BMW is one of the biggest brands in the automobile segment in the world. One look at the front grille and the blue, white, and black logo on the hood, and you know that the person who zoomed past you is driving one of those famous German car ― the BMW. This car maker is known for technological innovation and for making one of the most advanced cars in the world. Let us learn more about it in details.
What does it stand for?
BMW is the abbreviation of 'Bayerische Motoren Werke'. Most people think BMW is short for 'Bavarian Motor Works', which is the English translation of the actual name. But the name under which this company is registered is the German name. Today it produces a plethora of automobiles ranging from luxury sedans to SUVs and from Race Rally cars to Formula One cars. In addition, it produces a range of bikes as well.
How its cars are named?
It is interesting to follow the naming pattern of this brand. The name of any BMW car has three basic parts. In the luxury sedan range, the first part is numerically identifying the series of the car. The next two numbers show the engine displacement divided by 100. The third part may contain one letter or two, which tells you more about the car. Let us take an example of the car, which has been named BMW 730 Ld. This means that the car belongs to the '7' series of the luxury sedan and has a displacement of 3000 cc. 'L' stands for long-wheel based and 'd' stands for diesel. Other common nomenclatures used at the end of the numerical part include: a which stands for automatic, h for hydrogen, I for fuel injected, sDrive for rear wheel drive, and xDrive means four wheel drive.
Other common ranges under the BMW umbrella includes the 'M' range for motorsport range, 'L' for super luxury cars, 'X' for the SUVs, and 'Z' for the two-seater roadsters.
This brand has an interesting history. Here is the detailed information with the timeline of events.
1913: Karl Rapp established Rapp Motorenwerke which manufactured aircraft engines. He begins manufacturing aircraft engines which have some mechanical problems. He is removed and is replaced by Max Friz. Rapp Motorenwerke is renamed Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH.
Not too far away in Bavaria itself, Gustav Otto runs an aircraft manufacturing factory Bayerische Flugzeugwerke. Bayerische Flugzeugwerke and Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH combine to form a company known as Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH or BMW as it is known today.
1918: It becomes a public company after the roaring success of the very first aircraft engine ― the Type IIIA.
1921: The company produces its first motorized bicycle called 'Flink'.
1929: It's 750cc motorcycle sets the then world record for highest speed of 216.74 km/hr in Munich.
1935: BMW K 12 becomes the first motorcycle built with the revolutionary telescopic front fork, hydraulic shock absorber.
1938: The BMW 328 wins the Mille Miglia race which ran between Brescia and Rome.
1945: It produces its first ever bicycle with a lightweight aluminum frame for easier riding.
1953: It produces its 100,000th motorcycle ― the R 67/2.
1956: It produces its first ever small car ― the Isetta.
1961: It launches its first sports based family sedan ― the 1500.
1967: It launches the limited edition BMW 1600.
1976: It produce the world's first bike with full fairing ― the R 100 RS.
1978: It launches its first racing model ― the BMW M1.
1981: It becomes the first European automobile company to have a subsidiary in Japan.
1983: Nelson Piquet drives the BMW powered car to its first ever Formula 1 series championship.
1986: BMW's 745i becomes the first car of European make with a liquid hydrogen tank and internal fuel preparation.
1990: It gets the rights to produce engines for the legendary Rolls Royce cars.