Unmistakable high-performance – that’s what BMW M is known for. Yet, how did the M GmbH legend begin? Here’s the story of its creation – five facts in a timeline.

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is both the birth year of BMW Motorsport GmbH, as well as the Hollywood actor Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. And since then, both have pushed life to its utmost limits, always giving 110 percent. It fits nicely with the inaugural words of the former board member, Robert A. Lutz, when BMW M GmbH was founded: “A company is like a person. If he does sports, then he is well-trained, enthusiastic, and highly-capable.” The name may have changed, but what’s inside is just as “highly-capable” as forty years ago.

35 employees

made up the original founding team of BMW Motorsport GmbH. Now, the team is more than ten times that number. Franciscus van Meel is the sixth CEO, and BMW M Automobile remains on a steady path of growth.

6 victories in 6 years

at the European Championship: the BMW 3.0 CSL was one of the most successful touring cars between 1973 and 1979. At that time, it was the first car to proudly wear the typical BMW M racing design and was also called the “batmobile” due to is massive tail wing. Three stripes of blue, violet and red on a snow-white background made up the design language for an entire racing team for the first time – from the car transporter to the key ring. And to this day, they still characterise the look of BMW Motorsport.

445 times

the BMW M1 came off the manufacturing line between 1978 and 1981. The first complete development from BMW M GmbH impressed the masses with its 470 hp racing design. In the series edition, the M1 was the fastest German road vehicle of its time, reaching almost 265 km/h. And it was a real eye-catcher. In 1979, Pop Art legend, Andy Warhol gave the M1 a fast-paced, colourful design and was quoted as saying: “I love the car. It’s better than a work of art.”

1,280 hp

was how high BMW Motorsport set the bar for the first specially-developed Formula 1 turbo engine. With the Brabham BMW, the M legend successfully moved up into the premium class. In the qualifying lap, the 4-cylinder climbed 30 hp over the 1,400 hp mark. And Nelson Piquet was the world champion with M power on the podium.

Further information about the official fuel consumption and the official specific CO2 emissions for new passenger automobiles can be found in the 'New Passenger Vehicle Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emission Guidelines', which are available free of charge at all sales outlets, from Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern, Germany, or under The figures are not based on an individual vehicle and do not constitute part of the product offer; they are provided solely for the purposes of comparison between different vehicle types. CO2 emissions caused by the production and provision of fuel or other energy sources are not taken into account in the determination of CO2 emissions pursuant to Directive 1999/94/EC.

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All vehicles, equipment, combination possibilities and varieties shown here are examples and can differ in your country. In no way do they constitute a binding offer by the BMW M GmbH. Visit your local BMW website or see your authorised BMW M Retailer for accurate details on the offers in your country.

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