BMW



BMW is an independent German company and manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. BMW is the parent company of the MINI and Rolls-Royce car brands, and formerly, Rover.

The company's tagline in English is currently "The Ultimate Driving Machine". The original German slogan was "Freude am Fahren," which translates to "Joy in Driving" in English.

BMW's main competitors include Audi, Cadillac, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volvo.

BMW was founded by Karl Friedrich Rapp, originally as an aircraft engine manufacturer, Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke. The Milbertshofen district of Munich was chosen, apparently because it was close to the Gustav Otto Flugmaschinenfabrik site. The blue-and-white roundel BMW still uses (illustrated above right) alludes to the white and blue checkered flag of Bavaria. It is often said to symbolize a spinning white propeller on a blue-sky background, although this interpretation developed after the logo was already in use.

In 1916 the company secured a contract to build V12 engines for Austro-Daimler. Needing extra financing, Rapp gained the support of Camillo Castiglioni and Max Friz, the company was reconstituted as the Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH. Over-expansion caused difficulties; Rapp left and the company was taken over by the Austrian industrialist Franz Josef Popp in 1917, and named BMW AG in 1918.

After World War I, the Treaty of Versailles (1919) prohibited the production of aircraft in Germany. Otto closed his factory and BMW switched to manufacturing railway brakes.

In 1919 BMW designed its first motorcycle engine, used in a model called the Victoria, which was built by a company in Nuremberg.

In 1924 BMW built its first model motorcycle, the R32. This had a 500 cc air-cooled horizontally-opposed engine, a feature that would resonate among their various models for decades to come, albeit with displacement increases and newer technology. The major innovation was the use of a driveshaft instead of a chain to drive the rear wheel. For decades to follow, the shaft-drive boxer engine was the mark of the BMW motorcycle.

In 1927 the tiny Dixi, an Austin Seven produced under licence, began production in Eisenach. BMW bought the Dixi Company the following year, and this became the company's first car, the BMW 3/15. By 1933 BMW were producing cars that could be called truly theirs, offering steadily more advanced I6 sports and saloons (sedans). The pre-war cars culminated in the 327 coupé and convertible, the 328 roadster, fast 2.0 L cars, both very advanced for their time, as well as the upscale 335 luxury sedan.

BMW motorcycles, specifically the BMW R12 and the BMW R75 combination were used extensively by the Aufklärungsabteilung of German panzer and motorised divisions of the German Army, Waffen SS and Luftwaffe.

BMW was also a major supplier of engines to the Luftwaffe and of engines and vehicles, especially motorcycles, to the Wehrmacht. Planes using the aero-engines included the BMW 801, one of the most powerful available. Over 30,000 were manufactured up to 1945. BMW also researched jet engines, producing the BMW 003, and rocket-based weapons. BMW has admitted to using between 25,000 and 30,000 slave labourers during this period, consisting of both prisoners of war and inmates of infamous concentration camps such as Dachau.

The BMW works were heavily bombed towards the end of the war. Of its sites, those in eastern Germany (Eisenach-Dürrerhof, Wandlitz-Basdorf and Zühlsdorf) were seized by the Soviets. The factory in Munich was largely destroyed.

After the war the Munich factory took some time to restart production in any volume. BMW was banned from manufacturing for three years by the Allies and did not produce a motorcycle, the R24, until 1948, and a car model until 1952.

In the east, the company's factory at Eisenach was taken over by the Soviet Awtowelo group which formed finally the Eisenacher Motor-Werke. That company offered "BMWs" for sale until 1951, when the Bavarian company prevented use of the trademarks: the name, the logo and the "double-kidney" radiator grille.

The cars and motorcycles were then branded EMW (Eisenacher Motoren-Werke), production continuing until 1955.

In the west, the BAC, Bristol Aeroplane Company, inspected the factory, and returned to Britain with plans for the 326, 327 and 328 models. These plans, which became official war reparations, along with BMW engineer Fritz Fiedler allowed the newly formed Bristol Cars to produce a new, high-quality sports saloon (sedan), the 400 by 1947, a car so similar to the BMW 327 that it even kept the famous BMW grille.

In 1948 BMW produced its first postwar motorcycle and in 1952 it produced its first passenger car since the war. However, its car models were not commercially successful; models such as the acclaimed BMW 507 were too expensive to build profitably and were low volume. Moreover, following the huge state subsidies of the war the company had difficulties adopting a cost conscious culture making all the models of the 50's non profitable. By the late 1950s, it was also making bubble-cars such as the Isetta. In 1959 BMW's management suggested selling the whole concern to Daimler-Benz. Major shareholder, Herbert Quandt was close to agreeing such a deal, but changed his mind at the last minute because of opposition from the workforce and trade unions and advice from the board chairman, Kurt Golda. Instead Quandt increased his share in BMW to 50% against the advice of his bankers, and he was instrumental in turning the company around.

