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BMW - marque/manufacturer information

List of all BMW cars

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), is an independent German company and manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. BMW is the parent company of the MINI and Rolls-Royce car brands. It is also one of the leading car and motorcycle manufacturers in the world.


BMW was officially founded as a public company in 1922, but traces its origins to the pioneering days of German aviation all the way back to 1913. Two of these pioneering men, Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto, are credited by BMW as the "founding fathers". However, BMW owes its actual founding by three men- Josef Popp, Max Friz, and Camillo Castiglioni. These men brought BMW through many turbulent times in the company's early life, as well as taking the company public in 1922 to form BMW AG. BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke.

Beginning with aircraft engines, BMW AG produced a variety of products in its early years, eventually shifting to motorcycle production in 1923 and automobiles in 1929. The circular blue and white BMW logo, which has not been altered throughout the company's history, does not in fact symbolize a spinning propeller according to a BMW spokesperson (although the imagry did apear in post-WWI advertisements). The BMW Trademark is believed to have been partially derived from the logo of its predecessor company Rapp Motorenwerke, while ultimately taking on the colors and checkers of the Bavarian flag. Significant aircraft powerplants of pre-WWII and WWII included the BMW 132 and BMW 801 air-cooled radial engines, and the pioneering BMW 003 axial-flow turbojet. BMW's factories were damaged badly in the war, and many surviving machine tools were confiscated by the victorious Allies.


BMW started building motorcycle engines and then motorcycles after WWI. Their first notable motorcycle, after the failed Helios and Flink was the "R32" in 1923. These had a "boxer twin" engine, in which an air-cooled cylinder protrudes into the air-fllow from each side of the machine. Apart from their post-war singles (basically to the same pattern), all their motorcycles had used this distinctive, layout until the early 1980s. Many BMWs are still produced to this pattern, which is designated the "R series".

During WWII BMW produced the BMW R75 motorcycle with a sidecar attached. Unusually, the sidecar's wheel was also driven. This was copied from the Zündapp KS750. Combined with a lockable differential, this made the vehicle very capable off-road, an equivalent in many ways to the Jeep.

In 1983 came the "K Series" (affectionately known as "The Flying Brick"), still shaft drive but now water cooled and with either 3 or 4 cylinders mounted in a straight line from front to back. Shortly after, BMW also started making the chain-driven F and G series with single and parallel twin Rotax engines.

BMW motorcycles have a range of models that give an off-road, sporty or relaxed and comfortable ride.

In the early 1990s, BMW updated the airhead boxer engine which became known as the Oilhead. In 2002, the Oilhead engine had two spark plugs per cylinder. In 2004 it added a built-in balance shaft, an increased capacity to 1170 cc and enhanced performance to 100 hp (75 kW) for the R1200GS, compared to 85 hp (63 kW) of the previous R1150GS. More powerful variants of the oilhead and hexhead engines are available in the R1100S and R1200S, producing 98 hp (73 kW) and 122 hp (91 kW), respectively.

In 2004, BMW introduced the new K1200S Sports Bike which marked a departure for BMW. It is both powerful (the engine is a 167 hp (125 kW) unit derived from the company's work with the Williams F1 team) and significantly lighter than previous K models. It was BMW's latest attempt to keep up with the pace of development of sports machines from the likes of Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Suzuki. Innovations include a unique electronically adjustable front and rear suspension, and a Hossack-type front fork BMW calls Duolever.

BMW was one of the earliest manufacturers to offer anti-lock brakes on production motorcycles starting in the late 1980s. The generation of anti-lock brakes available on the 2006 and later BMW motorcycles pave the way for the introduction of sophisticated electronic stability control, or anti-skid technology - a first for production motorcycles - later in the 2007 model year.

BMW has always been an innovator in motorcycle suspension design, taking up telescopic front suspension long before most other manufacturers. Then, when other makers caught up, they switched to Earles Forke, front suspension by swinging fork (1955 to 1969). Most modern BMWs are truly rear swingarm, single sided at the back (compare with the regular swinging fork usually, and wrongly, called swinging arm).

