The German mark is already centennial; to celebrate it, throughout this year the firm is holding all kinds of celebrations; in one of them, we have had the privilege of seeing some of its iconic models. What have been and what has represented not only for BMW but for the world motor industry?
It all began on March 7, 1916; on that date, Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG is established as a successor to the aircraft manufacturer Gustav-Otto-Flugmaschinenfabrik with an office registered at Lerchenauer Straße in Munich. In 1922, the engine construction, name, and brand of Bayerische Motorenwerke AG were transferred to this company. Therefore, the date of establishment of the “New BMW AG” is considered.
BMW R 32
The first BMW product does not have four wheels … but two; It is a BMW R 32: the first bike manufactured under the brand, developed under the direction of Max Friz, with a double-cylinder horizontal bicolor four-stroke engine.
On October 1, 1928, BMW takes control of the car manufacturer Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach in Thuringia, where the Dixi 3/15 PS microcar is manufactured as a licensed version of British Austin Seven. This makes the company an automobile manufacturer. Just half a year later, on March 22, 1929, the first BMW 3/15 PS departs from the manufacturing line in the rented building to the Ambi-Budd bus manufacturer at the former Berlin-Johannisthal airfield.
It is presented at the International Motor Show in Berlin as the first six-cylinder car of the brand and also the first model that carries the radiator grille in the form of kidney typical of BMW – and is still used today.
On October 1, 1954, BMW acquired the license to manufacture a two-seater front passenger car with the Italian manufacturer Iso. The BMW Isetta has many refined details, BMW motorcycle motors and is advertised as “Motocoupé”, the best-selling model of the brand market during the 50’s.
BMW 5 Series
It was May 13, 1969, when the brand terminates the production of motorcycles at the BMW plant in Munich. Production is moved to the Berlin headquarters, where the new BMW 5 Series production line will start. It was a September 12 when BMW launched a new structure for model designations, with the first BMW 5 Series as the successor to the “New Class.” That gives BMW clearly defined model names that are easy to remember and the principle of the system continues to this day. The first digits represent the series and the next two digits the model, based on the engine capacity. Already in June 1983, this Series 5 would be the first of the brand that would debut a diesel engine, specifically a six-cylinder inline, 115 hp turbo for the model 524 to.
BMW 3 Series
The first generation of the most popular BMW of all time comes to light on June 30, 1975. At the Olympic Stadium in Munich, the Board of Management of BMW AG presents the BMW 3 Series, which launches as successor to the successful BMW Series 02 with new technology and the new designation of the model.
Considered one of the first super cars that saw the light, it is presented in the World Automobile of Paris. It is a sports car with 277cv developed by BMW Motorsport GmbH. His version of competition causes a sensation in the races, including the Procar Series in the program of support races of Formula 1 in Europe in 1979 and 1980.
BMW 325iX and M3
The 325ix was the first model of the brand to offer four-wheel drive; The second becomes a myth within compact sports cars. Both saw the light at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
BMW 1 Series
For the first time, on September 25, 2004, BMW launched a compact model: the Series 1; Preserve of the rest of models of the range its sporty character, rear propulsion, distribution of weights to 50% on both axes.
On September 18, 2013, begins the production and subsequent commercialization of the new model of the ‘i’ brand of BMW; Is called i3 and is a powerful electric 170 hp, developed from scratch and built largely with lightweight carbon fiber.
2 other curious things in the history of the brand:
June 22, 1931
The “Rail Zeppelin” with BMW VI engine of twelve cylinders built by the designer of trains Franz Kruckenberg reaches a speed of 230 km / h and marks, therefore, a new world record of speed for vehicles on the track.
April 30, 1945
US Navy Soldiers reach the so-called Shadow Plant and the Allach Field near Munich. As of December 1939, prisoners of war, convicts, forced laborers and prisoners of concentration camps have been used there and in other venues to manufacture aircraft engines.