Not the first representative of the M-Class. This is directly connected with Jochen Neerpasch, the changed to BMW from the successful racing Capris at Ford in 1972, there founded the M-GmbH in a hardly ever known extent as a company separated from the manufacturer. Of course, the first of all needed funds for the many new employees are significant.
The project M1, after all future vehicles will be named, was promptly a flop. Whether it was due to BMW or Lamborghini, which should build the sports car with midsized engine, the 100 cars required for homologation were not ready in time.
So there was already again something new at BMW, one has let compete the M1 against itself in the so-called Procar series. In order to make this interesting, one bought the five best F1 drivers, whereby a chance was given to challenge their driving skills. Only Niki Lauda soon had his own team with mechanic, probably the better tuned car also.
Briefly mentioned here the first vehicle, the 635 with the the M-GmbH has profiled itself in the DTM. But with aerodynamic assistance and more displacement has been already achieved a resounding success here. That became even better with the M3 (E30), presented in 1986. Not a few consider this car for the most successful touring car ever.
It was quite an achievement to be at the top of the podium in the first year of the appearance. In any case, the M3 was Touring Car World Champion in 1986. Later, it was successful once again after a long break from racing by BMW. BMW had completely focused on the touring cars after the success in Formula 1 in 1983 and the withdrawal.
There was no breakdown with the homologation, although 5,000 vehicles had to be built. From the beginning the 3 Series and especially his M-version were developed in parallel to the A group. Look at the top of the data, whereby the two versions differentiate. Incidentally, that's why the M-GmbH was specially enlarged and moved to new workshops in Garching.
Overall, the M3 was again twice European champion and twice DT champion, not counting the many other winnings. The required 5,000 vehicles were far exceeded with about 18,000 in the course of time. Besides, there was still the M3 Convertible and also a version with 2.5 litres displacement. And despite the M5, the M3 has left behind a lasting impression at many sporty drivers. 12/14