The BMW M brand, also known as BMW M GmbH, was established in 1972 as a subsidiary of BMW AG. The "M" stands for "Motorsport," and the brand was created to produce high-performance versions of BMW's regular production vehicles.
The BMW M brand is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and it's a milestone worth celebrating. The M brand, which stands for motorsport, was created as a way to showcase BMW's racing heritage and performance capabilities. Over the last five decades, the M brand has become synonymous with high-performance vehicles that offer the ultimate driving experience.
When the M brand was first introduced, the first model to bear the M badge was the BMW 3.0 CSL. This car was a homologation special, meaning it was built specifically to meet the requirements for racing in the European Touring Car Championship. The CSL was a success on the track, and it set the stage for the M brand's future success.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the M brand continued to release high-performance versions of BMW's existing models. Cars such as the M1, M3, M5, and M6 were all highly sought-after by driving enthusiasts. The M brand's reputation for building powerful, precise, and well-handling cars was solidified during this time.
In the 1990s, the M brand began to expand its lineup to include SUVs and crossovers. The first M-badged SUV was the X5 M, which was released in 2000. This was followed by the X6 M in 2008 and the X3 M and X4 M in 2019. While some purists may have initially been skeptical of M-badged SUVs, these vehicles have proven to be just as capable and enjoyable to drive as their sedan and coupe counterparts.
These models have been considered by many as the most iconic models of the BMW M brand, and have a big reputation in the automobile industry.
In recent years, the M brand has continued to push the boundaries of what's possible with high-performance vehicles. The latest M3 and M4 models feature a twin-turbocharged inline-six engine that produces 503 horsepower, making them some of the most powerful cars in their class. The M8, the brand's flagship model, is a true supercar that can compete with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini.
BMW and BMW M are both subsidiaries of BMW AG, which is the parent company. BMW is responsible for the production and sales of the company's regular production vehicles, while BMW M is responsible for the production and sales of high-performance vehicles.
BMW M vehicles are based on regular BMW models, but are modified and upgraded to offer improved performance, handling, and styling. They are typically equipped with more powerful engines, sport-tuned suspension and brakes, and aerodynamic enhancements. BMW M vehicles are also known for their distinctive styling, with features such as larger wheels and tires, more aggressive bodywork, and unique M-branded badges and logos.
BMW and BMW M vehicles are sold through the same dealership network and are marketed to different types of customers. BMW vehicles are marketed to customers who value luxury and comfort, while BMW M vehicles are marketed to customers who value performance and sportiness.
Both brands work closely together in terms of product development, marketing and sales. BMW M models are developed and produced by the engineers and technicians of the BMW M subsidiary, but share a lot of components and technologies with the regular BMW models, this is a way of BMW to leverage cost and resources.
Overall, BMW and BMW M are closely related but operate independently with different target audiences, product range and positioning in the market.
As the M brand celebrates its 50th anniversary, it's clear that the passion and commitment to building the ultimate driving machines is stronger than ever. The M brand continues to innovate and push the limits of what's possible with high-performance vehicles. Here's to another 50 years of M-badged BMWs that will continue to thrill drivers around the world.
At Cover Company we produce custom covers for all BMW and BMW M models including the iconic BMW M2 E30 and many more. You can find all car cover options here.