That same year, BMW launched the 700, a small car with an air-cooled, rear-mounted 697 cc boxer engine from the R67 motorcycle. Its bodywork was designed by Giovanni Michelotti and the 2+2 model had a sporty look. There was also a more powerful RS model for racing. Competition successes in the 700 began to secure BMW's reputation for sports sedans.

At the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1961, BMW launched the 1500, a powerful compact sedan, with front disc brakes and four-wheel independent suspension. This modern specification further cemented BMW's reputation for sporting cars. It was the first BMW to officially feature the "Hofmeister kink", the rear window line that has been the hallmark of all BMWs since then.

The "New Class" 1500 was developed into 1600 and 1800 models. In 1966, the two-door version of the 1600 was launched, along with a convertible in 1967. These models were called the '02' series—the 2002 being the most famous—and began the bloodline that later developed into the BMW 3 Series.

By 1963 the company is back on its feet, BMW now offers dividends to its shareholders for the first time since before World War II.

In the mid Sixties, the Munich plant reaches the limits of its production capacity. At first BMW plans to build an entirely new factory, but instead buys, in 1966, the crisis-ridden Hans Glas GmbH with its factories in Dingolfing and Landshut. Both plants are restructured, and over the coming decades the world's largest BMW plant takes shape in Dingolfing.

In 1968, BMW launched its large "New Six" sedans, the 2500, 2800, and American Bavaria, and coupés, the 2.5 CS and 2800 CS.

Of major importance to BMW is the arrival of Eberhard von Kuenheim from Daimler-Benz AG. Just 40 years old, he presides over the company's transformation from a national firm with a Europe-wide reputation into a global brand with international prestige.

Already commercially successful by the mid 60s, in December 1971, BMW moved to the new HQ present in Munich, architecturally modeled after four cylinders.

In 1972, the 5 Series was launched to replace the New Class sedans, with a body styled by Bertone. The new class coupes were replaced by the 3 Series in 1975, and the New Six became the 7 Series in 1977. Thus the three-tier sports sedan range was formed, and BMW essentially followed this formula into the 1990s. Other cars, like the 6 Series coupes that replaced the CS and the M1, were also added to the mix as the market demanded.

From 1970 to 1993, under von Kuenheim, turnover increases 18-fold, car production quadruples and motorcycle production triples.

"The English Patient"
Please help improve this article or section by expanding it.
Further information might be found on the talk page or at requests for expansion.
This article has been tagged since January 2007.

Between 1994 and 2000, under the leadership of Bernd Pischetsrieder, BMW owned the Rover Group in an attempt to get into mass market production, buying it from British Aerospace. This brought the active Rover, Mini and Land Rover brands as well as rights to many dormant marques such as Austin, Morris, Riley, Triumph and Wolseley under BMW ownership.

The venture was not successful. For years, Rover tried to rival BMW, if not in product, then in market positioning and "snob appeal". BMW found it difficult to reposition the English automaker alongside its own products and the Rover division was faced with endless changes in its marketing strategy. In the six years under BMW, Rover was positioned as a premium automaker, a mass-market automaker, a division of BMW and an independent unit.

But, after BMW made the first loss in its history, it placed much of its development and other costs for some of its operations onto the Rover Group — the most famous example being the X5's developing costs.

BMW was more successful with the Mini and Land Rover brands, which did not have parallels in its own range at the time.

In 2000, BMW disposed of Rover after years of losses, with Rover cars going to the Phoenix Venture Holdings for a nominal £10 and Land Rover going to the Ford Motor Company. The German press ridiculed the English firm as "The English Patient", after the film. BMW itself, protected by its product range's image, was largely spared the blame. Even the British press was not particularly sympathetic towards Rover. Land Rover has since enjoyed a greater success as part of Ford's Premier Automobile Group.

BMW retained the rights to Mini, Rover, Triumph and other marques. MINI has been a highly successful business, though the other names have not been used yet. The Rover name has recently been sold to Ford after BMW gave it a first refusal offer in 2000.

