Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (info) (BMW), (English: Bavarian Motor Works) is an independent German automobile manufacturer. BMW is one of the world’s leading performance-luxury manufacturers of cars and motorcycles, along with being a parent company of the MINI and Rolls-Royce car brands.


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, the company was actually founded 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.

Beginning with radio flyer 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 symbolise a spinning propeller according to a BMW spokesman (although the imagery did appear in post-WWI advertisements). The BMW roundel badge is believed to have been partially derived from the logo of its predecessor company Rapp Motorenwerke[citation needed], while ultimately taking on the colours 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.


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 shares many structural chassis and electronic elements with the 3-series. The model was started to replace the aborted Rover R30 hatchback following the sale of Rover and Land-Rover, 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 is also 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 uses a softop unlike the 3 series convertible’s hard top. This is cheaper to manufacture and preserves more trunk space than the folding hardtop would allow.

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, South 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 electronic controller iDrive- ‘I drive’, 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 liquid 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, which BMW calls a “secrutiy sedan”


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.[citation needed], 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,[1] 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 M5 engine won the best engine in its category three years in a row.


The M6 is the M division’s version of the E63. The M6 shares its drivetrain with the M5. The V10 produces {{Auto horsepower|500| The M6 made its way into the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. It is currently available in a Coupe and a Convertible version, however, it is understood that an M6 CSL version is to be released in the future. The vehicle only weighs around 1750kg, but that low amount assures that it reaches 100km/h (60 miles) in 4.6 seconds.

The vehicle is based on the 6 Series Coupe and Convertible, which were launched back in 2004.

The carbon fiber and other light materials are used in places like the bumpers and roof that are far from the centre of gravity and/or high up, so that they not only reduce the overall weight but improve the handling by reducing, respectively, the moment of inertia and the centre of mass height.

The previous generation was launched in 1983, but ended in 1989 with around 5,855 sold.

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 lb·ft (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).

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