Thirty years have pased since the first “M” series production model, the legendary M1 rolled of the Bavarian car maker’s assembly line in 1978, the BMW M GmbH has now delivered 300,000 M vehicles all across the world. The 300,000th model is an alpine white BMW M3 Coupe that was sold to a customer in Regensburg, an East Bavarian town located near BMW’s “M” plant.
Although the M1 marks the beginning of BMW M model history, it was more of a race car than every day driver. The first real-world car to wear the “M” sport badge was essentially the 1979 M535i which was followed by the 286Hp M6/M635CSi in 1983 and a year latter, the 286Hp M5.
Today, the vehicle portfolio of the BMW M ranges in over nine models, the Z4 M Roadster and Coupe that boast a straight six with 343 bhp; the M5 Sedan & Touring, the M6 Coupe and Convertible that all feature a 507 bhp V10 engine and last but not least, the M3 Coupe, Sedan and Convertible that are equipped with a 420 bhp V8 engine.
According to the Bavarian automaker, in the year 2007, BMW M GmbH automobiles accounted for around one percent of the BMW Group's overall turnover worldwide.
The most popular M model is the M3 with worldwide purchases of the new version having surpassed the 4,000 mark in the first four months of 2008. The USA is the most important market for BMW M automobiles, and on the European continent the high-performance sports cars are popular in the UK, Germany and Italy.