BMW M Series BMW M vehicles driving on race track

OVERVIEW OF THE BMW M SERIES’ HISTORY.

Passion for motor sport, exclusivity, and perfection – join us as we journey through almost 50 years of BMW M models. We’ll introduce you to vehicles from the legendary BMW M1 and M3 to the current BMW M8. Discover exceptional performance and the opportunity to personalise models with BMW Individual and BMW M performance parts.

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OVERVIEW OF THE BMW M SERIES’ HISTORY.

THE BMW M1 (E26).

BMW M Series BMW M1 E26 three-quarter front view standing

With its timeless wedge shape, the first vehicle developed by the then BMW Motorsport GmbH in the late seventies received an enthusiastic welcome. Developed by design legend Giorgio Giugiaro, the shape is based on the BMW Turbo, a 1972 study by BMW’s longtime designer Paul Bracq. The narrow kidneys, the folding headlights and the clearly-drawn lines combine esthetics and dynamics. And the performance is also legendary: Until 1983 it was the fastest production vehicle in Germany. The mid-engine super sports car reaches a maximum speed of well over 260 km/h, establishing the tradition of M road vehicles.


From 1979 to 1981 only 460 vehicles were made – all hand built. Anyone lucky enough to drive a BMW M1 talks of its exceptional driving style, flexible curve dynamics and fast-turning 3.5 litre engine.

Production period: 1978 – 1981

Engines: 3.5 litres (204 kW, 277 hp), 6-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,359 mm / 1,824 mm / 1,138 mm

BMW 1 M COUPÉ (E82).

BMW M Series BMW 1 Series M Coupé E82 three-quarter front view dirivng on the street

Even though the BMW 1 has been delighting drivers who appreciate sportiness and outstanding handling in a compact vehicle since 2004, the BMW 1 M Coupé was only introduced in 2011. Two turbochargers boost the inline 6-cylinder petrol engine to 340 hp (250 kW). Combined with the short wheelbase and the wider track than the regular BMW 1, this provides a driving experience with extraordinary dynamics. More than 6,300 vehicles were built up to 2012. Three years later the BMW M2 joins the series, continuing the concept of merging a compact vehicle with the best characteristics of a sports car.

Production period: 2011 – 2012

Engines: 3.0 litres (250 kW, 277 hp), 6-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,380 mm / 1,803 mm / 1,420 mm

THE BMW M2 (F87).

BMW M Series BMW M2 F87 side view dirivng on the street

Since 2015 the BMW M2 has been the successor to the BMW 1 M Coupé, and has continued the dynamic, powerful compact series established by the BMW 2002 Turbo and the BMW M3 (E30).

The vehicle’s distinctive, confident exterior with its wide-flared wings and large inlets in the front apron are a testament to this. The 6-cylinder, turbo petrol engine has impressive torque and power, transferred to the road via an optional double-clutch transmission. The BMW M2 Competition, with an additional output of 30 kW (40 hp), took over in 2018 and is surpassed only by the BMW M2 CS (Club Sport). This has a production run of just 2,200 vehicles and an engine producing 331 kW (450 hp). In every version, the M chassis ensures clean, clear handling, precise control, and driving pleasure.

Production period BMW M2: 2015 – 2018, M2 Competition: 2018 – 2020, M2 CS: 2020

Engines: 3.0 litres (272 – 331 kW, 370 – 450 hp), 6-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,461 – 4,468 mm / 1,854 – 1,871 mm / 1,410 – 1,414 mm

THE BMW M3 (E30/2S, E30/2SC, E36/2S, E36/2CS, E36/4S, E46/2S, E46/2CS, E90/92/93, F80, G80).

BMW M Series BMW M3 G80 front view dirivng on the street

Originally, the BMW M3 (E30/2S, E30/2SC) was intended to be the road version of a racing vehicle. However, interest was so overwhelming that many more than the 5,000 vehicles needed for Group A approval were sold. Extreme dynamics are immediately evident on the exterior; from the wide fenders and iconic rear wings to the newly designed C-pillar. The interior also features everything that has proven its worth in racing: internally ventilated brake discs, sports transmission with lower left first gear, the 2.3 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine with 200 hp (143 kW).

While the racing version goes from win to win, the BMW M3 exceeds all sales expectations: More than 18,000 vehicles, including the convertible version, were sold. As well as the revised 220 hp (154 kW) Evolution version and the BMW M3 Sport Evolution with 2.5 litre displacement and 238 hp (166 kW).

