The Bayerische Motoren Werke company was founded on March 7, 1916, and has produced luxury and high-performing automobiles that continue to excel on the road and the race tracks ever since.
The cars made under the BMW AG brand are advertised under other subsidiaries such as BMW and even Rolls-Royce, and even though the company got its first start making plane engines, the BMW company has been primarily branded as a luxury car maker. Over the past century or so, BMW has made high-quality vehicles that are safe, reliable and powerful. With that being said, here are the ten best BMW cars ever made, ranked.
10 BMW E9
The BMW E9 ranks tenth on this list, and was produced as a grand tourer coupe in 1968. Production of this vehicle ceased in the next decade and the E9 went defunct in 1975.
During its time on the market, this car was primarily used as a racing vehicle (due to its high-performance M30 I6 engine) and competed in races such as the European Touring Car Championship and the Deutsch Rennsport Meisterschaft. The E9 was produced in many versions that had slightly different exterior shells and performed differently.
9 BMW E39 M5
Next up is the BMW E39 M5. The E39 M5 is a variation of the classic M5 line and is cited by many car experts as the peak of BMW. The E39 M5 was released in 1999 as a 2000 model and made history by being the first BMW M-class car to house an eight-cylinder engine.
It's a naturally-aspirated V8 engine that is formally titled the S62. The S62 can produce 349 hp and is an exemplary piece of German engineering, as it can go from 0 to 60 in just 5 seconds.
8 BMW Z3 M Coupe
Next up is the BMW Z3 M Coupe. The BMW M came as a coupe or roadster and was a high-performance sports car model of the BMW Z3 and BMW Z4.
The Z3 M Coupe was manufactured first in 1998; it had an incredibly short lifespan of four years before going out of production in 2002. The Z3 M was powered by a 3.2 L S50 I6 engine and rear-wheel-drive layout. The Z3 M coupe was also made a roadster and did not perform very well on the markets.
7 BMW 850CSI
The BMW 850CSI was a variation on BMW's high performing 8-series line-up and was designed to take over the prototype titled the M8 variant. The 850CSI used a similar engine to another vehicle, the BMW 850i, and because this engine had such specific tuning, BMW named this 5.6 L V12 engine the S70B56.
Due to being equipped with a twelve-cylinder engine, the 850CSI is an incredibly high-performing vehicle and came with a six-speed manual transmission option only. This makes the car a real rarity. Due to redefined emission regulations that the S70B56 did not meet, production ceased in 1996.
6 BMW E36 M3
Next, we have the BMW E36 M3. The E36 M3 is a second-generation BMW M3 vehicle that was produced from 1992 until 1999. Within this powerhouse is a six-cylinder engine that can produce up to 321 hp.
When it was first released as a sports sedan, many buyers seemed to be confused as to its intended purpose. Many believed the E36 M3 was meant to be an everyday use vehicle, while others thought it was for the tracks. The answer? The E36 M3 is a practical vehicle with race car insides, able to perform well in either situation.
5 BMW M1
The BMW M1 was initially intended to be the brainchild of Lamborghini and BMW, but when conflicts arose in the 1970s, BMW proceeded to make this car a solo project. Produced in 1978, the M1 was intended to serve as a production race car that would be made by the Italian and German auto experts.
Following disputes, production was moved from Turin, Italy to Munich, Germany, where it was finally manufactured. The BMW M1 is equipped with a six-cylinder engine and comes with a 5-speed manual transmission. The BMW M1 is a two-door coupe and only offered rear-wheel-drive capabilities.
4 BMW M3
Next up is the BMW M3. The M3 is made of lightweight materials and is built for a white-knuckle experience. With its all-new carbon-fiber exterior and twin-turbo technology, the M3 is more agile and powerful than ever.
Due to this re-engineered design, the M3 delivers 100-hp per liter of gas. One surprising aspect of this vehicle is that even though it is an extremely powerful race car, it is street legal and comes with features such as navigation to help you get around on the roads. The tech on-board the M3 can also analyze your driving speeds in a closed course setting.
3 BMW 2002
The BMW 2002 is a part of the BMW 02 series, but it was not produced in 2002. The BMW 2002 was first produced in 1973, when it was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.
The BMW 2002 made history that day by becoming the company's first turbocharged car in production. The 2002 model was released just before the 1973 oil crisis. During this period, oil-producing nations who were a part of OPEC declared an oil embargo and as a result, the price of oil shot up 400 percent. Henceforth, only 1,672 2002s were made.
2 BMW M535i
Ranking number 2 is the BMW M535i. The M535i was one of the company's first sport sedans and has been proclaimed the car that set the foundation for the future line of BMW sports cars.
The M535i was developed as a sportier version of the original 535i model, and was even produced as a variation of the E12 5 series. The E12 M535i was the only E12 model to be equipped with an inline-six and is one of the most impressive BMWs in history. The M535i is a powerful vehicle and is a great addition to any garage.
1 BMW 507
Finally, ranking #1 on this list of the best BMW cars is the BMW 507. The BMW 507 was produced in 1956 and only lasted three years before being pulled in 1959. The BMW 507 is a roadster that was supposed to be produced overseas and exported to the United States by the thousands per year.
In the end, the company underestimated the costs and only produced 252 BMW 507s, making this one of the rarest cars in history. This Grand Tourer is a 2-door convertible and is powered by BMW OHV V8 engine with a 4-speed manual transmission.