Some BMWs started using yet another trademark front suspension design, the Telelever, in the early 1990s. Like the Earles Fork, the Telelever significantly reduces dive under braking.

Recently BMW has become concerned with the rising number of their vehicles being imported from the United States into Canada and with the cooperation of the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (a private contractor to the federal Government of Canada) has placed impediments to the importation of BMW vehicles into Canada. All BMW dealers in the United States and Canada are now forbidden from printing vehicle history reports that list warrantee work that has been performed as well as the status of any safety recalls and supplying this document to the legal owners of the vehicles. Owners of BMW vehicles are considered to be a "third party" to information regarding the safety of BMW products. BMW now requires owners importing motorcycles into Canada to pay a fee of $500 (CDN) for a letter advising the Registrar of Imported Vehicles that there are no outstanding recalls on that vehicle.

Motorcycle Clubs

Fanfare of the BMW motorcycle has invoked the interest in clubs, or groups of people who share the same passion for their Bavarian bikes. The two largest BMW motorcycle clubs in the world are headquartered in the United States. They are the BMW Riders Association (BMW RA) and the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (BMW MOA).



The current BMW model lineup is split into what is referred to as "Series", traditionally identified by a single digit - e.g. the 3 Series.

In 2004 BMW announced plans to make odd-numbered series saloon/sedan and estate/wagon models (BMW calls its estates/wagons Touring models), while even-numbered series will be two-door coupés and cabriolets. This convention started informally in 1976 with the introduction of the 6 Series and later continued in 1989 with the 8 Series, but died off when the latter was discontinued in 1999. This practice was revived as the Z4 replaced the aging Z3 roadster in 2003 and continues as the new 6 Series augments the existing BMW 5 Series.

1 Series

The 1 Series was launched globally in Fall 2004 and is based on the aborted Rover R30 hatchback, the car will be available in North America for the 2008 production year. A 3-Door version was also launched in July 2007 on the BMW International website. Because it is the only rear wheel drive vehicle in its class, it is considered the heir apparent to the original 2002 sport sedan from the 1960s. A Coupé has been announced for late 2007, and there are concepts for a convertible. U.S. introduction for the 1 series is expected in MY 2008 as a coupé and convertible, in the 128i and the 135i. The 135i is slated to receive the 300 horsepower (220 kW) twin turbo 6 cylinder engine from the 3 series. The 1 series pricing fits neatly between MINI and the current E90 3-series. The new 1 series convertible will share the looks of its coupe brother and will use a softop unlike the 3 series convertibles hard top. This is due to the fact that when BMW later launch the 120i and diesel variants the car would be very slow due to the extra weight the hard top causes

3 Series

The BMW 3 Series is a compact executive car manufactured since MY 1975. The E90 is the 5th generation 3 series. Available from MY 2006 to present, it is offered as the sport sedan(E90), sport wagon(E91), sport coupe(E92), and sport coupe convertible(E93). The E90 series is completely re-engineered from the E46, including changes to motor choices, transmission, the passenger compartment comfort, suspension technology, as well as a host of High-Tech features and options.

The 3 series is not only one of BMW's most important models, it also accounts for a majority of worldwide sales.

5 Series

A mid-size luxury car / executive car. For MY 2008, BMW has revised the 5 series with a slightly redesigned interior, subtle exterior details, and new motor options. The motors offered are BMW's N52 and N54 inline 6-cylinder motors, as well as diesel and V8 options.

The BMW 5 series has been one of BMW's "experimental" cars, in which they can explore newer ideas. They have inserted new technologies and new ideas into this model that may have seemed radical for its time. One such example of this "testing" approach is the new headlight design. These types of changes to the 5 Series have allowed BMW to assess the reaction of consumers to their new designs before expanding the changes to other model series. Consequently, it has at times led people to question BMW's approach to design.

  • The M5 is the motorsport division's version of the 5 Series. The new M5 (built on the E60 5 series chassis) is powered by a F1-inspired V10 engine, producing 507 hp (378 kW) and is mated with a 7-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) transmission, which is capable of a delimited top speed of about 330 km/h (production variants are restricted to 250 km/h, or 155 mph). BMW has also recently added a 6-speed manual transmission for newer 2007 models. The colour palette differs from its more modest 5 Series siblings.

