Over the fast five decades or so, the automotive world has changed dramatically, especially the world of performance automobiles. Over the fast fifty years, we’ve gone from a time when 0-60 mph times under seven seconds were unheard of to cars that can reach 120 mph in less time than that. What was considered a lot of horsepower back in the day wouldn’t even be enough in a modern economy car today. Times have changed so dramatically and BMW has had a lot to do with that.
BMW was responsible for some of the coolest and most game changing cars over the last 50 years and might be the brand that’s pushed the performance car game forward more than any other. It’s put out cars that have revolutionized the automobile industry, invented entire segment and pioneered new technology. If there was a poll to see which brand had the coolest and most influential cars over the course of automotive history, BMW would be on the short list.
While BMW has been around for about a century, things really started for the brand when the 2002 debuted. The BMW 2002 debuted in 1968 and several iterations of it followed, all being revolutionary. The BMW 2002 revolutionized the car world and invented a segment of small, affordable sport sedans that valued fun, reliability and simplicity over all else. BMW invented the small sport sedan segment with the 2002 and every other automaker has been playing catchup ever since.
After that came the BMW M1, a car that literally created the most important automotive subdivision in the world, the M Division. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, arguably the greatest automotive designer of all time, and driven by a motorsport-derived 3.5 liter I6 engine, the M1 was the beginning of a Division that changed the world.
The E28 BMW M5 came in the mid ’80s and was the first production M Division vehicle. It was also the fastest sedan in the world, being able to do 147 mph and was able to actually get to that speed faster than a Porsche 911, thanks to its 3.5 liter I6 engine from the BMW M1. The E28 M5 invented the idea of a big, powerful luxury sedan that could be used everyday as both a family hauler and a sports car killer. The super sedan was born with the M5 and no one has been able to replicate its perfection for its era ever since. BMW included.
In the late ’80s, BMW’s M Division struck again, with the glorious E30 M3. The M3 was BMW’s homologation racing car and it is widely considered to be the greatest driving car of all time. Its race-derivied 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine, small size and incredible handling cemented it in automotive history. The E30 M3 is easily not only one of the greatest BMWs of all time, but one of the greatest cars of all time. Period.
Move down the line a couple of decades and BMW launched the i Division, another division that’s changed the automotive world yet again. The BMW i3 and i8 are cars that move the bar higher, set a new standard for the automobile. The BMW i8 is incredibly cool in the fact that it shows the world that sports cars don’t have to be gas guzzlers. It also shows that economy cars don’t have to be boring. It proves that fuel efficiency can still look cool and be fun. Oh and it’s also one of the coolest looking cars ever made.
BMW is one of the coolest companies in the history of the automobile. It has put out some of the coolest cars the world has ever seen. Cars that come from racing, cars that redefine performance and cars that change the way we look at efficiency all have come from BMW. It’s easily one of the coolest car companies of the last 50 years.
[Source: Road & Track]