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BMW M1 (1978-1981)
  • BMW M1 (1978-1981)
  • BMW M1 (1978-1981)

  • BMW M1 (1978-1981)
  • BMW M1 (1978-1981)

  • BMW M1 (1978-1981)
  • BMW M1 (1978-1981)

  • BMW M3 (E 30)
  • BMW M3 (E 30)

  • BMW M3 E30 Evo1 1988
  • BMW M3 E30 Evo1 1988

  • BMW M3 Sport Evolution
  • BMW M3 Sport Evolution

  • BMW M3 E36 Coup� 1992
  • BMW M3 E36 Coupé 1992

  • BMW M3 E36 GT 1994
  • BMW M3 E36 GT 1994

  • BMW M3 E36 engine (286 PS) 1992
  • BMW M3 E36 engine (286 PS) 1992

  • BMW M3 E46 Coup� 2000
  • BMW M3 E46 Coupé 2000

  • BMW M3 E46 convertible 2002
  • BMW M3 E46 convertible 2002

  • BMW M3 E46 CSL 2003
  • BMW M3 E46 CSL 2003

  • BMW M3 E46 CSL engine (360 HP) 2003
  • BMW M3 E46 CSL engine (360 HP) 2003

  • BMW M5 (E 28) - model designation
  • BMW M5 (E 28) - model designation

  • BMW M5 saloon (E 34), BMW M5 (E 28) and BMW M1 in the background
  • BMW M5 saloon (E 34), BMW M5 (E 28) and BMW M1 in the background

  • BMW M5 (E 28)
  • BMW M5 (E 28)

  • BMW M5 saloon (E 34) and BMW M5 touring (E 34)
  • BMW M5 saloon (E 34) and BMW M5 touring (E 34)

  • BMW M5 (E 34) engine (intake side)
  • BMW M5 (E 34) engine (intake side)

  • Poster "Sonntagmorgen, 7 Uhr 15, Formel M." (BMW M5 saloon E 34)
  • Poster "Sonntagmorgen, 7 Uhr 15, Formel M." (BMW M5 saloon E 34)

  • BMW M5 (E 39)
  • BMW M5 (E 39)

  • BMW M5 (E 39)
  • BMW M5 (E 39)

  • M 60 8-cylinder-engine
  • M 60 8-cylinder-engine

  • BMW M5
  • BMW M5

  • BMW M5 Touring
  • BMW M5 Touring

  • BMW M5 Touring gill
  • BMW M5 Touring gill

  • BMW M635CSi
  • BMW M635CSi

  • BMW M635CSi
  • BMW M635CSi

  • BMW M6 Convertible
  • BMW M6 Convertible

  • BMW M6
  • BMW M6

  • BMW M roadster
  • BMW M roadster

  • BMW M roadster, Cockpit
  • BMW M roadster, Cockpit

  • BMW M coup�
  • BMW M coupé

  • BMW M coup�
  • BMW M coupé

  • BMW Formula-2-Engine, 1980
  • BMW Formula-2-Engine, 1980

  • BMW Formula-1-Engine, 1983
  • BMW Formula-1-Engine, 1983

  • BMW Formula-1-Engine, 1983
  • BMW Formula-1-Engine, 1983

  • Nelson Piquet during the GP of Brazil, 1983 in the Brabham BMW BT 52
  • Nelson Piquet during the GP of Brazil, 1983 in the Brabham BMW BT 52

  • BMW 635CSi Group A, Touring Car EM in Monza 1983
  • BMW 635CSi Group A, Touring Car EM in Monza 1983

  • BMW 635CSi Group A "J�germeister" with Hans-Joachim Stuck, DPM 1984
  • BMW 635CSi Group A "Jägermeister" with Hans-Joachim Stuck, DPM 1984

  • Nelson Piquet in the BMW M1 ProCar
  • Nelson Piquet in the BMW M1 ProCar

  • BMW M1 ProCar race at the Monaco Grand Prix
  • BMW M1 ProCar race at the Monaco Grand Prix

  • Andy Warhol, Art Car, 1979 - BMW M1 Gruppe 4 Rennversion
  • Andy Warhol, Art Car, 1979 - BMW M1 Gruppe 4 Rennversion

