This year BMW M GmbH celebrates their 40th anniversary. That’s four decades of M&Ms (Marvelous Machinery) and a model run that set the bar for all other factory tuners. Originally founded as a team of 35 under the leadership of then Managing Director Jochen Neerpasch, BMW’s Motorsport magicians created the fantastic homologation special 3.0 CSL. In 1978 the group unleashed their first M-badged creation, the mid-engine M1, after Lamborghini failed in their attempt to develop the car under contract for the Germans.
Following was a spate of M-cars, mostly 3 and 5-series based, that have established new benchmarks with each ensuing generation. Over the past four decades the tricolor swoop and M badge has become synonymous with well-rounded performance. Today you can be assured that any BMW so anointed will be a cut above its brethren when it comes to going, stopping, turning, and turning dead dinosaurs into joyous noise and great distances covered.
But which of these wonderful toys do you find most lust-worthy? That is assuming that you find any M-car to be something you’d consider for yourself, but then again, there’s plenty from which to choose and what’s not to like? Do you cotton to the early E30 M3, one of the most visually distinctive of M transformations? Or maybe you like the over the top-ness, and Autobahn consuming-ness of the E60 M5 with its V10? No M has ever had so many pots with which to make mischief. There’s plenty in between those extremes, so which will it be? From forty years of Ms,which is your favorite?
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