Blog

Mar
25
2022

5 memorable M moments to celebrate 50 years of BMW M

This year BMW marks the 50-year legacy of its M series of vehicles. These models have set the standard for performance and luxury in the automotive industry for half a century and celebrations have already begun. In February, BMW debuted a 90-second video called Huddle Speech inspired by the global BMW community, its shared passion for the brand and its historic lineup of M series vehicles.

These celebratory displays are set to continue throughout 2022 and we’re paying homage at Policaro BMW with a look at the BMW M history and some of its most iconic moments.

BMW Motorsport GmbH is born

BMW-CSL

On May 24, 1972, BMW introduced its motorsport arm, a subsidiary responsible for the development of race vehicles and higher-spec trims for models licensed for day-to-day use. The team’s first project would be the BMW 3.0 CSL, a lighter, more agile and aerodynamic version of the BMW CL, with increased engine bore for greater displacement, which allowed BWM entry into three-litre racing categories. 

M series makes its consumer debut

BMW-M1
The BMW M1 made its debut in the motorsports world at the Paris Motor Show in 1978. The sleek and futuristic-styled coupé, of which only 460 models were produced, borrowed its six-cylinder engine from the CSL, granting an output of 277 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque at the 5,000 rpm mark. The M1 boasted a top speed of 260 km/h, but could also handle domestic streets with ease, even by today’s standards.

BMW M3 E30 dominates the track

BMW-M3
The M3 sedan is one of the most iconic vehicles in the M series lineup and has become a collectors item in and of itself. On the track, the M3 E30 has become a known champion, too, having won over 1,400 titles since its inception in 1987. Its 4-cylinder inline engine and 300-350-hp output helped Eric van de Poele earn victory at the ’87 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters championship, for just one example.

The BMW M5 E39 and its V8 engine arrive

BMW-M5
In the era of supercars and turn-of-the-century marvels, the BMW M5 E39 arrived as an industry darling of the late ’90s, once again showcasing the performance of BMW’s M series. The new M5 arrived in 1998 with a 4.9-litre V8 engine, outputting 400 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and a body aesthetic that’s remained relevant through the decades.

M series goes electric

BMW-i4-M50
With the introduction of the BMW i4 M50 in 2021, the motorsport series made its first step into the world of electrification and sustainable performance. Sporting 255-hp front and 308-hp rear motors, and reminiscent of the iX, the i4 M50 arrived with a peak output of 536 horsepower and 586 lb-ft of torque thanks to its high-output battery. This EV icon has surpassed its competition M3 and M4 models in terms of power distribution, making a solid argument for the future of electrification in the M series lineup.