Yes, such times did exist, but even those designers back then could do with some help, and in 1978, that came from a certain Giorgetto Giugiaro who put pen to paper and produced the still gorgeous BMW M1 mid-engined sports car.
Fans of the brand still dream of a true successor for this unique model but have so far been left staring at the sun. The closest thing to reach dealerships was the somewhat underwhelming i8 hybrid sports car, but despite its daring looks and decent performance, the 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine was enough to scare people off.
We’d be making a lot more progress if we were to include concepts as well. First on the list would be the 1991 BMW M12, a direct descendent of the M1, hence the not so cryptic name. Officially, the Italdesign concept was never more than a prototype, but one was actually sold to the Sultan of Brunei (is there ANY car in the world the Sultan doesn’t own?).
While the BMW Nazca M12 had a weird door opening configuration – the doors themselves opened in a conventional fashion, but the windows went up gull-wing style – I’m pretty sure that’s nothing compared to this concept’s solution. Don’t get me wrong, I have no idea what it is, but it’s got to be special. Teleportation might be involved, after all.
This is the work of Theresa Lam and, even though related to the models I’ve listed so far, it looks to be even more so to the BMW Nazca C2 concept that followed the M12. Also produced by Italdesign, this one was signed by Giorgetto’s son, Fabrizio, and even though it looked more modern, it carried over most of its predecessor’s cues.
Theresa’s effort isn’t far off, but since she’s not in the habit of building her creations like Italdesign was, she was able to let her imagination loose. Which is how we ended up with something part anteater, part spacecraft. I can’t say which of the two I enjoy more, but what matters is that the whole is pleasing to the eye. It does a fine job of continuing the tradition launched by the M1 and carried forward by the M12 and C2 concepts. A potential Nazca C3 (or is it C22?) if there ever was one.