In 1991, BMW decided to design a supersport. It was not exactly what everyone expected of the German brand at the time – the closest the guys had come to was the BMW M1, which had a six-in-center-rear in the late 1970s. Then in 1991 , Was launched the BMW 8 Series, which in its most powerful version, the 850CSi, had a beautiful V12. But this one was in the lead, making the coupe a grand tourer. Respectable, but not a supercar.
But perhaps BMW was really going to make a supercar, because in the early 90’s the manufacturer got in touch with Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Italdesign studio – the same one that, more than ten years before, had been responsible for the BMW M1. The result was the guy who appears in these photos: the BMW Nazca, which had three different versions made in three years (1991, 1992 and 1993).
You probably have nice memories of the BMW Nazca if you grew up playing Need for Speed in the 90’s: it was one of the cars available in Need for Speed II Special Edition, released for Windows in November 1997, shortly after the first version of NFSII; And was also featured on Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, in the PlayStation version. In fact, the Nazca was one of the fastest cars in both games.
If you played these two games, you will probably remember that in the menu there was the Showcase option, which showed the technical details of each car in detail, while the narrator told his story and described the specifications. There were photos and videos, too, showing that although it was not a simulator, Need for Speed was a game made by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts.
Its first version was called Nazca M12 and, as you can see, it has the different front of the car that appears in Need for Speed. It was introduced in 1991 and was quite different from any other BMW car at the time, such as Series 3 E36, Z1 or Series 5 E34. It had well rounded shapes, an entire glass cockpit and split doors: the top opened up like the famous “seagull wings,” but the bottom opened in the conventional way. According to Italdesign itself, the shapes of the BMW Nazca were inspired by the Le Mans prototypes of the era.
That said, the M12 was not a racing car for the streets, but a super sports car with well finished and comfort items like sound system with JVC cassette players, air conditioning and leather lining on seats and doors.
The engine of the BMW M12 was the V12 M70, five-liter (4.988 cm³), already used in the 750i sedan and the GT 850i. Originally, the engine prepared by Alpina reached 300 hp at 5,200 rpm and 45.9 mkgf of torque at 4,100 rpm, moderated by a six-speed manual gearbox. It was enough to take the car, which used aluminum and carbon fiber in its construction and weighed just under 1,100 kg, to 100 km / h in about four seconds, with a top speed estimated at 290 km / h.
Still in late 1991, Giugiaro decided he was not entirely satisfied with the M12’s design and modified its lead by placing the headlights in wide, low cavities by the side of the grille. The supercar got a more “futuristic” face, and was given a new name: BMW Nazca C2. This was the model that became famous.
And it was also more powerful: the V12 installed behind the seats now displaced 5.6 liters and delivered a respectable 380 hp, being almost equal to that used by BMW in the 850CSi, the most powerful and most desirable version of the 8 Series – practically an M8 coupe, As we have seen in this post.
The extra power made the BMW Nazca C2 well, which took 3.6 seconds to reach 100 km / h, 9.9 seconds to reach 160 km / h, and continued to accelerate to 310 km / h. He used 17-inch wheels with 235/45 tires at the front and 335/35 at the rear.