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the 5 most iconic models in pictures!

Sports cars, sedans, roadsters, supercars… Difficult to retain only 5 BMWs! Yet here is our selection of the most iconic models of the Bavarian firm.

These last years, BMW tries somehow to reinvent itself. And between his division M, strong of an incomparable sport heritage, and the new electric section “i”, difficult to reconcile the irreconcilable… Still, for many, BMW remains an icon of the driving pleasure. A quality that the Bavarian manufacturer has put forward throughout its history. Auto Plus has selected 5 most legendary BMWs for you: let’s go for a little museum tour!

BMW 328 : 1936 – 1940

Like other German manufacturers, BMW is, just before the Second World War, in a strong position. Avant-garde technologies, style, luxury… Everything comes together in the 328 roadster. Luxurious, it is above all very efficient and wins prestigious races such as the One thousand miles or the 24 Hours of Le Mans (class victory). But the war cut short a successful career.

After World War II, the 328 will have a great legacy, although this is to the chagrin of BMW. Indeed, the plans of his six cylinders in line, very advanced for the time, are recovered by the allies and will be used to power several British models, in particular at Bristol and AC. The look will inspire BMW for years to come.

BMW M1: 1978 – 1981

As its name suggests, the BMW M1 is the very first car developed by the famous M division of the brand! It all started with a racing car project, designed in collaboration with Lamborghini (kicked out of the project before the release of the M1). Hence the supercar look, signed Giugiaro! Sporty thanks to its contained weight and six-cylinder 270 hp, the M1 will also have a very good career in competition. A single-brand M1 Procar championship will accompany F1 in 1979 and 1980. There is also the M1 and its shrill engine. at the 24 Hours of Le Mans until 1986.

The incredible styling of the M1 will inspire the M1 Hommage concept in 2008, then the sporty hybrid i8.

BMW M3 E30: 1986 – 1991

Like the M1, the BMW M3 is basically designed as a competition weapon. The 3 Series E30 sedan is then completely transformed: wide wings, spoiler, sophisticated and lightweight chassis … Everything is good to go compete with Mercedes in the DTM championship. And where the 3 Series of the time are entitled to a beautiful six-cylinder, the M3 must be content with a 4-cylinder … But it is closely derived from racing, and promises nearly 200 hp at more than 7,000 rpm / min! Spectacular for the time.

The heritage of the M3 is obviously enormous, since the model still survives, 35 years later. And despite the significant weight gain, the M3 remains probably the car that most closely matches the M spirit: a perfect balance in the service of the driving pleasure that comes. compete with sports cars like the Porsche 911.

BMW M5 E39: 1998 – 2003

Launched in 1984, the BMW M5 was immediately a phenomenon. And for good reason: it becomes the fastest sedan in the world, just that ! But maturity (and commercial success) will come mostly with third generation, code name E39. It is the first to adopt a V8, and the result is spectacular: 400 hp under the hood ! Very efficient, the M5 does not forget comfort either. It is a real GT for the long haul, unlike a more sporty M3. The next generation (E60) adopts a crazy 507 hp V10, but its signature style Chris Bangle will be less unanimous, ensuring the E39 its place in the BMW myth.

BMW Z8: 2000 – 2003

Few cars make everyone agree, at the level of the style: it is however the case of the BMW Z8. The roadster does the feat of combining neo-retro tones and a timeless look. The Z8 should only remain a concept, a style study making tribute to the BMW 507 from the 1950s. Thanks to the 400 hp V8 of the M5 E39, the BMW Z8 is efficient, but not really sporty. She prefers beautiful walks … Or filming! It is indeed on the poster of the James Bond ” The world is not enough“, Released in 1999. It doesn’t take much to make the BMW Z8 famous.

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