In the early 2000s, BMW undertook another of its periodic cycles of redoing the design language of its various series of vehicles, under the auspices of newly promoted design chief Christopher Bangle. These designs often featured unconventional proportions with complex concave and convex curved surfaces combined with (sometimes arbitrary-appearing) sharp panel creases and slashes, a design cue called "flame surfacing" by Bangle. Much of the new language did not rest well with BMW enthusiasts or the automotive press which referred to the new designs as "Bangled" or "Bangle-ized". Bangle is commonly mistakenly believed to have penned all of the designs himself; however, he only chose which design was to be used. As Bangle has now been promoted within the company to the BMW Group Head of Design, leaving him in charge of not only BMW but also Rolls-Royce and Mini, some question what long term effect the disaffection of BMW traditionalists for these designs will have on sales, and on the company's future.

It should also be noted that similar designs to controversial styling cues such as the "Bangle-butt" rear end of the 7 Series, have since appeared on competing cars, most notably on the new Lexus LS and the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

What is not as well known, however, is that Bangle was also responsible for many 'conservative' BMW designs and has worked at BMW for almost a decade. The first X5 sketches (which closely resembled the production car), were designed by him, and under his tenure the E46 3 Series came to be.

BMW started producing automobiles at its Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant in 1994. Today, the plant manufactures the BMW X5, the BMW Z4 Roadster and Coupe, and the BMW Z4 M Roadster and Coupe.

Outside Germany, the largest output of the BMW Group comes from British factories. The Hams Hall plant manufactures four cylinder BMW engines for use around the world in 3-Series, 1-Series and Z4 vehicles. This is in addition to MINIs and Rolls-Royces made in Oxford and Goodwood.

The Spartanburg, SC plant is open six days a week, producing automobiles approximately 110 hours a week. It employs about 4,700 people and manufactures over 500 vehicles daily. Recently, the plant has undergone a major renovation switching from 2 production lines down to one. Now both the X5 and the Z4 are produced in the same line, one right after the other.

After a period of local assembly, BMW's Rosslyn, South Africa, plant now manufactures cars, with over 70% of its output destined for export. In the mid-1990s, BMW invested R1bn to make Rosslyn a world-class facility. The plant now exports over 50,000 3 Series cars a year, mostly to the USA, Japan, Australia, Africa and the Middle East.

Starting from October 2004, BMWs intended for the Chinese market are produced in Shenyang, China. BMW has established a joint venture with Chinese manufacturer Brilliance to build BMW 3 Series and 5 Series that have been modified for the needs of local markets.

Starting in 2004, the X3 is manufactured in Graz, Austria by Magna Steyr with mainly German components.

The BMW Group is considering the establishment of a new plant which will be located either in Volos, Greece or Limasol, Cyprus.These plants will be manufacturing motorcycles as well as the BMW 1 Series and the BMW 3 Series and will be serving the markets of Eastern Europe and Middle East.The construction will start in 2009 even if it is finally built in Greece or in Cyprus.

BMW is also building a production plant in Chennai, India for production of 3-series and 5-series vehicles. The plant will begin production in 2007.

In the early 1990s, BMW and Rolls-Royce Motors began a joint venture that would see the new Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph and Bentley Arnage adopt BMW engines.

In 1998, both BMW and Volkswagen tried to purchase Rolls-Royce Motors. Volkswagen outbid BMW and bought the company for £430 million, but BMW outflanked its German rival. Although Volkswagen had bought rights to the "Spirit of Ecstasy" mascot and the shape of the radiator grille, it lacked rights to the Rolls-Royce name. Rolls-Royce plc (the aero-engine business) retained the rights over the Rolls-Royce trademark and wished to strengthen its existing business partnership with BMW which extended to the BMW Rolls-Royce joint venture. Consequently, BMW was allowed to acquire the rights to the grille and mascot, and licensed the name and "RR" logo after 2003 for £40 million. Volkswagen was permitted to build Rolls-Royces at its Crewe factory only until 2003, but quickly shifted its emphasis to the Bentley brand.

In the meantime, BMW was faced with the need to build a new factory and develop a new model. The new factory at Goodwood produced the new Rolls-Royce Phantom, unveiled on January 2, 2003, and officially launched at the Detroit Auto Show on January 5, 2003. The model, priced around US$330,000, has experienced record sales worldwide of 796 Phantoms sold in 2005.

Controversy has risen over the purchase due to the two companies' history; BMW built engines for Germany's Luftwaffe during World War II while Rolls-Royce engines powered the planes in the British Royal Air Force.

The current BMW model lineup is split into what they call "Series 2", traditionally identified by a single digit - e.g. the 3 Series.

In 2004 BMW announced plans to make odd-numbered series saloon/sedan and estate/wagon models(BMW calls its estates/wagons Touring models), while even-numbered series will be two-door coupés and cabriolets. This convention started informally in 1976 with the introduction of the 6 Series and later continued in 1989 with the 8 Series, but died off when the latter was discontinued in 1999. This practice was revived as the Z4 replaced the aging Z3 roadster in 2003 and continues as the new 6 Series augments the existing BMW 5 Series.