6 Series

The 6 Series is BMW's grand touring luxury sport coupé. Currently available as the 650i in coupé and coupé convertible, the 6 series returned in 2004, after a 15 year absence from BMW's model lineup.

Although many spy photos were seen with the 6-Series having a half-life update, like the 5-Series, BMW released the updated 6-Series in July 2007. It is unknown when the M6 coupe & cabriolet update versions will be released, however both are expected soon.

  • M6: A high performance version of the 6 Series. Developed by BMW's M Division, it is powered by the same 5.0 L V10 507 hp (378 kW) engine seen in the BMW M5. It is currently available in Europe, North America and Australia.

7 Series

BMW's full-size flagship executive sedan. Typically, BMW introduces much of their innovations first in the vaunted 7 series. It has been deemed a "sports car at the helm and a limousine in the rear". Numerous landmark and breakthrough technologies for the entire automotive industry debut on the 7 series. For example, the groundbreaking and controversial iDrive, or the world's first Hydrogen powered production vehicle, have all debuted in the 7 series. The 7-Series Hydrogen, the world’s first luxury performance sedan with hydrogen drive, is fueled by compressed hydrogen and releases only water vapor. Since the infrastructure for refueling a hydrogen internal combustion engine does not currently exist, the V12 engine also runs on gasoline, enabled via a push button system. Numerous engines power the 7 series worldwide. BMW offers diesel, straight 6, V8 and V12 motors, as well as the Alpina tuned supercharged V8. Additionally, the 760Li is also made in a bulletproof version.


BMW's second SUV debuted in 2004 (called SAV or Sports Activity Vehicle by BMW) and is based on the E46 3 Series layout, but the exterior is quite different. For 2007, the X3 is powered by the N52 inline 6 cylinder engine that debuted with the 2006 E90 3 Series. The X3 is a more functionally oriented vehicle that American buyers seem to prefer over a wagon; it is BMW's answer to the growing crossover segment of the market. It has performed quite well in sales. In 2007 a face lift was given to the X3, including an X-drive update, suspension adjustments, an engine upgrade, and aesthetics inside and out.

Marketed in Europe as an off-roader, it benefits from an advanced all-wheel drive system. This, combined with its standard "Enhanced DSC" stability control, make the X3 a capable vehicle on and off road.


The BMW X5 (E53) is a mid-size luxury SUV (SAV) sold by BMW since 2000. It features all-wheel drive and a line of straight-6 and V8 engines. For non-US models there is a 3.0 L diesel engine.

The BMW E70 automobile platform replaced the BMW E53 in November 2006. The E70-based X5 SUV features many new technological advancements including BMW's iDrive system as standard equipment and, for the first time in a BMW, an optional third row seat which has increased the seating capacity in the new X5 to 7 passengers.

The E53 model was rated the by IIHS in 2002 to be the safest vehicle that organization had ever tested. Since then, BMW has applied their craft to the current generation E70 to incorporate innovative "firsts" for the SUV/SAV industry, such as Run Flat Tires, complimentary BMW Assist, and a unique rear framing section to protect 3rd row occupants from injury due to an impact.

The E70 features either a 3.0si(253 hp)or a 4.8i(343 hp)powertrain. In most parts of Europe, either a 3.0d(232 hp)or a 3.0sd(282 hp)engine is available. The 3.0d and 3.0sd are the same engine, they differ only in that the 3.0sd uses the turbocharged 3 litre engine from the 335d/535d. It has been announced that the X5 M will be released in 2008, it will feature the V12 engine out of the BMW 760, and will provide the car with 432 hp (322 kW). The X5 M will feature a full body-kit, new alloy wheels, and generally a revised look.


