BMW History 101

Interesting, Others | January 21st, 2015 by 5
BMW 02 series mp2 pic 622411 750x500

Learn about the history of BMW. Welcome to BMW History 101

Here at BMWBLOG, BMW faithful run wild. It’s generally a place who are already fans of the white and blue roundel. But it doesn’t have to be. BMW is an excellent car brand and all walks of life should be able to enjoy its many charms. So I’m going to give a little crash-course, so to say. Welcome to BMW: 101.

BMW (which stands for Bavarian Motor Works) was established in 1917 and began as an aircraft manufacturer. Previous stories mentions the BMW logo as being a nod to its aircraft-making roots, as it depicts an airplane propeller with white blades cutting through blue sky, but later BMW confirmed that the colors of the Bavarian flag were the inspiration for the roundel.

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After World War I, they had to stop making aircraft so they moved to motorcycles and then automobiles, albeit in very, very small numbers. The iconic “Kidney Grill” was created with the BMW 303.

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During World War II, BMW built the engines for the Nazi Luftwaffe. After WWII, BMW was in some financial trouble, so they needed a car and the bought the rights to the Italian Iso Isetta and fitted it with one of its motorcycle engines.

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In 1962, BMW debuted its “New Class” line of vehicles. These included the 1500, 1600, 1800 and the iconic 2002 in 1968. These came with fully independent suspension and front disc brakes and were also the first BMWs to have the iconic, and still used in all BMWs to this day, Hofmeister kink (a small kink in the C or D pillar). The 2002 launched BMW into fame as it was a fantastically handling sedan that was still comfortable and seated five. This was the beginning of the 3 Series which went on to hold the record for longest streak on Car and Driver’s 10 Best Cars of The Year.

The 2002 also cemented BMW into the world of performance, luxury cars. Ever since then, the name BMW has been synonymous with superb handling and chassis dynamics, 50/50 weight distribution and roaring straight-six engines.

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In the mid-eighties, BMW launched its M (Motorsport) Division, which created high-performance versions of BMWs road cars. The very first was the original M5, based on the E28 designated 5 Series. The M Division then went on to make the legendary E30 M3, which is famous for its near-perfect driving dynamics.

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Since then BMW has been making some of the best, most balanced and most dynamic luxury cars on the market. BMW has also kept so many of its traditions; the Hofmeister Kink, the Kidney Grills, and the Roundel logo. What’s also stayed is BMWs commitment to creating cars that push the technological boundaries of what’s possible in automobiles while still providing the thrill of driving.

If you haven’t driven a BMW before, it’s about time you do. They are incredible machines with excellent driving clarity and purity. They’re cars that are designed to thrill and not merely to be transportation devices. They are cars with soul and passion, cars for people who love cars.

5 responses to “BMW History 101”

  1. CDspeed says:

    I’ll have to find the video, but BMW says their emblem was inspired by the Bavarian flag.

  2. FoggyAgave says:

    That’s correct on the logo CDspeed – and the 2002 launched in ’68 teach – just saying – since this is BMW 101 : )

  3. Hugo Becker says:

    Now for some BMW History 400 – the BMW 109-558 engine ; -)

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