1992 sees the second generation of the BMW M3 (E36) continuing the success story. The vehicle is clearly more grown-up. There are only minor visual changes compared to the regular model, such as the aerodynamically optimized M exterior mirrors. But there are radical changes under the hood: The inline 6-cylinder petrol engine with 286 hp (210 kW) and variable overhead camshafts (VANOS system) delivers breathtaking acceleration. From 1995 the model was updated to give not just 200 cm3 more displacement, but also 321 hp (236 kW).

At the turn of the millennium, the third version of the BMW M3 (E46) was launched, followed by the BMW M3 Convertible one year later. They continue the fundamental concept behind the BMW M3, combining as little weight as possible with as much driving dynamics as possible. The M genes are evident in the 343 hp (252 kW) driving experience. The exteriors of the Coupé and Convertible differ from the standard model with their wider camber, the grilles on the front fenders and the powerdome on the bonnet.

The BMW M3s built between 2007 and 2013 were fitted with a number of new features. Just like the regular models, three bodies were available: Saloon (E90), Coupé (E92), and Convertible (E93). For the first time, a BMW M3 had a V8 engine. The 4-litre assembly delivers 420 hp (309 kW) and turns up to 8,300 rpm – the highest-speed production engine ever built by BMW. With the optional M Driver’s Package, the car reaches a maximum speed of 280 km/h.

From 2014, the fifth generation of the BMW M3 (F80) once again relies on an inline 6-cylinder petrol engine which, for the first time in an BMW M3, is fitted with turbochargers. The engine delivers its maximum torque at 1,850 rpm, making fast acceleration possible, whatever the circumstances. The 432 hp (317 kW) BMW M3 Saloon is the only body design available – the related Coupé and Convertible are now called BMW M4. The fender extensions, the M exterior mirrors, and the dark M carbon roof also show to the outside world that this vehicle has exceptional handling and driving dynamics. 2016 sees the introduction of the BMW M3 Competition, featuring an engine that delivers 450 hp (331 kW) and uses the adaptive M chassis as standard.

In 2018, the BMW M3 CS is manufactured for just three months, adding an additional 10 hp to bring it to 460 hp (338 kW).

The BMW M3 (G80) has been available since 2021 with a radically different appearance from the standard saloon due to its large, high-standing kidney. It continues the concept of combining sportiness, dynamism, and everyday practicality of the previous BMW M3 - the BMW M3 Competition offers 510 hp (375 kW) and the 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic enables rapid gear changes for maximum driving dynamics, combined with the precisely-tuned M chassis.

Production period BMW M3: 1986 – today

Engines: 2.3 – 3.0 litres (143 – 375 kW, 200 – 510 hp), 4-, 6- & 8-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,346 – 4,794 mm / 1,680 – 1,887 mm / 1,370 – 1,431 mm

THE BMW M4 (F82, F83, G82).

BMW M Series BMW M4 G82 three-quarter side view standing

The BMW 4 Series replaces the 3 Series Coupé and represents a clear break. Obviously designed from scratch, this vehicle differs significantly from the BMW 3 series with its recessed passenger compartment, longer hood and shorter overhangs – all leading to a more expressive, more powerful appearance. This also applies to the BMW M4 Coupé and the M4 Coupé Competition (2016 – 2020) delivering 450 hp (331 kW), as well as the 2017 and 2018 M4 Coupé CS with 460 hp (338 kW). Meanwhile, the M4 is available as GTS Coupé (2017 – 2018), powered by 500 hp (368 kW). The M4 Convertible and the M4 Competition Convertible bring a breath of fresh air. All vehicles use a 3.0 litre 6-cylinder petrol engine with a twin scroll turbocharger.

The considerably longer and wider second generation sets clear visual accents with the double kidney standing high and tilted forward. With the BMW M4, the 3.0 litre petrol engine with 6 cylinders delivers 510 hp (375 kW). With the optional M Driver’s Package, it reaches a top speed of 290 km/h. Dynamism and agility are underscored by precise, uncompromising design.

Production period BMW M4: 2014 – today

Engines: 3.0 litres (317 – 375 kW, 431 – 510 hp), 6-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,671 – 4,794 mm / 1,870 – 1,887 mm / 1,383 – 1,394 mm

THE BMW M5 (E28S, E34S, E34/5S, E39S, E60, E61, F10, F90).

BMW M Series BMW M5 F90 three-quarter front view dirivng on the street

Visually, the first BMW M5 (E28S) in 1985 hardly differed from the standard saloon. But the hand-crafted vehicles featured an updated BMW M1 engine and can therefore reach a speed of over 250 km/h. With more than 2,200 vehicles produced, the foundations for the top-of-the-line version of one of the most successful sports saloons were laid.