There is possibly a chance BMW will release a V3 or V5. The V3 will probably be similiar to the 3-Series, X3, and will compete against Mercedes-Benz B-Class. The V5 will probably be similar to the 5-Series & X5, and will compete against Mercedes-Benz R-Class.

Coupé versions of the 3 Series sedans have always been named 3 Series vehicles, as well. The company had considered renaming future 2-door derivatives of the 3 Series as 4 Series cars, but this plan has officially been shelved.

The M letter was used prior to the shift to Series-named cars to designate special "Motorsport" models, beginning with the M1 supercar. Later the M letter was used as a prefix to top-of-the-range models which had received special treatment by the BMW Motorsport division. The first such car was the M535i of 1979. As these models started gaining popularity the Motorsport division was split into a separate company. BMW M GmbH now makes sporty models based on the production cars with very extensive chassis and engine upgrades. The M3, M5, and M6 are based respectively on the 3, 5, and 6 Series and are recognised by enthusiasts all over the world as truly excellent sports cars while retaining the practicality of the models they extend.

With the advent of the SUV, BMW also added the X5 - and in 2004 the X3 - to their model range to capitalize on this growing market. BMW calls its SUV models Sports Activity Vehicles. A possible future V Series multi-purpose vehicle will offer practicality for large families, similar to the Mercedes-Benz R-Class.

A small family car launched in Autumn 2004 in Europe; and the coupe 135i will be launched in the U.S. It is the only rear wheel drive vehicle in its class. A coupé has been announced for 2007, and there are concepts of a hatchback and a minivan. Plans to label these variants as 2 Series have reportedly been scrubbed. It has the same engines as the 318i, 318d, 320i, 320d and 330i as well as a small 1.6L I4 in the 116i.

The 3 Series is BMW's entry-level luxury sedan, now in its fifth generation (E90). The E90 line has been available in the United States and Canada since the 2006 model year. The E90 is currently available in the 318i (detuned 2.0L I4 engine producing 129 hp), 318d (detuned 2.0L I4 diesel producing 122 hp), 320i (with 2.0L I4 producing 150 hp), 320d (with I4 diesel producing 163 hp), 323i (with I6 producing 174 hp), 325i (with a detuned 3.0 L I6 engine producing 215 hp or a 2.5L I6 producing 218 hp), 330d (3.0L I6 producing 231 hp) and the 330i (with a 3.0 L I6 engine producing 255 hp), as well as the AWD-versions of these two models, named 325xi and 330xi. The new BMW 3 Series sedan (E90) and coupé (E92), both of which have recently been released, carry the 328i, 328xi, 335i, and 335xi badging. There will not be a separate "Ci" designation for coupés. The 328i will feature a 3.0L I6 with 230 hp and 200 lb-ft while the new 335i will feature BMW's new 3.0L I6 twin turbo motor bolsting 300 hp and 300 lb-ft. Incidentally, these new turbofans are made by Mitsubishi[citation needed]. As 2006 models, the 3 Series coupé and convertible are only available in the fourth generation E46 body style (with a 2.5 L I6 producing 184 hp for the 325ci/cic and a 3.0 L I6 producing 225 hp for the 330ci/cic) until the fall of 2006, when the new 2007 model year coupés will be available. Unlike past generations, the 2006/7 3 Series coupés would ÷have its own internal code of E92. Also available is the all wheel drive Touring (wagon) model(E91). A special edition 320si that is the production version of the 2006 World Touring Car.

A Retractable hard-top cabriolet was also introduced recently, a first for BMW.

In 2006, The E90 3 Series won the title of "World Car of the Year" and is a candidate for World Car of the Year 2007.

* M3: The motorsport division's race-inspired version of the 3 Series. Currently available only in the fourth generation E46 body style and with a 3.2 L engine producing 343 hp. A new revision is expected in 2007 with a 400+ hp V8. The 2007 version is expected to come in the coupé, cabriolet, sedan and a touring body style.

A mid-size luxury car / executive car. This series is available with different engines: the 525i with the same engine as the 325i, the 530i with the same engine as the 330i, and the 545i with a 4.4 L V8 producing 325 hp. For the 2006 model year, the 545i has been phased out in favour of the 550i, with a 4.8 L V8 producing 360 hp. The 520d with the same engine as the 320d, the 530d with the same engine as the 330d and a high performance 535d with a twin turbo 272 bhp version of the standard 3.0L I6 diesel.
For 2007, BMW has revised the 5 series with slightly different bumpers and additional safety features, the same engines remain however.