A 2-seater roadster and coupé which succeeded the Z3. From 2006 the Z4 Roadster is available as a 3.0i (3.0 L I6 with 215 hp), a 3.0si available with the new generation 3.0 L I6 with 255 hp (190 kW), a 2.5si with a 2.5 I6 with 218 bhp (163 kW) or a 2.0i with a 150 bhp (112 kW) 2.0 L I4. The Z4 Coupé is available only in the high-performance 3.0si trim powered by the 3.0 L 255 hp (190 kW) I6. The Z4 is currently built at the Spartanburg plant.

  • Z4 M The new Z4 M roadster has been released as a Z4 with an E46 M3 motor (3.2 L, 343 hp) and also features the M braking, suspension, and M characteristics. There is also an M coupe model available.


BMW M GmbH (previously: BMW Motorsport GmbH) is a subsidiary of German car manufacturer BMW AG established in May 1972 with just eight employees. BMW M, also known as M-Technik or just "M" (for Motorsport) was initially created to facilitate BMW’s racing program, which was very successful in the 1960s and 1970s. The first racing project was BMW’s 3.0 CSL; in the late 1970s the first modified street legal road cars were produced for the contracted racecar drivers as their personal vehicles. By 1988, the number of employees had risen to 400.


Based on the 3 Series Coupe & Convertible, the M3 defined an entirely new market for BMW: a race ready production vehicle. Since its debut, the M3 is heralded in enthusiast circles, in large part due to its unique geometry and award winning powerplants. MY2008 marks the first time a Formula 1 inspired V8 will be offered., producing 420 hp (313 kW) that can reach 62 mph (100 km/h) in about 4.5 seconds. The newest platform will be available fall of 2007 in Europe, and second quarter of 2008 for the U.S. in Coupe (E92), and later the Cabriolet (E93), and Sedan (E90) variants.


Based on the 5 Series, the M5 is the M division's 500 hp (373 kW) V10-powered version of the E60 5 series which makes 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.1 seconds, impressive for a 4 door saloon car. The M5 was the first 4-door sedan to be considered a sports car, and at one time was the fastest production sedan ever produced.


The M6 is the M division's version of the E63. The M6 shares its drivetrain with the M5. The V10 produces 500 horsepower (370 kW) and 383 ft·lbf (519 N·m) of torque. This new engine is mated to a seven-speed SMG transmission.

Z4 M

BMW’s two-seater is powered by the same prize-winning 3.2-litre straight-six M engine also featured in the BMW M3(E46) and the BMW Z4 Roadster. The engine’s performance figures are: 3,246 cc displacement, 343 bhp (256 kW) maximum output at an engine speed of 7,900 rpm, maximum engine speed of 8,000 rpm. No less than 80 per cent of the engine’s maximum torque of 262 ft·lbf (355 N·m) is available at the driver’s request from just 2,000 rpm. Output per litre is 103 bhp (77 kW), giving the Z4 M Coupe a power-to-weight ratio of just 9.9 lb/bhp. Acceleration to 60 mph (100 km/h) comes in 4.8 seconds and top speed is limited electronically to 155 mph (249 km/h).


  • Z10/M10: A supercar to succeed the Z8, will likely compete with the Audi R8 and forthcoming Mercedes-Benz SLC; in late September 2007 BMW Group registered the M10 name.
  • BMW X1 : An SAV based on the BMW 1-Series to be positioned below the X3. Likely to be built at Magna Steyr in Austria, where X3 production will be phased out.
  • BMW PAS : the BMW Progressive Activity Sedan has been officially announced, yet it is unclear exactly what this will be conceptually. Sources say it is based on a 7 Series platform in a 5-seater hatchback-style car. Competing against Mercedes R-Class.
  • BMW F01/F02 7-Series : The F01 and F02 will be the replacement for the 7-Series for either 2008 or 2009. The F02 is the longer wheelbase version, which will get a more differentiated design than before. In addition there will be a "Baby Rolls-Royce" based on this platform that will compete with the Bentley Continental series.
  • BMW X6: A coupe-based SUV. The X6 has been spotted testing. It should come out Mid-2008. A concept was shown at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show.
  • BMW CS: Possibly will revive the 8-series nameplate. A four-door grand tourer/coupé to be based on the BMW CS Concept, competing against the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, and Porsche Panamera
  • BMW X5 M- a 432 bhp (322 kW) version of the current X5, may be powered by the V10 from the M5.