In 1988, the new BMW 5 series also included a new M5 (E34S). This initially delivered 315 hp (232 kW), but in 1992 the engines were re-engineered. Now they extract 340 hp (250 kW) from a 3.8 litre displacement and, in a limited edition of fewer than 900 units, the car is also available as an M5 Touring. Thanks to its flawless driving experience and high-precision steering, this M5 also copes with every situation confidently and competently.

From 1998 to 2003, the BMW M5 (E39S) conquers the highway with an 8-cylinder engine delivering a 5 litre displacement and 400 hp (294 kW). At this time, it is the perfect example of a sports saloon – ideal for everyday use yet, thanks to its performance and dynamism, a match for almost every sports car.

The successor model (E60) appears in showrooms in 2005, followed by the Touring version (E61) in 2007, which is also the last M5 in this body shape. Equipped with a 10-cylinder engine, its 507 hp accelerates the vehicle to 305 km/h with the optional M Driver’s Package.

In 2011, BMW M GmbH equips the M5 (F10) with a twin turbo engine for the first time. The engine delivers 560 hp (412 kW) and, at the time, is the most powerful model in the BMW line-up. Two years later, the first M5 Competition model is available with a slight increase in performance to 575 hp (423 kW), and in 2014 the 8-cylinder “30 years of M5” Special Edition is re-engineered to produce 600 hp (441 kW). Placing maximum torque between 1,500 and 5,750 revolutions per minute is unusual – so acceleration capacity is there, whatever the circumstances.

The current BMW M5 (F90) has remained true to the product line since 2017 and combines the typical M sportiness with the comfort and elegance of the BMW 5 Saloon. The recognizable engine from the previous M5, the new M xDrive all-wheel drive, and an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission mean powerful acceleration and outstanding driving dynamics are typical features of this vehicle from BMW M GmbH. This is only surpassed in 2018 by the BMW M5 Competition, which delivers 25 hp more, taking 625 hp (460 kW) to the streets. Limited to just one year of production, the BMW M5 CS (Competition Sport) accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.0 seconds with 635 hp (467 kW). Carbon parts reduce the weight of the extremely sporty saloon, which, can reach a top speed of up to 305 km/h.

Production period BMW M5: 1985 – 1995, 1998 – 2003, 2005 – today

Engines: 3.5 – 5.0 litres (302 kW, 410 hp), 6-, 8- and 10-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,620 – 4,966 mm / 1,700 – 1,903 mm / 1,400 – 1,512 mm

THE BMW M6 (E63, E64, F06, F12, F13).

BMW M Series BMW M6 F13 three-quarter side view dirivng on the street

The M6’s predecessor, the BMW M635CSi, is already rolling off the production line in 1984. Equipped with the re-engineered BMW M1 engine, its 286 hp (210 kW) makes the coupé designed by Paul Bracq one of the fastest sports cars available at the time.

In 2005, with the end of the BMW 8 (E31), BMW once again launches a luxury-class coupé onto the market. Designed under Chris Bangle’s leadership, the vehicle has the typical M Coupé features: an exceptionally powerful 10-cylinder engine with 507 hp (373 kW), a characterful and confident design, and an adaptive chassis that not only guarantees comfort but also precision and driving dynamics. This is true for both fixed-roof and convertible versions of the car.

Its successor is introduced in 2012. The engine now has two fewer cylinders, but significantly more power. The twin-turbo V8 petrol engine delivers 560 hp (412 kW) or, as with the M6 Competition, 575 hp (423 kW). The Competition Coupé’s engine is re-engineered mid-2015 and puts 600 hp (441 kW) on the highway, thanks to its 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. With the optional M Driver’s Package, the BMW M6 reaches a top speed of 305 km/h. This performance is reflected in the Coupé, the Convertible and, since 2013, the Gran Coupé.

Production period BMW M6: 2005 – 2018

Engines: 4.4 – 5.0 litres (373 – 441 kW, 507 – 600 hp), 8- & 10-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,871 – 4,898 mm / 1,855 – 1,899 mm / 1,372 – 1,377 mm

THE BMW M8 COMPETITION (F91, F92, F93).

BMW M Series BMW M8 F92 three-quarter rear view standing with model

The M8 Coupé has been around for almost 30 years. At the beginning of the 1990s BMW engineers developed a BMW M8 prototype with a V12-cylinder engine based on the E31 Coupé.