* M5: The motorsport division's version of the 5 Series. The new M5 (E60) is powered by an F1-inspired V10 engine, producing 507 hp and is mated with a 7-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) transmission, which is capable of a delimited top speed of about 330 KPH (production variants are restricted to 250 KPH, or 155 MPH).

The 6 Series is currently available in the 650i version with a 4.8 L V8 producing 360 hp and the 630i version with a 3.0 R6 Straight Six engine (it was the first model to use this engine).

* M6: A high performance version of the 6 Series. Developed by BMW's M Division, it is powered by the same 5.0 L V10 507 hp engine seen in the BMW M5. It is currently available in Europe, America and Australia.

A full-size luxury car competing with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8, and Jaguar XJ. The 7 Series comes in the 730i/730Li, 735il, 730d/730Ld, 740i/740Li, 745d, 750i and 750Li with the same engine as their respective 5 Series equivalent, and in the 760i and 760Li, with a 6.0L V12 producing 438hp. The 760Li is also made in a bulletproof version for clients who need extra protection. BMW plans to offer a car that runs on both petrol and hydrogen (hybrid).

Introduced in late 2003 as a model year 2004, the X3 was BMW's second entry into the luxury SUV segment. The X3 is a compact SUV with sports sedan-like handling characteristics, with emphasis on versatility and affordability, but lacking significant off-road ability. The BMW X3 is sourced exclusively from Magna Steyr Graz plant in Austria.

For model year 2004, it was offered with a 184hp 2.5-liter inline 6-cylinder, the X3 2.5i, and a 225hp 3.0-liter 6-cylinder, the X3 3.0i.

For model year 2006, colored bumpers were added to the X3 3.0i, a Sport Package with a full body colored aerodynamic kit became available for the X3 3.0i (pictured), and the X3 2.5i was dropped. An entry level 2.0d with a 150 hp was added too.

For model year 2007, a face lift and a new version of the inline 6-cylinder will be offered and the model name will change to X3 3.0si. The aluminum/magnesium composite inline 6-cylinder produces 260hp and 225 lb-ft torque. With a manual transmission the manfucturer claims 0-60mph in 6.9 seconds. It competes directly against the Acura RDX and Land Rover Freelander/LR2. It also competes against the Lexus RX350 and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

BMW's first SUV (called SAV or Sports Activity Vehicle by BMW) competing against the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Range Rover Sport and Audi Q7.The Volkswagen Touareg falls in the same category, but at a lower prestige. Although marketed in Europe as an off-roader, it lacks the off-road capabilities of Land Rover models.

Most of the BMW X5's production is based in the US.

The new BMW X5 E70 is the all new BMW X5, launched September 2006. It is the first of BMW's SAV to feature a iDrive system. It is based on the E60, the BMW 5-Series.

A 2-seater roadster and coupé which succeeded the Z3. For 2006 the Z4 Roadster is available as a 3.0i (3.0L I6 with 215 hp), a 3.0si available with the new generation 3.0L I6 with 255 hp, a 2.5si with a 2.5 I6 with 218 bhp or a 2.0i with a 150 bhp 2.0L I4. The Z4 Coupé is available only in the high-performance 3.0si trim powered by the 3.0L 255 HP I6.

* Z4 M The new Z4 M roadster has been released as a Z4 with an E46 M3 motor (3.2L, 343 hp), sharing same braking and suspension systems. The new M Coupé shares the same features but in a coupé version, and was launched at the 2006 Geneva Auto Show.

Future

* Z10: A supercar to succeed the Z8, to be produced in 2008 (Update: The new BMW supercar may in fact be called the Z9, and not the Z10.)

* BMW V/F3 : A MPV (Sports Tourer) based on the BMW 3-Series/X3 to compete with Mercedes-Benz B-Class. This vehicle could also possibly be the rumoured X1, or called the F3.

* BMW V/F5 : A MPV (Grand Sports Tourer) based on the BMW 5-Series/X5 to compete with Mercedes-Benz R-Class. This vehicle could also possibly be called the F5.

* BMW Z2 : A Roadster and Coupe positioned under the Z4 as an entry level sports car, more than likely powered by a 4 cylinder engine. This model may come out in 2009, however it is still an unconfirmed rumour.

* BMW F01/F02 7-Series : The F01 and F02 will be the replacement for the 7-Series for either 2008 or 2009. The F02 is the longer wheelbase version.

* BMW X6: A SUV built to compete against Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, he X6 has been spotted testing.

