autoevolution

BMW M1's Predecessor: BMW Braque Turbo

In the early 1970s BMW's chief designer was a frenchman. His name was Paul Braque and he created a series of innovative cars including the one that provided the basis for BMW's M1, the only supercar in its history.
BMW Braque Turbo 14 photos
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Named Braque Turbo. and unveiled in 1972 at the Munich Summer Olympics, the M1's predecessor wasn't received as it should have. The timing wasn't perfect because, back in those days, car crashes used to claim numerous lives and most people were worried about safety issues.

Cars were built with almost with only one purpose: to protect the ones inside. Some car manufacturers were even testing cars with roll bars fixed above the bodywork. However, BMW decided that the real answer to the high death-toll was to create an agile, clearly structured and maneuverable car.

The concept focused on safety. That made it the safest car BMW produced at the time and the basis for the 1978 M1 Supercar. Only 2 of these cars were ever built and, surprisingly, not at the Munich plant. Both of them were manufactured at Michelotti, in Turin.

Fitted with the best driver assistant features of its time, the Turbo was truly unique. It had ABS, radar-based distance warning, lateral acceleration sensors and many other features that are not available even in some recent cars. Another interesting feature was that in order to be able to start the car, the driver's seatbelt had to be fastened.

This car's legacy still lives on through every BMW on the market today. In this day and age we couldn't even imagine a BMW without ABS or DSC, systems that were first introduced to the BMW world by the Braque Turbo.

 
 
 
 
 

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