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Not everybody knows that BMW started as a manufacturer of aircraft engines. In October 1913 Karl Friedrich Rapp establishes “Rapp-Motorenwerke” in a former bicycle factory near Munich.

Rapp was an engineer who arise through the Daimler system and “Rapp-Motorenwerke” was set up as a subsidiary of “Flugwerk”, an airplane maker. He starts manufacturing his own aircraft engines but unfortunately they suffered from problems with vibrations.

In 1917, BMW’s first aircraft engine, the Type IIIa, goes into production. It is a water-cooled six-cylinder inline engine, it features a unique “high-altitude carburetor” developed by chief engineer Max Friz that allows it to develop full power at altitude. Max Friz was a grand engineering mind who would dominate BMW’s product development culture on into the 1960’s.

BMW became an automobile manufacturer in 1929 when it purchased Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach, which, at the time, built Austin Sevens under licence under the Dixi marque.

BMW’s team of engineers progressively developed their cars from small Seven-based cars into six-cylinder luxury cars and, in 1936, began production of the BMW 328 sports car. Aircraft engines, motorcycles, and automobiles would be BMW’s main products until World War II.

During the war, against the wishes of its director Franz Josef Popp, BMW concentrated on aircraft engine production, with motorcycles as a side line and automobile manufacture stopped altogether.

Towards the end of 1930, BMW attempted to introduce a new front axle with independent wheel suspension for both their models, the BMW ‘Dixi’ 3/15 DA4 and BMW ‘Wartburg’ DA3, but this resulted in accidents with the prototypes because of construction faults.

However, as the license with Austin would end in 1932, BMW decided upon the development of a completely new model and called in the help of German engineer Josef Ganz. He was hired as a consultant engineer at BMW in July 1931.bmw logo

At first, Josef Ganz negotiated with BMW about possible manufacture of his innovative rear-engined Maikäfer prototype at BMW.

However, BMW decided for a different model, more along the lines of the previous Dixi model.

Therefore, with the assistance of Ganz, work started on the development of the BMW AM1, a small car with a front-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive, and independent wheel suspension with swing-axles.

BMW Logo

What does the BMW logo mean?

BMW logo consists of 4 blue and white quadrants which are enclosed within a circle. White and blue colors used for every quadrant symbolize Bavarian Free State. Letter BMW are located at the top of the circle. They stand for Bayerische Motoren Werke.

BMW Basics

Founded: 7 March 1916
Headquarters: Munich, Germany
Founder(s): Karl Rapp, Franz Josef Popp, Camillo Castiglioni

BMW News, Rumors & Updates

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With a Manual and Improved Suspension The BMW M2 CS is a step above the M2 Competition. It offers more power and improved performance. Oh, and a manual transmission. Automotive purists, rejoice! The M2 CS comes with tweaked looks, too, and is the smallest super-fast sports car from BMW right now.  The car features a …

The First Unofficial M Car BMW South Africa has restored a 1976 BMW 530 MLE. The car is known as the first unofficial BMW M car. It actually came to the market two years before the M1 supercar. The folks who restored it took two years to do so, and the hard work looks to …

This Completes the M8 Line We just recently discussed the verdict of the M8 Competition Coupe. The car gets high marks from the folks who were on the press drive, and now BMW has some more M8 news. The company just revealed the M8 Gran Coupe. This is the four-door coupe-like cousin of the regular …

This Car Hasn’t Been Officially Unveiled Yet The BMW M2 CS has not broken cover yet. It’s been spotted with camo wraps testing, but BMW has yet to officially showcase the upcoming car. With that said, there is a video of the car lapping the Hockenheim Formula 1 circuit. This video is shot behind the …

No Specifics, But It Will Come There have been many rumors of a standalone BMW M car. However, BMW never said whether or not there was any validity to those rumors. Now BMW M CEO Marku Flasch has given the world confirmation that the company is working on a car.  In an interview with Top …

The True Ultimate Driving Machine The 2020 BMW M5 Competition is a special car. It takes the attractive but not ridiculously sporty looking 5-Series as a base for the car and then turns the dials up to 11. The car comes with 617 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque and that power gets sent to …

Common Architecture Means Ability to Scale If you’re in love with much of what BMW is doing at the moment, then you’ll be thrilled to learn that more M models are on their way. BMW plans to expand its lineup thanks to a common engine architecture for all M models. This will cut down on …

BMW Showcases New Tech in This Wild Concept BMW has a vision for the future and that is the Vision M Next concept car. The vehicle pulls from the i8 hybrid as well as other previous BMW vehicles for inspiration. The model also has unique Laser Wire headlights, a new version of the BMW twin-kidney …

A High-Powered 8-Series Coupe The BMW M8 arrived in coupe, convertible, and competition form. The car borrows its turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine from the M5. It makes 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. BMW thought it best to make the competition model special, so it added some power to that model and bumped the …

A Tesla Roadster Challenger? The BMW i8 is a plug-in hybrid currently, but that could change with the next generation of the car. According to Autocar, sources within BMW said the next i8 would go electric. This honestly isn’t too surprising. BMW has been heavily investing in electric technology, and the company would also have …

More Aggressive Than Ever The new BMW 8-Series is out, and there are rumors and information floating around the web about upcoming variants of the new car. One of those variants yet to come out is the M8 Competition. It will be a hard-edged version of the car, and more sporty than ever. It just …

The Ultimate AWD Drag Race The website Carwow wanted to see just how the New Porsche 911 Carrera 4S stacks up against the other all-wheel-drive high-end sports cars out there. That meant the company had to stage a serious test, and that led the testers to the drag strip. The company took the new Carrera …

A True BMW Legend There are few cars that have a bigger fanbase than the BMW E30 M3 Sport Evo. The car is simply a legendary car and it’s what started the M3 on its current path of greatness. The guys over at Carfection somehow got their hands on a slew of M3s from multiple …

How Much Does the Horsepower Matter? The BMW M5 Competition Pack is a seriously fast car. It has 616 hp and is a true sports sedan. So, there’s no need for more power, right? Wrong. The BMW M5 DMS ups the ante to 774 hp. That’s about a 160 hp bump up, and that’s quite …

The Prototype Heads to Auction Are you looking for an ultra-rare supercar that has some history to it? Do you love BMWs? Then we have the perfect suggestion. Buy this unique BMW M1 Prototype. The car broke the 186 mph (300 km/h) speed barrier in the 1980s and is a piece of automotive history. The historic …

BMW Wants You To Row Your Own Gears It seems BMW really wants to make the next M3 and M4 cars it produces into the true ultimate driving machines. I don’t know about you, but to me, that indicates the cars will come with a manual gearbox. Recently, CAR Magazine reported that both the M3 …

The Porsche 911 GT3 RS has been the king of the fast road track weapon category but a German civil war is brewing. Could the new Mercedes AMG GT R and BMW’s M4 GTS give the Porsche a run for its money? Chris Harris will tell us all about it.

Can the 2018 BMW M5 Always Sideways, Rubber Burning Super Saloon Beat the Best of the Best? We Find Out. There’s an all new BMW M5 in town and we are excited to see what the car is like on road and track. We found a number of the best journalists and their awesome initial impression …

We all know the capabilities and performance of the BMW M3 Competition Pack. The only thing left for it to prove to us is how fast can go for a full lap in the Anglesey Circuit which you will find out in this video.

After months of speculations, rumors, and leaks, BMW has officially unveiled the newest and fastest M5 to date, the 2018 BMW M5. With an advanced technology on-board and the impeccable 5 Series as its base, the new flagship super-saloon can definitely send shivers to your spine with its speed thanks to its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 …

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