  • 1990 BMW M8 Prototype A prototype designed as a "Ferrari killer". It was never put into production because of the lack of a market for such a car.
  • 1999 Z9: a concept car designed by Adrian van Hooydonk marked a departure from BMW's traditional conservative style, and has caused some controversy among BMW enthusiasts.
  • BMW 750hL showcased at Expo 2000 at the BMW World exhibit. As one of the world's first autos to use an engine propelled by liquid hydrogen, the 750hL produces 2 by products: electricity and water. There are as of March 2007, 100 750hL vehicles in the USA for testing purposes.See the BMW website.
  • 2001 xCoupe
  • 2007 BMW CS Concept - BMW has expressed interest in producing the vehicle under the 8 Series name.
  • 2008 Concept 1 series tii

Out of production

  • M1: a 1970s mid-engine sports car, designed in conjunction with Lamborghini. As Lamborghini went into bankruptcy the production was shifted to the German Karmanwerke.
  • Z3: a 2-seater roadster.
    • M coupé and roadster: high-performance hard-top and soft-top versions of the Z3, very popular among enthusiasts. The Z3 was first shown on the big screen in the James Bond film GoldenEye, marking the first time Pierce Brosnan played Bond and the first time the MI6 agent's gadget-laden car wasn't British.
  • 8 Series: a fast, high-technology coupé of the 1990s. Unconfirmed rumors suggest that this may be revived, see BMW CS Concept, to compete against the globally acclaimed Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.
  • Z1: a late 1980s two-seater with innovative modular construction; only 8,000 were made. Best known for the feature of the vertically sliding doors.
  • Z8: a roadster with design based on the classic 507 roadster from the 1950s. Debuted in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, marking the last time Bond would drive a BMW. Only 5000 were built, the last 500 being a special edition built by Alpina but sold directly from BMW. This exciting halo car was built on an aluminium space frame design.


BMW made many cars over the years which have had great impact on the world of motoring.

  • 3.0 CSL
  • M1
  • M3
  • M5
  • M6 (e24) First production line M car. Supercoupe capable of over 150 mph (241 km/h)
  • M Roadster
  • Dixi, 3/20, 303, 309, 315, 319, 320, 321, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 335
  • Isetta, 600, 700
  • 501, 502, 503, 507
  • 3200 CS, 2000 CS
  • New Sixes (2500/2800/Bavaria/2.5/2.8/3.0/3.3): Predecessor to today's 7 Series
  • New Class (1500/1502/1600/1800/1802/2000/2002): Predecessor to the 3 Series

Series Generations

Internally, BMW associates an "e-code" for each generation of a series ("E" stands for Entwicklung, German for development or evolution). These "chassis codes" only change to signify a major redesign of a series, or the introduction of a new series. BMW AG reported in September 2006 that BMW would switch to the letter "F" for their future models, beginning with the F01 7 Series replacement.

  • BMW E3 — (1968–1977)

