Throughout history there have been many automobile manufacturers. Some remained, while others disappeared over the years. BMW is one of the companies that have established themselves and evolved over time. Founded in 1916, the company has introduced some of the most iconic vehicles in history.
BMW is synonymous with creating exceptional cars that are reliable, powerful and of high quality. Fans revere cars built by the M division as they are the sportiest offerings in BMW’s lineup. Only a few cars are considered to be at the top of the range; here are 10.
ten BMW X5 E53
Back in the 90s, BMW was known for creating the ultimate driving machines. Therefore, they took the world by surprise when they introduced the E53 X5 in 1999. While BMW wasn’t the first to develop a luxury SUV, its first generation X5 was the most shocking.
BMW was known for creating simple, lightweight sports cars; therefore, no one would have expected an SUV from them. However, this model considered blasphemous at the time was a turning point for the company. This has helped to skyrocket BMW sales since the SUV market was gaining ground. Surprisingly, BMW has ensured that its new SUV has enjoyable driving dynamics.
9 E82 BMW 135i Coupe
The Series 1 is one of the best driving cars on the market. When introduced to the market, the 135i was the closest thing to a 1 M series car. It was smaller than most of their offerings and lighter. Make it fun to maneuver, whether on the road or on the track.
The 135i was no ordinary coupé; it had a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine and a few upgrades that made enthusiasts fall in love. Its light weight meant it was more agile. This gave drivers the confidence to launch it around tight corners. The M sport package had better suspension which helped improve handling.
8 BMW M5 E39
Fast sedans were part of BMW’s DNA. Most of them were available with powerful straight-six engines, leaving enthusiasts wanting more. However, when the M division got to work on the E39 M5, they created a whole new beast of a car.
The M5 received a powerful V8, making it the first M5 to receive a V8 engine. This engine upgrade made most supercar owners a little nervous. The S62 V8 had a displacement of 4.9 liters, producing 394 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
seven E86 BMW Z4 M Coupe
The E86 Z4 M coupe was an excellent replacement for the Z3. It had outstanding design, packaging and performance. Over the years, the Z4 has aged gracefully with its sleek lines. All aspects of the Z4 made it quite unique as a sports car and an M car.
When it arrived in 2006, the Z4 received various suspension and steering upgrades. It felt more raw and focused than the E46 M3 with its 3.2-liter 6-cylinder engine producing 343bhp. Its interior is focused on driving and driver pleasure, thanks in particular to its hydraulic power steering borrowed from the M3 CSL.
6 E63 BMW M6 Coupe
Besides the E24 M635CSi, the E63 M6 was BMW’s first true M6. It had all the credentials of a grand grand tourer with its luxurious interior that made high mileage journeys easy. Series 6 was introduced in 2003 after a 14-year hiatus.
This fire-breathing M version followed two years later, its naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V10 engine being its main talking point. The engine was inspired by Formula 1 and was first introduced in the E60 M5. This helped make the M6 BMW’s fastest production car at the time with its incredibly fast 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds.
5 BMW M3 E90
Weight was one of the most impressive qualities of the E90 M3 when it was first introduced in 2007. It was super light at just 3,650 lbs, making it the lightest BMW M3 ever produced. . The E90 M3 lost the carbon roof which would be seen as a downside to some.
However, this helped improve its aerodynamics allowing the M3 to go faster. The construction of the M3 contributed to its affordability, making this powerful vehicle more accessible than other M3s. The next substantial change with the M3 was its 4.0 liter V8 engine which could reach 414 hp.
4 BMW M5 E60
The 2000s can be considered the golden age of the automotive fraternity. During this decade we have seen the birth of unique vehicles, one of them being the E60 M5. The focal point of the M5 was the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V10 engine. It was an inspiration for BMW’s success in Formula 1.
The E60 M5 was available with a 7-speed automated SMG and a 6-speed manual transmission. It also had the honor of having the first and only production V10 powertrain. Also known as the S85, the V10 produced 500 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque.
3 E46 BMW M3 CSL
The E46 was one of the most popular BMWs ever made. The CSL lived to become an iconic sports car that perfectly reflected what BMW was capable of. Its capabilities were out of this world, with some enthusiasts considering it the perfect BMW vehicle.
It was the ultimate model in the E46 series, named after the legendary E9 3.0 CSL. To make it unique, BMW shed 240 pounds from the original M3 and increased the output of the S54 engine to 360 hp. With only 1,383 models produced, the CSL has become the best collector’s model in the BMW collection.
2 E46 BMW M3 GTR
The M3 GTR is the crown-winning car for many BMW enthusiasts. It was a car that was light years ahead of its competitors, with a 4.0-liter V8 engine producing 335 hp. It was released in 2001 and was destined to race at American Le Mans, where it won 7 of 10 events that season.
After the 2001 season, the rules changed and he was removed from competition. The GTR shared the same design as the BMW M3 E46, but everything changed inside. It had no rear seats, helping the marque reduce weight. It also had carbon fiber throughout, eliminated unnecessary panels, and incorporated plenty of airflow ducting.
1 BMW Sauber F1.08
The F1.08 is a crucial car for BMW as it is the only BMW that has ever won in F1 to date. When it was unveiled in 2008 by the Formula 1 team, BMW was also busy unveiling the production X6. The F1.08 was based on the F1.07, the race-winning car of 2007.
The F1.08 introduced some changes by the regulations. It was a loss of standardized ECU traction control and a more durable transmission. The F1.08 was driven by Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld. It was a competitive model that scored a victory in Canada, 11 podiums, two fastest laps and a pole position.