BMW M GmbH, previously known as BMW Motorsport GmbH, is the racing subsidiary of BMW and was initially created to facilitate the brand’s motorsports program during the 60s and 70s.
Founded in May 1972, BMW M supplemented BMW’s road car portfolio with specifically enhanced models and now in 2018, BMW M is a fundamental part of the BMW’s market presence.
With the recent reveal of the brand-new BMW M5 2018, and it’s safe to say that the infamous M Car has come a long way and to celebrate we’ve looked back at the history of the much loves M series.
Back in the 70’s the BMW Motorsport division existed to support BMW’s racing activities, and in 1978 the brand decided to take their new M1 racing. However, to meet racing homologation rules BMW were required to sell a number of road-going versions of the car and this is when the M road car was born.
Racing aside, BMW quickly realised that they had a winning formula and the model was extremely popular. As a result, they installed the 3.5l straight-six engine from the 735i into the E12 5-series chassis to create the M535i.
Reacting to the market, where there was a huge interest in road cars that had a racing motor edge, the brand also went onto develop the E24 M635Csi and E28 M5. By using M1’s motor BMW were able to offer extreme performance for everyday car lovers.
BMW then released the E30 M3 in 1986, which acted as another homologation special and went on to cement BMW Motorsport’s reputation in the market. This model was hugely successful and is arguably still one of the most iconic M cars on the market.
The 90’s saw a rebrand and in 1993 BMW Motorsport evolved to become BMW M GmbH, many say is the beginning of the M car as we know it. Shortly after, they released the E36 M3 in a coupe, sedan and convertible. The 850Csi was also debuted as a high-end gran tourer and featured a V12 engine and 6 speed manual transmission.
Between 1996 and 1998 the Z3 M Roadster and M Couple also hit the market, shortly followed by the next generation of M car that included the E39 M5, E46 M3, Z4 M Roadster and Coupe, E60 M5, E61 M6 and E90 M3.
BMW’s ethos of taking an existing car, sharpening the handling characterises and installing a large, high-revving engine was largely unchanged until around 2010.
However, the brand went on to shock the market by adopting turbocharging technology across all their models. This was met with some disagreement with many believing that the new tech was unsuitable for the character of the M car. Shocking fans further, the M range was also expanded across the majority of BMW models, including SUVs.
BMW recently revealed the newest model, the greatly anticipated BMW M5 2018. Powering from 0-62mph in only 3.4 seconds the new model has come a long way from it’s humble beginnings in the 70s.
The 2018 M5 integrates intense performance with the M XDrive all-wheel drive system and high-precision gear changes with eight-speed M Steptronic transmission. And if that wasn’t enough they’ve also added their first ever carbon roof.
The M TwinPower Turbo eight-cylinder petrol engine boasts a power output of 441kW (600hp) and a torque of up to 750Nm. The new car also includes a high-revving V8 Bi-turbo engine that has two TwinScroll turbocharge with variable turbine geometry, High-Precision Injection and a fully variable Valvetronice Valve control.
If that isn’t enough to guarantee an adrenaline-charged driving experience then BMW have also introduced the installation of a carbon roof, reducing weight drastically.
Other distinctive M features include 20” M light alloy wheels style 706M, M Twin Tailpipes, M kidney grille with High-gloss double slats and M mirror caps with aerodynamic winglet.
So, the real question is… will you be booking in a test drive?
This article was written and contributed by Dyno Driven.