By Ronan Glon
Wednesday, Dec 4th, 2013 @ 2:16 am
 

The long-rumored successor to the iconic BMW M1 of the late 1970s will make its public debut in 2016, a new report finds.
Dubbed M8, the supercar will be loosely inspired by the M1 Hommage concept that bowed at the 2008 Villa d'Este Concours d'Elegance but its body will not incorporate as many retro styling cues. The M8 will ride on a modified version of the eco-friendly i8's platform, making it significantly lighter than the Mercedes-Benz SLS through the use of weight-saving materials such as carbon fiber and aluminum. BMW engineers are gunning for a 3,300-pound car.
German magazine Auto Bild reports the 21st century M1 will pack between 600 and 650 horsepower thanks to a 4.4-liter direct-injected twin-turbocharged V8 engine lifted from the M5 parts bin. Linked to a nine-speed automatic transmission, the eight-cylinder mill will propel the M8 from zero to 62 mph in about three seconds and on to a top speed of roughly 200 mph.
Staying in line with BMW's goal to build more fuel-efficient cars, the M8 will come standard with a start/stop system.
If the rumor proves true, BMW will unveil the M8 as a concept car in a year or two before launching the production version two years later. When it goes on sale, the supercar's base price will lie in the vicinity of €250,000, which converts to about $324,000.

Launched in 1978, the original M1 was powered by a 3.5-liter straight-six that made 273 horsepower. Only 456 examples were made before BMW pulled the plug on the project in 1981.