A quick and historical guide to BMW M
Founded by motorsports, kicked off with Italian design and most importantly, fueled by passion.
Before we get to the quick guide, first a quick introduction to BMW M.
BMW M GmbH - or more commonly known as BMW M (for motorsport), is BMW's performance division founded in the 70's. BMW had a desire to attract exotic car owners of brands such as Ferrari and Aston Martin by creating the BMW M1, a 1,14 meter tall (44.9 inch), mid-engined, six cylinder racecar designed by none other than the legendary ItalDesign designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. Giugiaro worked for various automotive companies breathing into life beautiful and timeless cars such as the Golf MK1, Lotus Esprit S1, DeLorean, Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint and many more.
The M1 Procar was used to race in series created by head of BMW Motorsport suitably called the "Procar BMW M1 Championship" featuring many identical racecars driven by various Formula One drivers, notably Nikki Lauda. Besides the conveniently named racing series, the M1 also competed in the more well known Le Mans over a span of eight years. To homologate the M1 Procar, BMW produced a mere 456 road legal versions badged with the iconic 'M' logo.
In 1980, BMW released the E12 M535i, regarded by many enthusiasts as the first proper M division model. By giving their regular production road cars the M treatment, BMW solidified their notoriety for dynamic performance. In a car that also came with a 1.8 liter inline-4 engine. Since then, BMW has evolved over the decades and the M lineup has developed and expanded to include various models such as the X and Z series. With electricification looming over all ICE cars, there is no knowing how long the iconic 6-cylinder engines will last. But we can always expect M to deliver what it stands for - pure driving enjoyment.
And now, please enjoy this quick guide of the history and timeline of the BMW M cars.
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