2.5, 2.8, 3.0, 3.3 "New Six" sedans

  • BMW E9 — (1969–1975) 2800CS, 3.0CS, 3.0CSL "New Six" coupés
  • BMW E12 — (1974–1981) 5 Series
  • BMW E21 — (1976–1983) 3 Series
  • BMW E23 — (1977–1986) 7 Series
  • BMW E24 — (1976–1989) 6 Series
  • BMW E26 — (1978–1981) M1
  • BMW E28 — (1981–1987) 5 Series
  • BMW E30 — (1984–1991) 3 Series (1982-1983 E30 sold in Europe)
  • BMW E31 — (1989–1997) 8 Series
  • BMW E32 — (1986–1994) 7 Series
  • BMW E34 — (1988–1995) 5 Series
  • BMW E36 — (1992–1999) 3 Series
  • BMW E36/5 — (1995–1998) 3 Series Compact (US market known as "318ti")
  • BMW E36/7 — (1996-2002) Z3 Series Roadster
  • BMW E36/8 — (1998-2002) Z3 Series Coupé
  • BMW E38 — (1994–2001) 7 Series
  • BMW E39 — (1995–2003) 5 Series
  • BMW E46/5 — (2000–2004) 3 Series Compact
  • BMW E46/4 — (1998–2005) 3 Series Sedan
  • BMW E46/3 — (1999–2005) 3 Series Touring/Sports Wagon
  • BMW E46/2 — (1999–2006) 3 Series Coupé
  • BMW E46/C — (1999–2006) 3 Series Convertible
  • BMW E52 — (2000–2003) Z8
  • BMW E53 — (2000–2006) X5
  • BMW E60 — (2004–present) 5 Series
  • BMW E61 — (2004–2007) 5 Series Touring/Sports Wagon
  • BMW E63 — (2004–present) 6 Series coupé
  • BMW E64 — (2004–present) 6 Series convertible
  • BMW E65 — (2002–2007) 7 Series short wheelbase
  • BMW E66 — (2002–2007) 7 Series long wheelbase
  • BMW E67 — (2002–2007) 7 Series Protection
  • BMW E70 — (2007-present) X5
  • BMW E71 — (2008) X6
  • BMW E72 — (2008) X6 Hybrid
  • BMW E81 — (2007-present) 1 Series (3-door)
  • BMW E82 — (2007-present) 1 Series Coupé
  • BMW E82/2 — (2010) Z2
  • BMW E83 — (2004–present) X3
  • BMW E85 — (2003–present) Z4
  • BMW E86 — (2006–present) Z4 Coupé
  • BMW E87 — (2004–present) 1 Series (5-door)
  • BMW E88 — (2008) 1 Series Convertible
  • BMW E89 — (2009) Z4 roadster
  • BMW E90 — (2005–present) 3 Series
  • BMW E91 — (2005–present) 3 Series Touring/Sports Wagon
  • BMW E92 — (2006–present) 3 Series Coupé
  • BMW E93 — (2007–present) 3 Series Convertible
  • BMW E99 — (2009) V5 Progressive Activity Sedan (PAS)
  • BMW F01 — (2008) 7 Series
  • BMW F02 — (2009) 7 Series long wheelbase
  • BMW F03 — (2008) 7 Series Protection
  • BMW F04 — (2009) 8 Series Light Base
  • BMW F10 — (2010) 5 Series
  • BMW F11 — (2012) 5 Series Touring/Sports Wagon
  • BMW F12 — (2011) 6 Series Coupé
  • BMW F13 — (2011) 6 Series Convertible
  • BMW F25 — (2011) X3

Recently BMW has become concerned with the rising number of their vehicles being imported from the United States into Canada and with the cooperation of the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (a private contractor to the federal Government of Canada) has placed impediments to the importation of BMW vehicles into Canada. All BMW dealers in the United States and Canada are now forbidden from printing vehicle history reports that list warrantee work that has been performed as well as the status of any safety recalls and supplying this document to the legal owners of the vehicles. Owners of BMW vehicles are considered to be a "third party" to information regarding the safety of BMW products. BMW now requires owners importing their cars into Canada to pay a fee of $300 (CDN) for a document guaranteeing the vehicle's admissibility into Canada and $500 (CDN) for a letter advising the Registrar of Imported Vehicles that there are no outstanding recalls on that vehicle.


The BMW Car Club of America is an organization of BMW enthusiasts with chapters throughout the United States. The club runs a myriad of events, generally open to the public, to enjoy BMW vehicles in all their forms....


BMW has been engaged in motorsport activities since the dawn of the first BMW motorcycle. BMW has competed and won many of the most coveted and prestigious races and motoring events.


  • Formula BMW - A Junior racing Formula category.
  • Kumho BMW Championship - A BMW-exclusive championship run in the United Kingdom.

