By Fabrizio Panico
All photographs taken by, and copyright of, the Author.
When I presented pictures of the 2016 BMW Vision Next 100 last February I wrote “models of BMW concept cars to 1:18 scale are unusual …….”, I was wrong indeed ! In a very short time BMW and Norev have produced not one more concept car, but three of them.
The group is called “Hommage Collection” and it is composed of (for the moment) the 2008 M1 Hommage, the 2011 328 Hommage, and the 2015 CSL Hommage. Three great show cars, and three missed opportunities according to BMW fans, who asked vainly for production versions. According to Karim Habib (ex-BMW Chief Designer, now at Infiniti): ‘There is so much else that needs addressing right now – autonomous driving, CO2, connectivity..… The Hommage cars make sure that old-fashioned excitement is alive and kicking. And don’t worry : we have more than enough ideas for the next three or four iterations…’. So BMW fans must be satisfied by scale models!
The 328 Hommage (BMW no. 80 43 2 413 751), is based upon the Vision Connected Drive Concept revealed in Geneva. It is a modern interpretation of the classic sports car from the 1930s and was produced to mark its 75th Anniversary. It shares the 1936 philosophy: “low weight = high performance”.
Here magnesium and aluminium are replaced by CRFP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic), for aestethic and functional elements. Fine hides, satin or polished aluminium are all cleverly blended into a recipe that expresses the essence of the sport roadster just as the original 328 did. The two part alloy wheels of the Hommage reinterpret the characteristic perforated design of the original ones.
Instrumentation is minimalist like the original: a single circular tachometer, with indicators of oil temperature, oil pressure, and water temperature built in. And to the right a few control lights. The car is equipped with 4-point seat belts and ergonomically designed shell seats. Under the bonnet the Hommage sports a three litre six cylinder engine.
The 328 Hommage is reproduced well by Norev. It is diecast metal and has no opening parts. The car is finished in carbon black paintwork with a tan interior. Alas, all the characteristic “belts” over the engine cover are simply “painted”, well done, but only painted.
The M1 Hommage (BMW no. 80 43 2 413 752) was unveiled at the event Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2008 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the M1. The concept vehicle uses a mid-engine layout and borrows styling cues from both the original M1 and the BMW Turbo show car.
The design was created by Giorgio Giugiaro who got his idea from the BMW Turbo designed by Paul Bracq which was rich in advanced technical innovations. The front sports double head lights (not the pop-up type that are on the original M1) and the usual trademark kidney grille.
Like the original M1 there are double badges on the back of the car. No photographs of the interior, or its technical specifications, have been released to the public. The BMW i8, which is based on the BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics concept, is perhaps influenced by the M1 Hommage. Maybe BMW was using the Hommage concept to test the waters of the styling of the, then, upcoming i8. It is no coincidence that the Hommage concept was followed by the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept which then became the i8.
The M1 Hommage is well reproduced by Norev in a striking orange metallic paint. The windows are obscured as no-one but BMW know what the interiors look like. The model is made of diecast Metal and has no opening parts.
My next article will look at the CSL Hommage (BMW no. 80 43 2 413 753). I will compare it to its famous ancestor which was nicknamed “the Batmobile”.
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