But it took until 2019 for the first fully-badged BMW M8 Competition Coupé (F92), Convertible (F91) and Gran Coupé (F93) to appear in showrooms. With two parallel turbochargers, the 8-cylinder boasts a power output of 625 hp (460 kW) which, with the optional M Driver’s Package, enables speeds well above 300 km/h.

Even when parked, it is obvious the BMW M8 is the perfect combination of sportiness and luxury. The radical lines are dynamic and yet extremely elegant. Details such as the black chrome radiator grille and the high-gloss black mirror caps highlight the car’s sporty character: This is underscored by the standard carbon roof. What’s more, the adaptive M chassis, which adjusts to current driving conditions and supports the BMW M xDrive, ensures unparalleled driving dynamics. Whether as a Coupé, a Convertible or a four-door Gran Coupé, these vehicles offers superlatives in every respect.

Production period BMW M8 Competition: 2019 – today

Engines: 4.4 litres (460 kW, 625 hp), 8-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,867 – 5,098 mm / 1,907 – 1,948 mm / 1,353 – 1,420 mm

THE BMW X3 M COMPETITION (F97).

BMW M Series BMW X3 M F97 three-quarter front view driving

An M version of the BMW X3 is first available in 2019. With its high-performance, extremely powerful 6-cylinder twin-turbo petrol engine, the vehicle accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4 seconds and, after the redesign, in just 3.8 seconds. An all-wheel M xDrive with active M differential ensures that the full 510 hp (375 kW) can be released every time – a fascinating combination of X and M genes. 

The BMW X3 M Competition also shows its power on the outside. The horizontal shoulder lines connect the self-assured front with the striking rear. The high-gloss black kidney and the M grille elements on the sides with their three-dimensional structures hint externally at the high-quality technology that awaits inside the vehicle: For example, the M sports seats offer exceptional lateral support, or the M interior trims in carbon. So the vehicle is always ready to be shown off over any terrain.

Production period BMW X3 M: 2019 – today

Engines: 3.0 litres (375 kW,  510 hp), 6-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,726 mm / 1,897 mm / 1,669 mm

THE BMW X4 M (F98).

BMW M Series BMW X4 M F98 side view standing

The M model is launched with the second generation of the BMW X4 in 2019. The sporty elegance of the regular model is even more clearly and precisely presented: The exclusive design elements of the optional M Carbon Exterior Package (no longer available as a package after the model redesign but as individual carbon fibre components), from the air intakes in the bumper to the mirror caps, emphasize the athletic character of the SUV/Coupé crossover. The vehicle shares the technical specifications and engines with the BMW X3 M: The X4 M Competition 510 hp (375 kW) and has, after the model redesign, an enormous torque of 650 Nm. Thanks to the optional M Driver’s Package, the vehicles achieve maximum speeds of up to 285 km/h. The BMW X4 M Competition combines outstanding performance and exclusivity with an expressive temperament.

Production period BMW X4 M: 2019 – today

Engines: 3.0 litres (375 kW, 510 hp), 6-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,758 mm / 1,927 mm / 1,618 mm
Production period BMW X4 M: 2019 – today

Engines: 3.0 liters (353 – 375 kW, 480 – 510 hp), 6-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,758 mm / 1,927 mm / 1,618 mm

THE BMW X5 M (E70, F85, F95).

BMW M Series BMW X5 M F95 three-quarter rear view standing

The second generation of BMW's first sporty SUV is redesigned in 2009 by BMW M GmbH, thereby creating the first BMW X5 M (E70). Powered by two turbochargers, the 4.4 litre V8-cylinder petrol engine, one of the most frequently used M engines, produces 555 hp (408 kW). Together with the X6 M, this is the first time that a BMW has the all-wheel xDrive – as an M version, of course. The vehicle has a low-key appearance and the classic M driving dynamics.

This is carried on by the successor model (F85) and the 4.4 litre twin-turbo engine, which brings 575 hp thanks to the new 8-speed M transmission. Here, the improved aerodynamics of the third-generation BMW X5 does the rest, enhanced by typical M elements such as the air intakes.

The next generation of the BMW X5 M (F95) masterfully combines M and X genes in performance and driving dynamics with luxurious interiors and comfort. The twin turbo-charged 8-cylinder petrol engine delivers 625 hp (460 kW) with the BMW X5 M competition. With the optional M Driver’s Package, the SUV reaches a maximum speed of 290 km/h.

Production period BMW X5 M: 2009 – 2013, 2015 – today

Engines: 4.4 litres (408 – 460 kW, 555 – 625 hp), 8-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,854 – 4,938 mm / 1,933 – 2,013 mm / 1,739 – 1,747 mm

THE BMW X6 M (E71, F86, F96).

