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What Does the M Stand for in BMW?

BMW M ("M" for "motorsport") was initially created to facilitate BMW's racing program.

What does the M stand for in BMW?

Have you ever heard about the saying: "You can't buy happiness, but you can buy a car!" Well, Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto would certainly stand by it.

Passion for classical vehicles, sports vehicles, and motorcycles brought Rapp and Otto together on the biggest adventure of their lives, and for our pleasure, the creation of BMW.

BMW is one of the world's most successful manufacturers of cars and motorcycles.

The history of BMW's name goes back at the begging of the 20th century. The name of the most active car manufacturer was born just before WWI in Munich, Germany. Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto renamed their vehicle factory in March 1918 when Rapp's factory morphed into Bayerische Motoren Werke company.

The acronym stands for the company home state Bavaria, the type of the fabric M for Motoren or engine, and the type of the company Werkle, or works company.

After WWII the BMW car manufacturer company produced its first subsidiary, the BMW M. BMW M fabric produced high-performance cars.

1What is BMW M Series?

What is BMW M Series?: M5

In the 1960s and 1970s the vehicle and motorcycles producer begun its racing program. These M badged cars were modified in high racing car models. The company added an M to its original acronym BMW with the meaning of "motorsport".

As time passed, BMW M began to supplement BMW's vehicle portfolio with specially modified higher trim models, for which they are now most known by the general public. These M-badged cars traditionally include modified engines, transmissions, suspensions, interior trims, aerodynamics, and exterior modifications to set them apart from their counterparts. All M models are tested and tuned at BMW's private facility at the Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany.

M Series is BMW's highest performance 'top-tier' trim level, positioned distinctly above the "M Performance" specification level of BMW's regular model range.

Which BMW M Series is the fastest?

In fact, the current M Series also boasts the title of having the fastest BMW — the BMW M8 Competition Coupe.

RELATED: Top 6 Fastest BMW Cars of All Time

2What is the BMW M Performance?

What is the BMW M Performance?: M340i

One step above M Sport is M Performance. An easy way to distinguish between the two is by the badge on the trunk. A 340i with the M Sport package, for instance, will just say ‘340i’; the M Performance version, the BMW M340i, though will actually say ‘M340i.’ And while M Sport is mostly about looks, M Performance adds genuine speed.

And it’s not just BMW’s passenger cars that have M Performance variants. There are M Performance versions of the X5, X6, and X7 SUVs, the Z4 convertible, and even the 8-Series luxury coupe. All M Performance cars have larger, more powerful engines than the cars they’re based on.

M Performance Cars: M135i, M240i, M340i, M550i, M760i, M850i, X3 M40i/d, X4 M40i/d, X5 M50i/d, X6 M50i/d, X7 M50i/Z4 M40i.

RELATED: The 6 Most Reliable BMW Engines Ever

3What is the BMW M Sport Package?

What Is The BMW M Sport Package?: 320i

The lowest rung in the BMW M ladder is M Sport. Unlike M Performance or M, which are unique vehicle variants, ‘M Sport’ is actually an accessory package that can be added to almost any BMW. Even luxury models like the 7-Series, 8-Series, and X7 can all be ordered with the M Sport package. Vehicles with the M Sport package are not to be confused with the top of the line M model cars such as the M3, but the packages do make the cars perform better than their non-M Sport brethren.

The package is available on many BMW models and usually includes features such as larger wheels with performance tires, unique exterior trim, an M steering wheel or M sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, an aerodynamic kit, and sport seats. Some cars also include the sport package as part of the M sport package, while others come with dynamic damper control or the Adaptive M Suspension. Cars with automatics may also receive the Sport Automatic transmission.

The Bottom Line

Today the Bavarian car manufacturer company has a mission for the 21st century. Their vision is to be the most successful premium manufacturer in the car industry. The BMW company wants to grow in premium quality and confirm its influence in the automobile manufacturing sector.

RELATED: The 10 Best BMW M Cars of All Time

[1] ^ MotorBiscuit: What's the Difference Between BMW M, M Sport, and M Performance?
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