This month, learn about the BMW Nazca C2. A strange German-Italian 90s creation
It’s got the rear of a Honda NSX, the side profile of a Jaguar XJ220 and the face of an unamused toaster. The BMW Nazca C2 certainly is wonderfully weird and it’s the best car you’ve never heard of!
The BMW Nazca C2 is a mid-engine concept car that was designed by Italdesign, the same Italian design studio that designed the BMW M1, the German automaker’s other mid-engine sports car.
This retro supercar was fitted with the 5.0-litre V12 from BMW’s 850i, which produced around 300hp. However, we should clarify that there are two variations of this peculiar BMW. First came the BMW Nazca M12, which debuted in the 1991 Tokyo Motor Show and second came the Nazca C2 in 1992, which was tuned by Alpina for an extra 50hp and also had different headlights and the spoiler added on, which is the car you can see in these photos.
So, with a total of around 350hp, fixed racing seats and an extremely lightweight of just 1,000kg, the Nazca C2 was probably the best supercar BMW ever made. The car also looks as smooth as a dolphin and it was! With a low drag coefficient of 0.26, the C2 was able to achieve a top speed of 193mph, which certainly isn’t bad for 1992.
The car featured in an Italian sci-fi adventure film called “A spasso nel tempo” but other than that, unfortunately, we won’t be able to see it in action because it never made it to production. With the BMW M1, their previous try at a mid-engine sports car/supercar, being a commercial failure, BMW never pulled the trigger on the Nazca project, leaving only 3 C2s to be made including one Spyder model.
Another wonderfully weird feature found on this niche concept supercar is the half gullwing doors. The glass roof panels opened like gullwing doors, yet the actual doors themselves opened just like a normal car door would, essentially resulting in the occupants having to open two doors just to get in. This unique design is incredibly rare and practically never seen in the car world – just another thing that makes the Nazca C2 truly exceptional and would have made this a guaranteed iconic supercar.
In the Spyder version, the glass roof panels were removable, leaving no barrier between the sky and the lucky occupants. This design wasn’t just an afterthought either, as the removable glass door/roof panels could be stored in the front boot (AKA the ‘froot’). Furthermore, the Spyder model had a modified engine cover, a modified intake manifold, roll bars behind the seats for safety in case of a crash and a more powerful 5.7-litre V12 engine producing 380hp.
All in all, the Nazca C2 (and M12) was a BMW supercar with a potent German engine and sublime Italian design that was inspired by the Bugatti ID 90. The futuristic 90s aesthetic, the perfect proportions, sleek lines and the sheer presence that this car gave could have rivalled the Ferrari F50 in terms of legacy. Alas, it unfortunately never happened.
Let us know what you think of the BMW Nazca C2 in the comments!
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