Just a quick few thoughts before Dickie Meaden hopefully gives us great coverage of the Nurburgring 24 Hours over the weekend. The race will definitely be worth following, if only just to see what must surely be the best looking entry the race has ever seen (you can read about the development of the V12 Zagato race car in evo 159).
Right, to business... Following the universally popular reception afforded to the 1-Series M Coupe, BMW has also revealed the new M5 this week, all 552bhp and £73,040 of it. Following what seemed to be a diversion from the brand ethos with the X5 and X6 M models, I for one think it is great that BMW is returning to what most of us see as its roots with M cars and producing small coupes and saloons with monster performance and handling capabilities.
However, I would like to use this blog to celebrate the history of the M car as we approach what is undoubtedly a new era in the brand's history. I am not here to bemoan the use of turbocharged engines as I feel BMW more than anybody will make best of the hand dealt to them by our EU overlords. It is simply impossible in 2011 to commission an NA powerplant with a ludicrously high rev ceiling when such stringent environmental dictats are being applied. Just look at the Honda S2000.... And whilst I can't see why a 1 Series Coupe should weigh 1525kg, this is not the time to do another 'cars are too heavy, they have too much equipment, blah blah' rant. I've already done one of them...
No, what I'd really like to talk about is my (limited) experiences of BMW M-cars from days gone by and, probably more interestingly, what you guys have got to say also. As we wave goodbye to great engines such as the V10 from the most recent M5s and M6s (which also spawned the current M3s V8, it must be remembered) and most probably manual gearboxes fairly soon also, what are the best recollections you have?
My experiences have been sadly been so far limted to the passenger seat and the spectator's chair, but I still have some great memories of M-cars. Having a passenger ride in an E92 M3 Competition and discovering that V8's insatiable appetite for revs is a particular favourite. Witnessing two E46 CSLs race each other at a Silverstone track day is another. Above all others though, is watching an Historic Saloons race at Snetterton that featured an innocuous looking E34 M5 which subsequently proceeded to monster the opposition in its race, wailing, screaming and sliding the whole time. Fantastic, but I'm sure you guys have some even better stories!
And just finally, what about an M-mix? Obviously I'm not condoning such action but, if you could, which M products would you mix-and-match to create the ultimate M-car? I only mention it as I've just thought what a V10-engined, manual, original M1 could be like and I really like the idea!