40 years of BMW M Sports Division

In 2012, BMW M GmbH is celebrating its 40th anniversary by looking back at the models that have made the company what it is today.

Popular with fans as «The Fastest Letter», BMW’s sports division was founded in 1972. At that time, only 35 people worked at BMW M, led by Johann Nyirpasch.

He recruited a large group of pilots including Hans-Joachim Stuck, Chris Amon, Toin Hesemans, Dieter Kister, Bjorn Waldegaard and Akim Warmbold. With their help, a racing BMW 2002 is created, which weighs only 950 kg and is driven by a 4-cylinder engine that develops a maximum power of 240 hp. the 3.0 CSL model also appeared in the same year. It is a light sports car powered by a 3.3-liter six-cylinder engine producing 360 hp.


Following the track’s success (between 1973 and 1979, BMW Motorsport won the European Championship 6 times), BMW M began to offer modified, sportier versions of the 5 Series. It happened in 1974, and the cars received more power, more powerful brakes and a sports suspension.

BMW M GmbH gained its greatest popularity with the launch of the M1 supercar. It appeared in 1978 and was the first BMW M car. The BMW M1 is designed with the help of Lamborghini, uses a 3.5-liter inline-six engine and shapes designed by Giorgio Giugiaro. The production version generates 277 hp. (204 kW), which is enough to accelerate from standstill to 100 km / h in 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 260 km / h.


In 1980, Johann Nyirpasch left BMW Motorsport GmbH and was replaced by Dieter Stapper. Under his leadership and with the help of technical director Paul Roche, the Bavarians participated in formula 1. A 4-cylinder 1.5-liter turbo engine with 800 hp was developed.

In 1983, Nelson Pickett won the world title in a Brabham BMW.

The success of BMW Motorsport GmbH in Formula 1 is enormous. 10 Grand Prix trophies have been won. However, after that, the Bavarians abandoned the high-speed race and focused their efforts on the tourist championships.

BMW M5 (E28)

Four years later came the M5 and the M635CSi coupe. The first M5, known by the nickname «wolf in sheep’s clothing», has a power of 286 hp. and can develop 245 km / h.

Road-track version of the BMW M3 (E30)

In 1986, the iconic M3 appeared. The model, which is still considered the best M3 of all time, brings unprecedented success. It is equipped with a 200 hp four-cylinder engine. The M3 E30 has won the world racing title, the European title and is a two-time German DTM champion.

In 1993, Motorsport GmbH expanded and was renamed M GmbH. Below are a number of new models that continue the glorious history of «the fastest writing».

Today, BMW M GmbH offers an even wider range of vehicles. Over time, the company has evolved, developing turbocharged engines, 4×4 SUV models, and even diesel-powered vehicles (with three turbochargers).

News Reporter