Prototypes

* 1999 Z9: a concept car designed by Adrian van Hooydonk marked a departure from BMW's traditional conservative style, and has caused some controversy among BMW enthusiasts.
* BMW 750hL showcased at Expo 2000 at the BMW World exhibit. Powered by solar and water energy See the BMW website.
* 2001 xCoupe

Out of production

* M1: a 1970s mid-engine sports car, designed in conjunction with Lamborghini. As Lamborghini went into bankruptcy the production was shifted to the German Karmanwerke.
* Z3: a 2-seater roadster.
o M coupé and roadster: high-performance hard-top and soft-top versions of the Z3, very popular among enthusiasts. The Z3 was first shown on the big screen in the James Bond film GoldenEye, marking the first time Pierce Brosnan played Bond and the first time the MI6 agent's gadget-laden car wasn't British.
* 8 Series: a fast, high-technology coupé of the 1990s. Unconfirmed rumors suggest that this may be revived as a Mercedes CLS competitor.
* Z1: a late 1980s two-seater with innovative modular construction; only 8,000 were made. Best known for the feature of the vertically sliding doors.
* Z8: a roadster with design based on the classic 507 roadster from the 1950s. Debuted in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, marking the last time Bond would drive a BMW. Only 5000 were built, the last 500 being a special edition built by Alpina but sold directly from BMW. This exciting halo car was built on an aluminium space frame design.

Classics

BMW made many cars over the years which have had great impact on the world of motoring.

* 3.0 CSL
* M1
* M3
* M5 (first sedan to be considered a sports car)
* Dixi, 3/20, 303, 309, 315, 319, 320, 321, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 335
* Isetta, 600, 700
* 501, 502, 503, 507
* 3200 CS, 2000 CS
* New Sixes (2500/2800/Bavaria/2.5/2.8/3.0/3.3): Predecessor to today's 7 Series
* New Class (1500/1502/1600/1800/1802/2000/2002): Acknowledged as the first modern sports saloon and the predecessor to BMW's core product, the 3 Series

Series Generations

Internally, BMW associates an "e-code" for each generation of a series ("E" stands for Entwicklung, German for development or evolution). These "chassis codes" only change to signify a major redesign of a series, or the introduction of a new series. BMW AG reported in September 2006 that BMW will switch to the letter "F" for their future models, beginning with the F01 7 Series replacement.

* BMW E3 — (1968–1977) 2.5, 2.8, 3.0, 3.3 "New Six" sedans
* BMW E9 — (1969–1975) 2800CS, 3.0CS, 3.0CSL "New Six" coupés
* BMW E12 — (1972–1981) 5 Series
* BMW E21 — (1975–1983) 3 Series
* BMW E23 — (1977–1986) 7 Series
* BMW E24 — (1976–1989) 6 Series
* BMW E26 — (1978–1981) M1
* BMW E28 — (1981–1988) 5 Series
* BMW E30 — (1982–1991) 3 Series
* BMW E31 — (1990–1999) 8 Series
* BMW E32 — (1986–1994) 7 Series
* BMW E34 — (1988–1995) 5 Series
* BMW E36 — (1991–1999) 3 Series
* BMW E36/5 — (1995–1998) 3 Series Compact (US market known as "318ti")
* BMW E36/7 - (1996-2002) Z3 Series Roadster
* BMW E36/8 - (1998-2002) Z3 Series Coupé
* BMW E38 — (1994–2001) 7 Series
* BMW E39 — (1996–2003) 5 Series
* BMW E46/5 — (2000–2004) 3 Series Compact
* BMW E46/4 — (1998–2005) 3 Series Sedan
* BMW E46/3 — (1999–2005) 3 Series Touring/Sports Wagon
* BMW E46/2 — (1999–2006) 3 Series Coupé
* BMW E46/C — (1999–2006) 3 Series Convertible
* BMW E52 — (2000–2003) Z8
* BMW E53 — (2000–2006) X5
* BMW E60 — (2004–present) 5 Series
* BMW E61 — (2004–2007) 5 Series Touring/Sports Wagon
* BMW E63 — (2004–present) 6 Series coupé
* BMW E64 — (2004–present) 6 Series convertible
* BMW E65 — (2002–2007) 7 Series short wheelbase
* BMW E66 — (2002–2007) 7 Series long wheelbase
* BMW E67 — (2002–2007) 7 Series Protection
* BMW E70 — (2007-present) X5
* BMW E83 — (2004–present) X3
* BMW E85 — (2003–present) Z4
* BMW E86 — (2006–present) Z4 Coupé
* BMW E87 — (2004–present) 1 Series
* BMW E88 — (2008) 1 Series Convertible
* BMW E89 — (2009) Z4 roadster
* BMW E90 — (2005–present) 3 Series
* BMW E91 — (2005–present) 3 Series Touring/Sports Wagon
* BMW E92 — (2006–present) 3 Series Coupé
* BMW E93 — (2007–present) 3 Series Convertible
* BMW F01 — (2008) 7 Series
* BMW F02 — (2009) 7 Series long wheelbase
* BMW F03 — (2008) 7 Series Protection
* BMW F04 - (2009) 8 Series Light Base
* BMW F10 — (2010) 5 Series
* BMW F11 — (2012) 5 Series Touring/Sports Wagon
* BMW F12 — (2011) 6 Series Coupé
* BMW F13 — (2011) 6 Series Convertible
* BMW F14 — (2011) LC5

