Renowned Italian design house Italdesign Giugiaro has always been known for supercar designs seemingly too far ahead of its own time. These include the BMW Nazca M12 and Nazca C2 in 1991. Despite their futuristic looks that could revolutionize upcoming cars, the Nazca M12 and C2 were considered too unrealistic. Let's take a quick peek at these two revolutionary concepts.
These Nazca M12 and C2 concepts were both the result of an agreement between BMW and Italdesign Giugiaro, which is owned by famed automotive designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. As a matter of fact, the earlier of these concepts, the Nazca M12, was penned by Giorgetto’s son Fabrizio Giugiaro. It was the first vehicle that Fabrizio – then 26 years old – officially penned.
The Nazca M12 supercar concept had an aerodynamic shape – inspired by Formula 1 and Group C racers -- with a low-slung cabin made entirely from glass. Its dimensions officially stand at 4.37 meters (172 inches) in height, 1.99 meters (78.3 inches) in width and 1.10 meters (43.3 inches) in height. These elements along with other factors gave the M12 a superior coefficient of drag value pegged at 0.26 Cd.
The concept’s very name was a hint to the powerplant lurking underneath it. It is powered by 5.0-liter V12 M70 engine derived from BMW’s 750i and 850i production cars. M12’s mid-mounted engine delivers around 300 hp of output to the rear wheels via a ZF 5-speed manual transmission, allowing the concept to achieve a top speed of around 180 mph.
Meanwhile, the Nazca C2 race car was essentially an evolution of the M12 concept in terms of looks and powertrain. It features a lower stance and a more aggressive front end and is more powerful thanks to a new 350-hp V12 engine reworked by Alpina. An open-top dubbed the C2 Spider followed, which is more potent at 380 hp.
Yes, BMW Nazca M12 and Nazca C2 were deemed too "strange-looking" for car enthusiasts to fancy in the early 1990s. As history told us, these projects didn't make the cut. Yet somehow, some of their features were applied to future production series. These concepts are forgotten heroes but nonetheless are true trailblazers.