BMW has been in the foremost of the automotive industry since its inception. During the early 70’s BMW was contemplating providing consumers with performance vehicles that are ready for the road and in 1972 they announced the BMW Motorsport division. This later became known as what we now know as the M division.

The M division was created to provide professional drivers and car enthusiasts all over the world with racetrack-ready cars. The division launched its first car called the BMW M1 back in 1979. The M1 led the way to what has become one of the most iconic car series in the world. Ever since then the M division has been churning out one great performance model after another.

The historical impact of the M series on the automotive market has been immense throughout the years. So today we will take a look back on the BMW M series history to see why the series is as iconic as they are. So let’s begin.

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The ’70s

While the M division started back in 1972 it took them a few years before they could release their first car. So in 1978 in the Paris Motor Show, BMW revealed their first car of the M series, the M1 and it was instantly a hit amongst everyone.

The M1 was designed by Paul Bracq and the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro. The iconic M1 was a mid-engine coupe with a six-cylinder engine. However, only 456 of the model were made by BMW.

The M1 was purely designed for the racetrack so average drivers would not have been able to drive it. So for the avid car enthusiasts, BMW released the M5 in 1979. This is the first road-ready model from the M series.

It was made in such a way as to appeal to a wide variety of car enthusiasts without diminishing the power and overall driving excitement of the M1. The M535i became the performance model of the then-popular 5 series. BMW didn’t skimp out on anything for performance either as well. Along with the performance, you would get close-ratio transmission, a limited-slip differential, Recaro seats, and larger brakes.

The ’80s

BMW created the m division with only one goal in mind. They wanted to provide their customers with high-performance models specifically designed to suit both the need for power and luxury. The ’80s were a big time for the M division with the sector growing from a measly 35 employees to 400 by the end of the decade.

The first successful model during the ’80s was the 6 series variant. It was called the M635CSi. The model was an amazing option for BMW buyers with it having a 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine that could produce 286 horsepower.

In 1984 BMW released its second generation of the M variation of the 5 series. The M5 E28 was released to much critical acclaim. So the BMW M5 E28 became a legend in the family sedan section.

The maximized power and luxury of the M5 E28 with the horsepower for the model clocking in at 286HP. 1986 became one of the M division’s most iconic years with the company releasing the legendary M3.

The M3 upon its release got worldwide acclaim from everyone for its beautiful combination of powerful performance and luxurious driver-oriented interior. This then went on to become the most successful touring car of all time. The ’80s became a significant part of the M division’s history helping it become a mainstay of the automotive industry.

The ’90s

The unprecedented success of the M series during the ’70s and ’80s only drove the division to strive for perfection. They were relentless in the pursuit of perfect during the ’90s. The ’90s saw the BMW M Division come up with a new 8 series model.

The BMW 8 Series CSi E31 became one of the most talked-about cars of the decade when it released. Although it was never really given the M designation the division’s work was evident. The 8 Series model was equipped with a powerful  V12 engine making it a decade-defining car when it came out.

Later on the BMW 8 Series CSi E31 would go onto inspire a prototype named M8 which was subsequently released in 2019. After the rivetting release of the 8 series model, BMW released the Z3 E36/37 M Roadster/Coupe in 1997 which went onto become another decade defining moment for the division.

The 2000s Till Present

One of the most iconic BMW models the M3 got revamped in the first decade of the 2000s. The M3 came back after twenty-odd years with the E92 M3 Coupe in 2007. BMWs innovative trait shone through perfectly with this car.

So what BMW did was they used the same traditional normally aspirated engine but they doubled the number of cylinders for the engine. This meant the engine generated double the power of the original M3.

The M series is the pride of the German manufacturer. They love offering new and improved performance-oriented variants of cars. In 2013 they announced new M3 and M4 versions again. And in 2019 announced the amazing M8. Now within the BMW M series, the fastest model is the M5 Competition which the M8 is touted to beat but they are yet to pit against each other.

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A Rich History

Well, there you go that’s our look into the history of the BMW M series. The M division is still going strong and you can’t even think about the BMW without it.

And that’s all there is to it. Let us know in the comments below what your thoughts are on the M series. Until then, See Ya!