There are some that are unaware that BMW initially manufactured aircraft engines back in 1913 before venturing into the automotive industry. It was only in 1929 when BMW first started developing cars. The team of engineers at BMW progressively developed their vehicles from Seven-based cars into luxury six-cylinder cars and by 1936 the company started producing the BMW 328 sports car. Automobiles, motorcycles, and aircraft engines were the primary products for BMW until WWII.
During the war, BMW concentrated heavily on aircraft production, while motorcycles were a second thought and the manufacturing of automobiles stopped altogether. By the end of 1930, BMW tried to introduce a brand-new front axle along with independent wheel suspension on both their models, including the BMW Wartburg DA3 and the BMW Dixi 3/15 DA4. However, accidents occurred on both models due to construction faults.
In 1931, BMW decided to hire Josef Ganz, a German engineer who was hired as a consultant to assist BMW is creating a brand-new model. Josef Ganz discussed the possibility of manufacturing a rear-engined prototype, but BMW wanted something more in the line of the previous Dixi model. It’s for this reason that Ganz started developing the BMW AM1 which was a small vehicle with rear-wheel drive and a front-mounted engine along with independent wheel suspension as well as swing-axles.
The Most Popular Cars From BMW
Those that pay close attention will notice that we didn’t include every single BMW vehicle that was ever manufactured. We are more focused on concept and performance cars, and therefore we decided to only include the cars that make us excited and those that made a breakthrough in the history of the automobile world. With that said, here is a list of the most significant performance BMW’s that had a significant impact throughout history.
BMW Race Cars
BMW also boasts with an exceptionally rich motorsport history in both motorcycles and cars. In motorsports, BMW has managed to complete and win several categories, including Touring car racing, Sportscar racing, Formula Two, and Formula One. The most popular racing lump is probably the BMW M10 engine block which started out as a 1,500cc with 4 cylinders at only 75hp during 1961.
It managed to win touring car races as it later developed more than 300 hp during 1970 and was eventually upgraded to produce 1,400 hp in Formula Two during 1986. This engine is world-renowned as one of the most powerful engines in Formula One history as well. Other impressive engineering displays include the BMW S70/2 engine incorporated in the McLaren F1, setting the world record for the fastest production car back in 1998.