Formula car

  • Formula One - BMW has won 19 grands prix as an engine builder and has not won as a team/constructor up to 2007.
    • BMW Sauber F1 Team - current BMW works Formula One team
    • WilliamsF1 - former Formula One partner, and designer of BMW's Le Mans winning sports car
    • Brabham - Former Formula One partner, winning the Drivers Championship in 1983
    • Arrows, used BMW engines from 1984 to 1986

Sports car

  • Le Mans 24 Hours - BMW won Le Mans in 1999 with the BMW V12 LMR designed by Williams Grand Prix Engineering. Also the Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing team won the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans in a McLaren F1 GTR race car.
  • Nürburgring - BMW won the 24 Hours Nürburgring 18 times and the 1000km Nürburgring 2 times (1976 and 1981).
  • 24 Hours of Daytona - BMW won 1 time (1976)
  • Spa 24 Hours - BMW won 21 times
  • McLaren F1 - Successful mid-1990s GT racing car with a BMW designed engine. It won BPR Global GT Series in 1995 and 1996 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995.

Touring car

BMW has a long and very successful history in this category, touring car racing.

  • European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) - Since 1968, BMW won 24 drivers' championships along with several manufacturers' and teams' titles.
  • World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) - BMW won all drivers' championship at present and three manufacturers' titles (1987, 2005, 2006 and 2007)
  • DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft) won the drivers' championships:
    • 1988: Roberto Ravaglia, BMW M3
    • 1987: Winfried Vogt, BMW M3
    • 1983: Dieter Quester, BMW 635 CSI
    • 1982: Umberto Grano, Helmut Kelleners, BMW 528i
    • 1981: Umberto Grano, Helmut Kelleners, BMW 635 CSI
    • 1980: Siegfried Müller Jr., Helmut Kelleners, BMW 320i
    • 1979: Carlo Facetti, Martino Finotto, BMW 3.0 CSL
    • 1978: Umberto Grano, BMW 3.0 CSL
    • 1977: Dieter Quester, BMW 3.0 CSL
    • 1976: Pierre Dieudonné, Jean Xhenceval, BMW 3.0 CSL
    • 1975: Siegfried Müller, Alain Peltier, BMW 3.0 CSL
  • British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) - BMW won the drivers' championship in 1988, 1991, 1992 and 1993 and manufacturers' championship in 1991 and 1993.
  • Japanese Touring Car Championship (JTCC) - BMW (Schnitzer) flied from Europe to Japan, competed in the years and won the championship in 1995
  • Mille Miglia - BMW won Mille Miglia in 1940 in with a 328 Touring Coupé. Previously in 1938 the 328 sport car also obtained a class victory.


  • RAC Rally - The 328 sport car won this event in 1939.
  • Paris Dakar Rally - BMW motorcycles have won this event 6 times.


The term "beemer" started as an acronym for the abbreviation "BMW," adapted from the early-20th century British pronunciation of BSA (as "beeser" or "beezer"), whose motorcycles were often racing BMWs. Over time, the term became closely associated with BMW motorcycles.

In the United States, the term "bimmer" was later coined to refer (exclusively) to BMW automobiles. As such, use of the word "beemer" to refer to a BMW automobile is frowned upon by some BMW enthusiasts, because it is the term used for motorcycles. Although the distinction is completely arbitrary, to this day, the media, movies, and most people still use the term "beemer" to refer to the automobiles.

The initials BMW are pronounced "bay emm vay" in German. The model series are referred to as "Dreier" ("Three-er" for 3 series), "Fünfer" ("Five-er" for the 5 series), "Sechser" ("Six-er" for the 6 series), "Siebener" ("Seven-er" for the 7 series).


BMWs follow a certain nomenclature in the naming many of their vehicles; a 3 digit number is followed by 1 or 2 letters. The first number is the series number. The next two numbers traditionally represent the engine displacement in litres divided by 10.

The system of letters is as follows:

  • d = diesel
  • i = fuel-injected
  • x = all wheel drive (xDrive)
  • L = long wheel base
  • C = coupe
  • T = touring (wagon/estate)
  • t = hatchback
  • g = biogas
  • s = sport package (Sports seats in the front, spoiler on the rear, improved gearbox, custom rims)
  • si= sports injection (the new range of x5, x3 and z4 engines)
  • e = eta (essentially "economy" in English)
  • es = eta sport

For example, a BMW 760Li is a fuel-injected 7 Series with a long wheel base and 6.0 litres of displacement.

