This July, BMW celebrates 50 years of the M division, which represents the Bavarian brand’s sports car stamp. It was born as BMW Motorsports, with the aim of developing competitive cars. In 1972 it had only 35 employees.
However, BMW realized that in addition to preparing racing cars, there was market potential, as the demand for sports cars increased, especially in the United States, where the 1974 oil crisis completely wiped out muscle cars.
So more than five decades ago the Munich manufacturer has produced iconic models. They are street cars, which take the resources and improvements adopted by the brand on the tracks.
From suspension modifications, cooling systems and even a Formula 1 block. And to celebrate the golden anniversary of BMW M, we have selected the 10 best models created by it.
2002 Turbo (1972)
The 2002 Turbo doesn’t have the letter M in its name. But you don’t need to. This car was the forerunner of the BMW sports series. And if that wasn’t enough, it was the first production car in Europe to use a turbocharger.
To give you an idea, he increased the power of 2002 by 70%. That’s because the expected model had a 100 hp 2.0-liter unit. With the inclusion of a high charge system, the riders jumped to 170 hp and torque to 24.1 kgfm.
Numbers that allowed the car to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.8 seconds and reach a maximum of 214 km / h. The coupe was so attractive that on the big skirt the name 2002 Turbo was written on the back. That way, whoever was in front could read and give way, just like in a car with a siren going off.
3.0 CSL (1972)
Another example which does not carry a consonant in the name, but which indicated the era was 3.0 CSL. One of the most aggressive versions of the E9 coupe. He was responsible for promoting the brand’s six-cylinder engines.
BMW has been using resistors in this configuration since 1917, when it made airplane engines, and since 1933 in cars. The 3.0 CSL, however, used an improved version of the M30 2.5 engine enlarged to 3.3 litres.
This unit delivered 205 torque and 29.1 kg of torque. In total, 1,265 units were produced to meet the homologation requirements, as they would be used in the European Touring Championship.
On the tracks the results could not have been better. The Coupe won the 1973 season and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in its category. Because of the large airfoil and other aerodynamic attachments, it was nicknamed the Batmobile.
BMW M1 (1978)
The first model to receive a consonant on the bodywork was the M1 of 1978. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, it was an evolution of the 1972 E25 Turbo concept, which had been created in celebration of the Munich Olympic Games.
BMW’s plan was to create a racing car in collaboration with Lamborghini. But the plan fell through (you know how Ferruccio was, don’t you?) and the Germans tackled the project alone.
With a tubular chassis, it again used a six-cylinder engine. However, it was the M88/1 unit, placed in the rear center position. The unit was 3.5 liters and produced 277 hp and around 34 kgfm of torque at the rear wheels. BMW’s goal was to race in FIA Group 5. For this, 453 units were produced until 1981.
M635 CSi (1984)
One of the most beautiful cars of the 1980s was the Ferrari 288 GTO. But it’s hard for anyone to get their hands on this car, with only 272 units built. But for the first M6 in history it was different.
Also known as the M635 CSi, this gran turismo was a dream car in the 1980s in the US, Europe and Japan. With an evil face, a long hood, a lot of interior space and a modern finish, it was sporty without giving up comfort.
This BMW had a modified version of the six-cylinder M1 so that it could be placed in the front position. With 3.5 liters of displacement, the block produced 286 hp and 34.6 kgfm. It accelerated from 0 to 100 km / h in 5.8 seconds.
M3 (E30) Evolution of Sports (1989)
The first generation M3 is considered one of the coolest BMWs ever built (beyond the M635 CSi) and figures in several ranges. Launched in 1986, the sports car has evolved over the years. And the icing on the cake was the Sport Evolution version.
It was powered by an upgrade to the S14’s 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, which was enlarged to 2.5 liters and produced 238 hp and 25 kgfm of torque. All this with natural desire.
With only 600 units, the version still featured bumpers with wider air intakes, new collectors instead of fog lights, as well as a redesigned foil. And creme de la creme from Bayerische Motoren Werke.
M8 V12 (1990)
The 8 Series arrived in the late 1980s to succeed the 6 Series. With a sportier design, it had retractable headlights (which were still successful) and a sharp profile, following the likes of the Chevrolet Corvette and Ferrari Testarossa.