BMW M Series BMW X6 M F96 three-quarter side view standing

In 2008, the BMW X6 (E71) attracts attention as BMW’s first Coupé/SUV crossover. A year later, the M model BMW X6 M appeals to people who want the best of both worlds: SUV and sports car; unrestrained dominance and extraordinary driving dynamics. The combination of M xDrive and the 4.4 litre M TwinTurbo 8-cylinder petrol engine (555 hp/408 kW) provides the SUV with unprecedented agility – whatever the terrain.

In 2015 the second generation X6 M (F86) is ready to go, with the familiar 4.4 litre twin-turbo engine from the M5 and X5 M, boasting 575 hp (423 kW). With the optional M Driver's Package, the vehicle combines a coupé-like profile with large air intakes and achieves 280 km/h.

2019 sees a switch in model to the X6 M Competition (F96). This brings its formidable 625 hp (460 kW) power from the M xDrive with active M differential to the highway and combines the advantages of rear and all-wheel drives. Exclusive M highlights, such as the black front grille or the M gills with integrated M logo, emphasize the distinctive look even further. The BMW X6 M combines luxury with supremacy and extreme sportiness – an extraordinary combination.

Production period BMW X6 M: 2009 – today

Engines: 4.4 litres (408 – 460 kW, 555 – 625 hp), 8-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,876 – 4,948 mm / 1,983 – 2,019 mm / 1,684 – 1,697 mm

THE BMW Z3 M (E36/7, E36/8).

BMW M Series BMW Z3 M E36/8 side view standing

In 1995 BMW launched the purist Z3, a roadster based on the former BMW 3 Compact (E36). From 1997, using the engine from the former BMW M3 (E36), the vehicle delivered exceptional performance, particularly in driving dynamics, and left far more powerful competitors standing in the slalom. A year later, the fixed-roof version was also available as an M model. From 2001 onwards, BMW equipped both versions – Coupé and Roadster – with the M3 successor’s engine (E46), creating more dynamic handling with almost the same power thanks to its high-rev temperament.

Production period BMW Z3 M: 1997 – 2002

Engines: 3.2 litres (236 – 239 kW, 321 – 325 hp), 6-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,025 mm / 1,740 mm / 1,279 mm

THE BMW Z4 M (E85, E86, G29).

BMW M Series BMW Z4 M G29 three-quarter side view driving on the street

The successor to the Z3 Roadster and Coupé grows significantly in size and offers considerably more comfort, which is why it is named Z4. After a redesign in 2006, the vehicle, designed by Chris Bangle, is also available as a Z4 M, featuring the engine from the BMW M3 (E46), but now with the full power of 343 hp (252 kW). The Roadster (E85) and Coupé (E86) are launched at the same time.

BMW did not produce an M version for the successor, the E89, but the G29 is available as the M40i. With a wide, flat front and a long hood, it continues the design concept of the roadster, featuring powerful accents and offering an extremely sporty driving experience. All brought about by the 340 hp (250 kW) engine, the adaptive M chassis, and M Sport Differential.

Production period BMW Z4 M: 2006 – 2008, 2019 – today

Engines: 3.0 – 3.2 litres (250 – 252 kW, 340 – 343 hp), 6-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,091 – 4,321 mm / 1,781 – 1,861 mm / 1,268 – 1,304 mm

BMW M Series BMW vehicles standing in front of BMW dealer

BMW APPROVED USED CARS.

BMW M Series BMW M8 F92 three-quarter rear view standing with model

BMW M8 COUPÉ.

BMW M Series BMW X4 M F98 side view standing

BMW X4 M.

BMW M Series BMW M3 G80 front view dirivng on the street

BMW M3.

BMW M Series BMW M8 Convertible F91 three-quarter side view standing

BMW M8 CONVERTIBLE.

BMW M Series BMW X5 M F95 three-quarter rear view standing

BMW X5 M.

BMW M Series BMW M4 G82 three-quarter side view standing

BMW M4.

BMW M Series BMW M8 Gran Coupé F93 three-quarter side view standing

BMW M8 GRAN COUPÉ.

BMW M Series BMW X6 M F96 three-quarter side view standing

BMW X6 M.

BMW M Series BMW M5 F90 three-quarter front view dirivng on the street

BMW M5.

BMW M Series BMW X3 M F97 three-quarter front view driving

BMW X3 M.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

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      Figures shown are for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO2 figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load.