BMW was first formed in 1916 although the original company specialized in aircraft engines. This ultimately led to the production of a road-going motorcycle in 1923 and the first automobile was released in 1928.
Of course, with their knowledge of aircraft engines, it was inevitable that they would look at designing faster and sportier cars. This ultimately came to fruition in 1978 when the first M series was released It was a mid-engined supercar but it was quickly followed by the M5 in 1984.
Just two years later BMW introduced the M3, arguably one of the best M-series to have ever been made. This was the same year they fitted a V12 to the 750i.
Whether you are looking at one of the M series or a more standard BMW, one thing is certain, you’re getting luxury, refinement, the ultimate driving experience, and access to an array of impressive BMW accessories.
Naturally, every car enthusiast has their own opinion regarding the best of the road cars developed by BMW’s M division. But, these are certainly the top contenders.
1972-1975 E9 3.0 CSL
This was the first touring coupe made by BMW and often referred to as the Batmobile. When produced it was the fastest production car in the world and, although not officially an M series, it was the spark that ignited the process.
The M1: 1978-1981
The M1 was a mid-engined sports car designed with Lamborghini and looked stunning. In fact, BMW hasn’t made another mid-engined car until the i8 plug-in hybrid!
The M1 didn’t just look good, it had 278bhp and was one of the fastest road-going cars of its day.
The original M5 is an impressive bit of kit but the 1986 version took it a stage further. It had a 3.5l inline-six engine offering 286 bhp and a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds, making it the fastest four-door production car of its day.
850CSI E31 1993-1997
This offering adopted a cross between sports car front and saloon back. The car was fitted with a 296 bhp 5.0l V12 but the top of the range model came with a 5.6l offering 376 bhp. The car has lowered suspension, race handling, and is a delight to drive.
2003 E46 M3
The 2003 M3 is one of the most powerful M series top date and one of the lightest, making it one of the best.
It features a 3.2l inline six with 360bhp and a 0-60mph time of less than five seconds. A large part of this is the lightness of the car, it benefits from carbon fibre reinforced plastic for most of the panels. Even the air conditioning and radio were left out to improve weight!
X6 M 2010-2014 E71
The modern M series isn’t quite as sporty-looking as some of the older versions. However, it does benefit from all-wheel drive, a 555 bhp engine, and a 0-60mph time of less than five seconds. That puts it firmly in supercar territory, and it’s designed to be driven at high speed.
M4 GTS F82 2016
Plenty of the modern M series look the part and have the power. But, the M4 really stands out, especially as there are just 300 of them in existence.
It has a twin-turbo inline-six offering 493 bhp and a time around the Nurburgring that is 24 seconds faster than a standard M4.