Have you ever wondered why BMW uses M for certain vehicles? This badge is pretty simple to understand and makes perfect sense in the automotive world.
BMW was heavily involved in the racing scene during the mid-20th century, and this required a way to separate the regular vehicles offered to the public from those that hit the track for some sporty fun. The M badge for any BMW vehicle stands for Motorsport, which is right on the nose. The M Division has become one of the most active and impressive divisions of BMW, churning out high-powered performance vehicles for many years.
Why is BMW Putting M Badges on Everything?
Across the entire lineup, nearly every BMW has some model that features upscale performance and styling qualities. In an effort to separate these performance-oriented models from the rest of the pack, the M badge is used. Over the past several years, this badging has become diluted with a new use. The M Sport models show cars with sporty packaging and improved performance features.
These M Sport models typically utilize the same powertrains as the other mainstream models. For a car to be a true M-Car, it is offered with the M at the front. The most iconic is the M3, which has a unique powertrain and set of performance features for hardcore racing excitement.
What Does an M Sport Model Include?
When you want a little more fun but don’t want to go all the way to a specialized powertrain, the M Sport lineup is ideal. These BMW cars and SUVs have bigger wheels, improved sporty suspensions, and larger brakes than the regular BMW models. The wider tires offer more grip, the suspensions improve the cornering capability, and the brakes ensure these vehicles have better stopping power.
Which BMW M Car is the Fastest?
Among the more traditional BMW M Cars, the M5 Competition is the fastest car from 0-60 mph. This impressive performance car rockets off the line and hits the mark in only 3.1 seconds. Upcoming BMW EVs might take this crown away, but for now, the M5 Competition wins the spring race.
Here are sprint times for a few M Division models perform:
- M2 Competition Coupe: 4.0 seconds
- M3 Sedan: 3.9 seconds
- M4 Coupe Competition Package: 3.8 seconds
- M5 Competition: 3.1 seconds
- M6 Gran Coupe: 4.1 seconds
- X5 M: 4.0 seconds
- X6 M: 4.0 seconds
What Makes BMW M Models Special?
The true M models have several items in common to ensure they are truly worthy of wearing the M badge. These BMW models follow a performance standard set back with the M Performance Division began in 1972. Each M-Car includes a high-performance powertrain along with some qualities that enable these cars to perform well on the track.
Common qualities found in BMW M-Cars:
- Lightweight materials – Carbon fiber is becoming a common material used in these cars
- Light and powerful engine – Using twin-turbocharging, BMW M Cars have more power while using fewer cylinders
- Performance Items – The M Laptimer app with GoPro integration records your performance and analyzes your driving style on the track
Which BMW is Considered the Ultimate Driving Machine?
Most associate the “Ultimate Driving Machine” slogan with the BMW M3 in the E30 generation. This slogan actually appeared much sooner than that. It was first used for a BMW in 1975 in an ad created by Ammirati & Puris and was pushed into the ad by Bob Lutz.
Today, we generally associate the Ultimate Driving Machine moniker with the BMW M3 and hold all new M cars up to the same standard the E30 model offered. The E30 came to the market in 1984 and was produced until 1993. Some of these early versions had FWD layouts but eventually changed to the classic build we know as the most sought-after M3 in the world.
Is BMW adding electrification to performance machines?
Although most electric BMW models have an M Sport model offered as part of the lineup. BMW has been testing prototype quad-motor M-Division EVs that could hit the market as the next series of M-Cars. BMW is working toward a lineup with hybrid or EV technology in every vehicle, which could become a reality over the next few years.
BMW brings performance and sportiness to the market with the M-Badge on high-performance versions of its traditional lineup. The M stands for Motorsport, which makes perfect sense. These performance machines are made for some fun on the track, but most spend time on public roads, carving up canyons and driving through the most picturesque landscapes available.
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