Learn All About BMW's Model Designations!

It is beautiful, but how did it get its designation? No, I never cared either. But now I know!
It is beautiful, but how did it get its designation? No, I never cared either. But now I know!

Got way too much time on your hands? Got a feverish, almost OCD-like passion for everything from the Bavarian Motor Werks? Have we got an article for you!
That’s right, Car Magazine has a fascinating article listing off every model designation BMW has used, from 1968, right up to the present day. If you’ve ever wondered — or haven’t, but are really good at memorizing things and like to impress people at car-shows — you should wander over to Car for an update.

17 Comments

  1. Perhaps you would rather use my abbreviated mental breakdown of BMW automobiles:
    – 504. Wait, 507? Well, whatever that really sexy convertible was that I'll never see in person.
    – Isetta
    – 2002
    – 2002 Alpina, the amazingly cool version of the 2002
    – A bunch of square-ish sedans that start with "E"
    – M3, the amazingly cool version of those square-ish sedans that start with "E"
    – 318i, the amazingly slow version of the square-ish sedans that start with "E"
    – That really cool 635CSi Hawk drove on "Spenser for Hire"
    – M6, the amazingly cool version of that 635CSi Hawk drove on "Spenser for Hire."
    – M1. Wait, Z1? Well, whatever that really sexy supercar was was that I'll never see in person.
    – Z3 Roadster
    – Z3 Coupe, the amazingly cool version of the Z3
    – That really ugly replacement for the Z3 Roadster with the whacked-out side turn indicators
    – Some weird SUV things
    – BMW X6 M, the amazingly cool version of those weird SUV things.

    1. I saw that in your photos, and I almost had a coronary thinking someone was going to be racing it. I was going to march down there and box his or her ears. And then it dawned on me that no one could be that much of a Philistine.

  2. What this really points out is BMW's exploding product line. For the longest time it was 3, 5 and 7 Series with an occasional 6 Series. All cars. All done very well. Then, all of a sudden, there's X3, X5, Z3, Z4, Z8, and M versions of those. Wow. Munich is busy.

    1. i agree… though i have no arguements with the z3 coupe (shooting brake!… and not necessarily sadly known to us U.S. people as the M coupe..)… and honestly… the z4 coupe isn't too bad… like the 3 better… and no problem with the Z8 what-so-ever… there are 3 or or four around indianapolis that i occasionally get to see in parking lots… or driving… but screw all the SUVs…….

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