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BMW M Heritage.

The ultimate driving machine has established M as the most powerful letter in the world. The roots of this legacy extends further back than what most might realise.

Founded in 1972 with just 35 employees, the BMW M division has since pursued its goal of creating the world's best sports car with relentless passion.

Read on to trace the remarkable course of history M has traversed up till today.

1970s – 1980s
The BMW M Division is born.
The BMW 3.0 CSL debuts at the Touring Car Championship and dominates the European Championship for the next six years.
The BMW M1, godfather of BMW M cars, takes the supercar scene by storm.
BMW turbocharges the Brabham team at the 1983 Formula 1 Championship with a winning engine and also releases the sleek BMW M635 CSI "Sharknose".
The first BMW M5 inherits BMW M1's engine, forming BMW M's super saloon line.
The compact BMW M3 E30 arrives, inheriting the BMW 3.0 CSL's raw power and legacy by ruling the internal touring car scene for five years, attaining mythical status.
1990s – 2000s
Powered by the BMW S70/2 V12 engine, the McLaren F1 goes on to hold the production car top speed record for 22 years, while the second-generation BMW M3 E36 is bestowed with a bristling 6-cylinder engine.
The BMW CSL tops the BMW M3 E46 range thanks to its pure carbon fibre roof and rear diffuser, achieving iconic status.
The BMW M5 and BMW M6 are fitted with a Formula 1-adopted V10 engine, transforming them into a generation of track-worthy road beasts.
The BMW X6 M becomes the world’s first high-performance Sports Activity Coupé after being fitted with the revolutionary xDrive system.
2010s – 2020
The first compact M car, the BMW 1M Coupé, is released. Inspired by the BMW 1 Series Coupé E82, it evolved into the current BMW M2 Coupé we know and love today.
The turbocharged BMW M3 sedan is introduced, alongside the first-ever BMW M4 Coupé.
The BMW M5 F90 returns with a revamped V8 engine, seizing the "Longest Continuous Vehicle Drift" and "Longest Twin Vehicle Drift" world records on a wet skid pad.
The BMW X3 and BMW X4 are given stylish M upgrades, creating the first-ever BMW X3 M Competition and BMW X4 M Competition, while the BMW M8 F92 kicks off the M8 line in powerful fashion.
An upgraded inline-6 engine and enlarged kidney grilles adorn the BMW M3 G80 and BMW M4 G82, immortalising BMW M’s track and road legacies with brutal elegance. Read how the icons are shaped here.

More M articles can be found here:

5 Facts about the BMW M Story.
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The BMW M3 Compact E36.
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BMW M Motorsport Legends.
Read more