  • BMW M3 E30 street and race car 1987
  • BMW M3 E30 street and race car 1987

  • Touring car racing world championship 1987, Roberto Ravaglia in the BMW M3, 4th race N�rburgring
  • Touring car racing world championship 1987, Roberto Ravaglia in the BMW M3, 4th race Nürburgring

  • BMW M3 E30 Gruppe A Rallye Tour de Corse 1987
  • BMW M3 E30 Gruppe A Rallye Tour de Corse 1987

  • The building of BMW Motorsport GmbH, 1990
  • The building of BMW Motorsport GmbH, 1990

  • BMW M5 Ring-Taxi, 1992
  • BMW M5 Ring-Taxi, 1992

When we think of the BMW M division, the 1978 M1 comes instantly to mind, followed by the E30 M3 and then the 2001-2002 M Coupe. But the company's in-house hot rod shop actually dates back to 1972, when it was formed as a subsidiary to manage the company's racing operations, dubbed BMW Motorsport.

It was this month 40 years ago that what is known today as BMW M GmbH was launched. So to celebrate its anniversary, BMW has offloaded some 50 lustworthy images celebrating that performance history. See them all in our gallery.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      AnalogJesse
      • 3 Years Ago
      Congrats BMW. The M Coupe is one of the most pristine cars ever produced.
      simianspeedster
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had an E30 M3 from 1988-1991. I fear I'll never drive a better car in my life. I'm not suggesting that automotive evolution stopped at that E30 M3, but that car possessed a combination of talents that was and is very rare. It wasn't the fastest thing on 4 wheels, but I'd argue that it was the most entertaining and, to some, the most satisfying. But the world has moved as has BMW...
      BG
      • 3 Years Ago
      The M1 and all the M sedans and coupes are fabulous road machines. But to apply the M name to big, heavy, high-gravity things like the X6: what a way to sully your reputation. And the people who lease something like that: what do they think they are doing, leasing a track machine or a luxurious GT for cruising the Cote d'Azure?
      Tina Dang
      • 3 Years Ago
      The E39 M5 will forever hold a place in my heart. It seems both MB and BMW were perfect back during the 90's and very early 2000's, with lineups defining what they un-apologetically stood for. I miss the old BMW and Benz.
      jvshenderson
      • 3 Years Ago
      (OO==[][]==OO)
      Stefan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great. Now if M could just remind itself that it needs to get back to making no-compromise GTs (and a few special editions that aren't just fancy frozen paint would be nice, too). Let's continue N/A R&D!
      ichime
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about BMW build a goddamn supercar or a high performance GT for their 40th anniversary or for any anniversary for that matter? As an auto enthusiast, I'm pretty peeved that BMW doesn't have that caliber a vehicle in their lineup to compete with the likes of the R8 V10, 911 GT2/Carrera GT, SLR/SLS, etc. I mean, they talk about having the "Ultimate Driving Machine," they obviously love racing with stock vehicles so much that 1) they have nurburgring taxis and 2) they have a HOW-TO guide in running a good nurburgring lap in a BMW 3 series, I mean come on. Even Lexus has a car that can compete in the high end. They've been talking about building an M1 successor since forever while making a "homage" vehicle they know has no chance to make it to production. So much for being the home of the Ultimate Driving Machine when they have no Ultimate Machine to Drive... For the tl/dr crowd: BMW, please make a SLS killer (gotta start somewhere I guess) that's not an ///M version of your current lineup :( /rant
        Windy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ichime
        I remember reading something about the heads of the M division trying to get clearence to build their own Supercar
      Bobby_Sards
      • 3 Years Ago
      e46 m3, e39 m5
      desinerd1
      • 3 Years Ago
      BMW used to make some really hideous looking cars. I'm glad that era is over.
      Kyle Potter
      • 3 Years Ago
      Best article in ages.
      miketim1
      • 3 Years Ago
      2001 M5 (E39) & 2003 M3 CSL My favorite M cars only M cars I really care for.
      Tamoor Chaudhry
      • 3 Years Ago
      My two favorite Ms will always be the e39 M5 and e46 M3. Classic designs and NA engines with great power.
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