However, there are exceptions. The 2007 BMW 328i is a 3 Series that has a 3.0 litre engine. The 2007 BMW 335i has that same 3.0 litre engine, however it is twin-turbocharged and not identified in the nomenclature.

The 'M' - for Motorsport - Series has a very simple nomenclature: M3, M5, M6, etc. It identifies the high-performance 'M' version of a particular series. For example, the M6 is the highest performing vehicle in the 6 Series lineup. Although 'M' cars should be separated into their respective series platforms, it is very common to see 'M' cars grouped together as its own series.

The 'Z' identifies a BMW two seater roadster. For example the Z1, Z3 and Z4. M varients of Z models have the M as a suffix, depending on country of sale. (e.g. 'Z4 M')

When the 'X' supersedes the series number (e.g. X3 and X5), this nomenclature refers to the Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) lineup.

Also, Station-wagons/Estates are traditionally given the "Touring" or "Sport Wagon" tagline, depending on country of sale.


BMW has always had a very tight and loyal community following. In the summer of 2001, BMW even went as far as starting the BMW Films website, showcasing some sporty models being driven to extremes. These videos are very popular within the enthusiast community and have opened the eyes of many owners looking for a sporty/fun car. However, even with all this success, on October 21st, 2005, the BMW Films were taken offline.

Every year since 1999, BMW enthusiasts have met up in Santa Barbara, CA to attend Bimmerfest. Perhaps one of the largest brand-specific gatherings in the U.S. Over 3000 people attended in 2006, and there were over 1000 cars present. In 2007, the event was held on May 5.

Overseas subsidiaries

South Africa

BMWs have been assembled in South Africa since 1968, when Praetor Monteerders' plant was opened in Rosslyn, near Pretoria. BMW acquired the company in 1973, which became BMW South Africa, the first wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW to be established outside Germany. Two unique models that BMW Motorsport created for the South African market were the BMW 333i, which added a 6-cylinder 3.2 litre engine to the BMW 3 Series. and the E23 M745i, which used the engine from the BMW M1.

Unlike US manufacturers, such as Ford and GM, which divested from the country in the 1980s, BMW retained full ownership of its operations in South Africa.

Following the end of apartheid in 1994, and the lowering of import tariffs, BMW South Africa ended local production of the 5-Series and 7-Series, in order to concentrate on production of the 3-Series for the export market. South African-built BMWs are now exported to right hand drive markets including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Hong Kong, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 1997, BMW South Africa has produced vehicles in left hand drive for export to Taiwan, the United States and Iran, as well as South America.

Related companies

  • Automobilwerk Eisenach
  • Isetta
  • Glas
  • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited
  • Rover: owned by BMW from 1994 to 2000, BMW retained the Mini after selling off the rest of the company (see MG Rover Group).
  • Land Rover: sold to Ford; the current Range Rover was developed during BMW's ownership of the company and until recently was powered by their 4.4 L V8 petrol (gasoline) engine and continues to use the BMW 3.0 L I6 diesel engine
  • MINI: a small hatchback; inspired by the original Mini, which was the British competitor to the Volkswagen Beetle.
  • Wiesmann: A company making sporty 2-seater roadsters and coupés for which BMW supplies the engine and transmission components.
  • Bavaria Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH: BMW Group subsidiary that offers insurance services.
  • AC Schnitzer: A tuning company specialising in BMW vehicles.
  • Alpina: A Motor Manufacturer in its own right, who creates vehicles based on BMW cars.
  • Breyton: A tuning manufacturer specialising in BMW cars.
  • G-Power: A tuning company specialising in BMW vehicles.
  • Hartge: A tuning company specialising in BMW, MINI and Range Rover cars.
  • Hamann Motorsport: A Motor Styling and Tuning Specialist who creates vehicles based on BMW cars.
  • MK-Motorsport: A tuning company specialising in BMW cars.

List of all BMW cars

Source: Wikipedia


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