For 40 years, BMW’s M Division has cranked out high-performance machines. To mark the occasion, BMW produced a video that follows the tuning house’s history beginning with the first M car, the BMW 3.0 CSL racer.
Founded in 1972, BMW Motorsports GmbH was first recognized by the racing world when its 3.0 CSL coupe won the 1973 European Touring Car Championship (ETCC). That same year, a 3.0 CSL was entered in Le Mans, sporting for the first time the M division’s blue, violet, and red stripe color scheme. Following a class win at Le Mans, the car went on to set the fastest lap time at the Nürburgring, and wonthe ETCC a total of six times.
By 1979, the M division produced its first independent model, the M1. The car is powered by a 3.5-liter I-6, which produces 470 hp in race trim. Used in the one-make Procar spec series and the GTO class of the IMSA GT Championship, the car proves to be a potent racer, and later spawns a road-going version detuned to 277 hp. After trying its hand at sports car racing, the M division focuses its attention on touring car competition, developing the celebrated E30 M3. Within five years, the M3 won two ETCC titles and two DTM championships.
This brings us to the present day, where we see the GT2-class E90-generation M3 racing at Le Mans, along with shots of a few current M-badged road cars like the new BMW M5 and M6. Check out the video below to see how the M Division became the tuning giant it is today.
Source: BMW via YouTube