Bavarian Motor Works, founded in 1916 is an independent German automobile manufacturer. The circular blue and white BMW logo is alleged to portray the movement of an airplane propeller, to signify the white blades cutting through the blue sky an interpretation that BMW adopted for convenience in 1929, which was actually twelve years after the roundel was created. In fact, the emblem evolved from the circular Rapp Motorenwerke company logo, from which the BMW Company grew BMW's first significant aircraft was the BMW IIIa inline-six liquid-cooled engine of 1918, much preferred for its high-altitude performance. With German rearmament in the 1930s, BMW began producing aircraft engines again for the Luftwaffe. Among its successful WWII engine designs were the BMW 132 and BMW 801 air-cooled radial engines, and the pioneering BMW 003 axial-flow turbojet, which powered the tiny, 1944-45 era, jet powered "emergency fighter", the Heinkel He 162 Salamander, and was tested in the A-1b version of the world's first jet fighter, the Messerschmitt Me 262. BMW began building motorcycle engines first and then motorcycles. The motorcycle division is now known as BMW Motorrad. Their first successful motorcycle, after the failed Helios and Flink, was the "R32" in 1923. This had a "Boxer" twin engine, in which an ICCE cylinder protrudes into the air-flow. All BMW motorcycles used this distinctive layout until the early 1980s. Many BMWs are still produced to this pattern, which is called the R Series. BMW produced the BMW R75 motorcycle with a sidecar attached. Featuring a unique design copied from the Z
1990 - BMW M8 Prototype: A high-performance version of the 8 Series coupe that was designed to compete with Ferrari and other exotics. It was never put into production because of the lack of a market for such a car.
1999 - Z9 A concept car designed by Adrian van Hooydonk that marked a departure from BMW's traditional conservative style, causing some controversy among BMW enthusiasts. This later on became the 6-series.
2001 - BMW X-Coupe
2004 - The 1 Series was launched globally in autumn and shares many structural, chassis, powertrain, hardware and electronic elements with the larger 3 Series. The model was started to provide a lower point of entry into the BMW range as the 3 Series moved gradually up-market.
July 2007 - Initially launched as a 5-door hatchback, a 3-door version was also launched.
The 3 Series is currently in its fifth generation, the E90 Current models include the sport sedan (E90), station wagon (E91), coupe (E92), and convertible (E93). It offers luxury, with an available navigation system. It has standard premium sound, and an optional navigation system.
The M5 is the Motorsport division's version of the 5 Series. The new M5 built on the E60 5 series chassis is powered by a F1-inspired V10 engine, producing 507 hp (378 kW) and is mated with a 7-speed sequential manual gearbox (SMG) transmission, which is capable of a top speed of about 330 km/h. BMW has also recently added a 6-speed manual transmission for 2007 and newer models.
2007 - BMW CS Concept Was set to be turned into a production vehicle, but later canceled. BMW 750hL: showcased at Expo 2000 at the BMW World exhibit. A 7 Series sedan powered by a hydrogen fuel cell engine. As of March 2007, there are as many as 100 750hL vehicles worldwide for testing & publicity purposes.
2008 - Concept 1 series, A high-performance tuned version of the 1 Series. "tii" references the 2002tii model.
2008 - BMW GINA concept based on the structure of a Z8 with a light fabric skin and hydro-electric technology to allow the shape to change.
2008 - BMW Concept X1 BMW first Sports Activity Vehicle in the compact class.
BMW E3 (19681977)
2.5, 2.8, 3.0, 3.3 "New Six" sedans