Related companies

* Automobilwerk Eisenach
* Isetta
* Glas
* Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited
* Rover: briefly owned by BMW, which retained the Mini after selling off the rest of the company (see MG Rover Group).
* Land Rover: sold to Ford; the current Range Rover was developed mostly by BMW during their ownership of the company and until recently was powered by their 4.4 L V8 petrol (gasoline) engine and continues to use the BMW 3.0 L I6 diesel engine
* MINI: a small hatchback; inspired by the original Mini, which was the British competitor to the Volkswagen Beetle.
* Wiesmann: A company making sporty 2-seater roadsters and coupés for which BMW supplies the engine and transmission components.
* DesignworksUSA: Design studio founded in 1972 by Charles W. Pelly, and owned by BMW AG since May 1995. DesignworksUSA has worked on various designs for BMW and other companies, not just automobile. One of the latest designs is computer keyboard and mouse, which were sold by BenQ as x700 Pro keyboard, x730 Pro wireless keyborard and mouse combo, M306 wireless mouse.
* Bavaria Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH: BMW Group subsidiary that offers insurance services.
* Softlab GmbH: IT consulting and systems integration.bmw
* Alpina A Motor Manufacturer in its own right, who creates vehicles based on BMW cars.

Motorsport

BMW has been engaged in motorsport activities since the dawn of the first BMW motorcycle. BMW has competed and won many of the most coveted and prestigious races and motoring events.

* Formula One
o BMW Sauber F1 Team - current BMW works Formula One team
o WilliamsF1 - former Formula One partner, and designer of BMW's Le Mans winning sports car
o Brabham - Former Formula One partner, winning the Drivers Championship in 1983
o Arrows, used BMW engines from 1984 to 1986
* McLaren F1 - Successful mid-1990s GT racing car with a BMW designed engine. It won BPR GT in 1995 and 1996 and the 24 Hours Le Mans in 1995.
* Touring car racing - BMW have a long and very successful history in this category. Since 1968 BMW won 24 drivers championships in European Touring Car Championship along with several manufacturer and team titles.
* The World Touring Car Championship was won twice.
* DTM successes:

1. 1988: Roberto Ravaglia, BMW M3
2. 1987: Winfried Vogt, BMW M3
3. 1983: Dieter Quester, BMW 635 CSI
4. 1982: Umberto Grano, Helmut Kelleners, BMW 528i
5. 1981: Umberto Grano, Helmut Kelleners, BMW 635 CSI
6. 1980: Siegfried Müller Jr., Helmut Kelleners, BMW 320i
7. 1979: Carlo Facetti, Martino Finotto, BMW 3.0 CSL
8. 1978: Umberto Grano, BMW 3.0 CSL
9. 1977: Dieter Quester, BMW 3.0 CSL
10. 1976: Pierre Dieudonné, Jean Xhenceval, BMW 3.0 CSL
11. 1975: Siegfried Müller, Alain Peltier, BMW 3.0 CSL

* Also BMW won the British Touring Car Championship in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993.
* Le Mans 24 Hours - BMW won Le Mans in 1999 with the BMW V12 LMR designed by Williams Grand Prix Engineering. Also the Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing team won the 1995 24 Hours Le Mans in a McLaren F1 GTR race car.
* Mille Miglia - BMW won Mille Miglia in 1940 in with a 328 Touring Coupé. Previously in 1938 the 328 sport car also obtained a class victory.
* Nürburgring - BMW won the 24 Hours Nürburgring 18 times.
* RAC Rally - The 328 sport car won this event in 1939.
* Paris Dakar Rally - BMW motorcycles have won this event 6 times.

BMW introduced the R32 in 1923. It had an unusual "boxer twin" engine, with two air-cooled cylinders protruding from opposite sides of the machine for efficient cooling. Prior to this BMW built the "Flink" 2- stroke and "Helios" motorcycles, as well as supplying M2B15 motors to other companies such as Victoria.

