahead of its time.