It was a car ahead of its time. It showed a computer model of the monoblock. In the late 1980s it was science fiction. Legend has it that it cost nearly $1 billion to develop. Thus, the 8 Series became the most modern car of the brand and also one of the sportiest, with a range of five engines: two V8 and three V12 options.
In 1990, BMW M set its sights on the 8 Series and decided to create what would become the M8, based on the top-of-the-line 850Ci version. They upped the displacement of the V12 from 5.6 liters to 6.1 liters. The result was 557 hp and 45 kgfm of torque, which made it one of the most powerful cars of its time.
The car had extended dimensions, got widened fenders, new bumpers and lowered air boxes, hood, and hubs and air, all working. If that wasn’t enough, it still had carbon fiber parts and even Kevlar to do the job. But the project was only in prototype because of the final price, higher than that of Ferrari.
Description: This 6.1 liter V12 was the engine that powered the McLaren F1 between 1993 and 1998. But it was tuned to 630 hp.
BMW Z3 M Coupe (1998)
The Z3 was BMW’s representative in the roadster segment emerging in the 1990s. It was not the brand’s first two-seater convertible. Previously, BMW produced the classic 328, from 1936, as well as the exotic 507 and Z1.
But it was the Z3 that created a lineage that continues to this day. However, shortly after its release, engineers developed a closed and controversial version.
Everyone knows (if not, it’s good to know) that a self-respecting roadster should have a long hood and a short tail. The Z3 was like that, but when it was closed it became weird and was nicknamed the clown shoe.
But that didn’t remove the smile from the face of those who bet on the Z3 M Coupé, which had a 325 hp and 35 kgfm 3.2-liter six-cylinder unit (as expected) mated to a five-speed ZF transmission. . All this to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in 5.4 seconds. The one who calls them dirty is because they are jealous.
M3 (E46) Touring (2000)
The E46 generation M3 is one of the most popular German sports cars. However, one of the cars that will be cooler than the BMW M did not leave the paper. It was an M3 Touring.
This version was presented by research and had the same set of mechanics as the coupe. It had the standard S54 3.2 inline six, with 343 hp and 36.5 kgfm of torque.
It still had a six-speed manual transmission, provided by Getrag, which made this car a real devil. But nothing convinced the Munich high-rise and the project was shelved.
This “crass error” was corrected a week ago with the arrival of the definitive version of the M3 Touring, based on the current generation of the 3 Series. The model has 510 hp, an eight-speed gearbox and rear-wheel drive. How it should be.
M5 (E60) with System 1 V10 (2005)
If BMW executives did not allow the M8 project, with V12, to enter the streets, they did not prevent the amazing M5 with a Formula 1 engine. Launched in 2005, the sports car was sold with sedan and station wagon bodies.
Designed by the controversial Chris Bangle, the E90-generation 5-Series wasn’t as spectacular as the 6-Series, 7-Series and Z4. But the design is what matters most in this car.
This M5 used the S85 V10 engine, based on the block that BMW developed for Formula 1. In large Germany, the block was 5.0 liters and produced no less than 507 hp and 52 kgfm of torque, ordered by a series automatic transmission. of seven gears.
To give you an idea of what this engine was capable of, the M5 accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds. An absurd number for a car of its size and for the original expectations. In addition, it came from the factory with a maximum speed reduced to 250 km / h. But it can be extended up to 305 km/h if the owner adds the M-Driver package.
BMW M2 (2015)
It doesn’t have 500 hp, it doesn’t have a V12 or a V10, but it’s one of the most efficient BMW M’s ever made. The M2 entered the market in 2015 with the aim of saving the first generation M3.
Compact, with a short wheelbase, rear-wheel drive and 370 hp 3.0-liter six-cylinder biturbo under the hood. This car was like a Chevette with a Corvette engine. If that wasn’t enough, this little sports car still poured 47 kgfm of torque to the wheels, controlled by a seven-speed M-DCT clutch box.
BMW also launched Racing versions, which raised the power to the same 410 hp of the M4 and said goodbye to the generation, it made the M2 CS, with 450 hp. One of the best things I’ve ever driven.
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