The R series and HP2 enduro have a boxer-twin engine, the K series has an I4 engine (1000 and 1200 cc) or an I3 (750 cc), and the F and G series have single cylinder and parallel twin Rotax engines.

During WWII BMW produced the BMW R75 motorcycle with a sidecar attached. This motorcycle was essentially an 80% interchangeable copy of the ZUndapp KS750, made by BMW to avoid producing the KS750 under licence. Unusually, the sidecar's wheel was also driven. Combined with a lockable differential, this made the vehicle very capable off-road, an equivalent in many ways to the Jeep.

BMW motorcycles tend to be relatively light for their size, and they have a range of models that give an off-road, sporty or relaxed and comfortable ride. All BMW motorcycles since 1923 have used shaft drive, except for the F and G series which use either chain or belt drive.

BMW updated the traditional R design in 1993. These new bikes were principally oil-cooled (hence, called oilheads) and had 4 valves per cylinder. Older Rs with 2 valves per cylinder were principally air-cooled, and were called airheads.) In 2002, BMW updated the oilhead boxer engine, adding double spark plugs per cylinder. In 2004 it added a built-in balance shaft, an increased capacity to 1200 cc and enhanced performance to 100 hp (75 kW) for the R1200GS, compared to 85 hp (63 kW) of the previous R1150GS. The newer BMW 1200cc boxer engine is sometimes called the hexhead engine, due to the slightly hexagonal shape of the valve covers. More powerful variants of the oilhead and hexhead engines are available in the R1100S and R1200S, producing 98hp and 122hp, respectively.

In 2004, BMW introduced the new K1200S Sports Bike which marked a departure for BMW. It is both powerful (the engine is a 167 hp unit derived from the company's work with the Williams F1 team) and significantly lighter than previous K models. It was BMW's latest attempt to keep up with the pace of development of sports machines from the likes of Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Suzuki. Innovations include a unique electronically adjustable front and rear suspension, and a Hossack-type front fork BMW calls Duolever.

BMW was one of the earliest manufacturers to offer anti-lock brakes on production motorcycles. The generation of anti-lock brakes available on the 2006 and later BMW motorcycles pave the way for the introduction of sophisticated electronic stability control, or anti-skid technology - a first for production motorcycles - later in the 2007 model year.

BMW is an innovator in motorcycle suspension design. Most modern examples use single-sided rear swingarms. Their trademark front suspension design, called the Telelever, was first seen in the early 1990s. The Telelever significantly reduces dive under braking, and is sometimes criticized by sport riders as insulating the rider from road inputs, therefore reducing the rider's "feel" for the roadway. The telescopic fork, also, used on the vast majority of motorcycles today was also first introduced by BMW.

Fanfare of the BMW motorcycle has invoked the interest in clubs, or groups of people who share the same passion for their Bavarian bikes. The two largest BMW motorcycle clubs in the world are headquartered in the United States. They are the BMW Riders Association (BMW RA) and the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (BMW MOA).

The term "beemer" started as an acronym for the abbreviation "BMW," adapted from the early-20th century British pronunciation of BSA (as "beeser" or "beezer"), whose motorcycles were often racing BMWs. Over time, the term became closely associated with BMW motorcycles.

The term "bimmer" was later coined to refer (exclusively) to BMW automobiles. As such, use of the word "beemer" to refer to a BMW automobile is frowned upon by some BMW enthusiasts, because it is the term used for motorcycles. Although the distinction is completely arbitrary, to this day, the media, movies, and most people still use the term "beemer" to refer to the automobiles. Interestingly, in the German language, the common pronunciation of the term "bimmer" is "beemer."

The initials BMW are pronounced "beh emm veh" in German. The model series are referred to as "Dreier" ("Three-er" for 3 series), "Fünfer" ("Five-er" for the 5 series), "Sechser" ("Six-er" for the 6 series), "Siebener" ("Seven-er" for the 7 series) and "Z-auto" ("Z-car" for the Z series).

BMW has always had a very tight and loyal community following. They're one of the few automakers that support driving their cars to their limits, suggesting "spirited driving" in certain operation manuals. In the summer of 2001, BMW even went as far as starting the BMW Films website, showcasing some sporty models being driven to extremes. These videos are very popular within the enthusiast community and have opened the eyes of many owners looking for a sporty/fun car. However, even with all this success, on October 21st, 2005, the BMW Films were taken offline.

Every year since 1999, BMW enthusiasts have met up in Santa Barbara, CA to attend Bimmerfest. Perhaps one of the largest brand-specific gatherings in the U.S. Over 3000 people attended this past year (2006), and there were over 1000 cars present.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home