For those with a passion for motorsports, the letter “M” is the most powerful in the world. The BMW M series is about more than iconic vehicles and world-class engines, it’s literally the stuff legends are made of. With a history dating back more than four decades, this vehicle was born on the racetrack and evolved into one of the most popular performance street cars in the world.
Early History of the M Series: 1970s and 1980s
The BMW M1 was first released in 1978. It was a groundbreaking sports car that inspired an entire racing series. It quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon with famed artist Andy Warhol using the M1 as the basis for his BMW art car for the 24-hour endurance race in Le Mans.
1984 saw the release of the first BMW M5, a vehicle designed to bring the experience of racetrack technology to everyday users. At the time of its release, the M5 was capable of hitting a maximum speed of 245 kilometers per hour, making it the fastest sedan of its time.
In the summer of 1986, the BMW M3 was launched. By 1987, driver Roberto Ravaglia became the touring car world champion while driving the BMW M3. To this day, the M3 remains the most successful touring car worldwide.
Modern-Day Evolution: 1990s to Today
In 1998, BMW released the third generation of the M5, this time with an 8-cylinder engine that could go from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in just 5.3 seconds. It was a huge commercial success, with over 20,000 vehicles being sold worldwide.
Although it was growing in popularity as a streetcar, the M-series did not lose its edge in the racing world. In the 2000s, BMW M3s continued making their mark with a win at the American Le Mans Series in 2001 and a spectacular double-victory at the 2004 and 2005 24-h races at the Nurburgring.
In the late 2000s, M-series took a turn towards the mainstream with the introduction of the sports activity coupe BMW X6 M in 2009 and the compact BMW 1er M Coupe in 2011.
Beyond the Status Quo: Groundbreaking Innovation
Despite the iconic nature of the M Series, BMW is not a company that’s comfortable with the status-quo. This forward-thinking company is constantly developing groundbreaking technological innovations and introducing them into their vehicle models.
Recent examples include the dual-clutch transmission with “DriveLogic” featured in the M3 and M4 models, the cylinder bank-overlapping exhaust manifold featured in the M5 and M6 vehicles, and the water injection system introduced in the M4 GTS. Never one to settle, BMW continues to push limits and refine their vehicles in pursuit of the ultimate driving experience.
Today’s M Series: Legendary Vehicles with a Modern Twist
Today, there are eight BMW M series vehicles in production. This includes the M2 Competition Coupe, iconic M3 Sedan, M4 Coupe and Convertible, high-powered M5 Sedan and M5 Competition Sedan, M6 and M8 Gran Coupes, and the X5M and X6M Sports Activity Vehicles.
Whether you already own a BMW or you’re thinking about joining the thousands of drivers who have taken their passion to the roads, you’ll appreciate the peace of mind that comes with having an excellent repair and maintenance shop by your side. With locations in Sherman Oaks and Santa Monica, The HAUS is the go-to destination for all of your BMW needs. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!