These are some of the most legendary M cars ever made
In this article i'm going to tell you the story of some of the most significant M racecars that wrote the story of motorsport
bmw 328 roadster
The first car that i'm going to talk you about is the bmw 328 roadster.We can say that this car "kickstarted" the bmw motorsport carrer.For the time it was a really advanced car,with its indipendent suspension in the front and a lightweight body.It is powered by a 2.0l inline 6 (N.A obviously).The 328 roadster has taken over 100 class wins.It won the millemiglia with an average speed of 103 mph(165 kmh) and also won the 24h of le mans in its class in 1939.
bmw 507 roadster
Built from 1956 to 1959 it is considered the most collectionable bmw ever made.That's because of its look, low production number and the rich history of famous owners.It was popularised by some very famous people, like Elvis Presley,John Surtee and Bernie Ecclestone,who sold his at auction in 2007 for close to 1.000.000 dollars. Built to fill the gap between the more expensive mercedes sls and the cheaper mg sports car.The 507 came with bmw's first aluminium alloy dual carburated push rod v8, previously used in the larger equeally elegant 502.
bmw 2002 turbo
The bmw 2002 turbo was one of the 1st car with turbo technology. Thanks to that it had 170hp from its turbocharged inline 4 engin. It quickly gained the reputation of serious track weapon,because of its power and its balance (thanks to a 50/50 weight distribiution). The was proving itself even before the turbo came out. In 1970, the 2002 won the nurburgring 24h with Hans Stuck behind the wheel, who become a legend for his sideways driving and yodeling while he crosses thr finish line. So, i think that bmw figured if they slapped a turbo on a 2002, "anyone" could be a Hans Stuck. But turbo was a brand new technology at the time, it made brutal top end power, but inhaled gasoline doing so. When the oil crysis hit in 1974, bmw was forced to ditch its air induction technology.
bmw 3.0 csl
The 3.0 csl marked the return of bmw to international motorsports. Produced in low numbers, only for the homologation requirement. Its popularity spicked due to the success of its racing carrer. It was nicknamed "the batmobile", it has strikingly large fenders and a very big rear wing. it dominate the european touring car championshi, even got a 1-2 finish at german touring car gp in 1973. Its carrer was great until entered in group 5.In 1976 group 5 tightened the rules to cater to production car instead of prototypes. So bmw entered the csl with a large 3.5l engine. It did good but not enough, so was replaced by a smaller, more nimble car, that would go on make bmw history and mark the beginning of bmw's longest running line of sports car.
bmw e21 320
The e21 320 is the first of a long running line of 3 series bmw's. It was a perfect candidate for group 5. In 12 weeks bmw replaced the csl with the 320 turbo group 5 racecar, with a bigger fender flares and bigger wing, weighing in only 1600 pounds. Its engine was the M12, taken from bmw's succesfull formula 2 cars. It's a 2.0l inline 4 making 300hp. It wasn't only the car to be spectacular, it was the drivers too. The first junior driving program ever created entered the german touring car championships in 1977 with the 320 turbo. In the usa the car was lacking power to keep up with porsche 935s and 934s. It needed more power so bmw teamed up with mclaren of north america to do that, pumping ou up 650 hp from the little 2.0 . Was quickly nicknamed as "flying brick", and won 7 races between 1977 and 1978. But was not an easy game with porsche, so bmw went back to the drawing board.
The m1 is the very first m car, a mid-engine supercar, that was a brand new concept for bmw, that turned into a nightmare to manufacture. Desined by lamborghini, but lamborghini was going broke, so bmw had to pull the plug on them. By the tome they got all the parts sourced and assemble together, group 5 was dismantled. So bmw had to make their own race, so was born the procar series, that saved the m1 to be completely useless. But its engine was anything but useless, developed by engine gury, Paul Rosche, the same guy responsible fot the mclaren f1's v12 enigne. He took the 6 inline from the 3.0 csl and gave it itb anf 4 valves per cylinder, a top-end recipe that would stay true to almot every m car after it. And one they strapped a turbo to that beast, it maded an incredible 850hp. But the mid-enginrs supercar wassn't doing for bmw, and using what they learnet from the m1 they created one of the most incredible sports car models in history.
bmw m3 e30
there it is, the first m3, model code e30, the followup of the e21 320 turbo. At the time racing regulations were changing every year. Bmw knew they coukd build race cars quickly and win races. But the reason they ditched the 320 was because of its reliability, but now with the help of Paul Rosche, they designed a smaller powerful 4 cilynder, the s14. Because the street cars had to resemble the racecars aerodynamically and by engine size bmw made the evo 1, evo 2, and the sport evolution. In the 1989 they were making 295 hp stock. The e30 has won more races than any other model and it's considered one of the most succesfull racercars of all time.
bmw v12 lm
In the mid 90s something special happened, and it is the mclaren f1. It has taken victories in a race bmw had never won, the 24h of le mans. Since Paul was responsible for its incredible engine, bmw jumped on the opportunity to feature it in a prototype racecar, in hopes to take the overall victory. With the help of Williams, they designed a prototype chassis that would become the benchmark for many prototypes that followed. the bmw v12 lmr utilized a single roll hoop and a raised foot box, something never seen before. And its engine, in the new modified format was very quick, giving the bmw lmr its first and only win to date at the most grueling event in motorsport. its success led to bmw's partnership as a v10 engine supplier for williams f1 beginning in the year 2000.
bmw m3 e46 gtr
Shortly after their success at le mans , bmw introduced the holy grail of m3s, the e46. It was another chance of bmw to take on the mighty porsche 911s that were dominating the field at the time. Altought the car outhandled the competition, its robust inline 6 engine was not very good in terms of power to keep up the others car around the track. So bmw made 10 special editions of the m3 with a powerful lightweight v8, the e46 m3 gtr. In my opinion it is the greatest and more iconic m3 ever made.