By Chris King •
Published: 28 May 2022 • 2:42
Image from the BMW M museum in Munich.
Credit: BMW Group
BMW M – the most powerful letter in the world – is celebrating its 50th birthday, and the BMW Museum in Munich is joining in the celebrations. The new BMW M exhibition opened on Tuesday, May 24, celebrating the very day that BMW Motorsport GmbH was founded on 24 May 1972. It is dedicated to the hugely successful BMW M brand, which emerged from BMW Motorsport GmbH.
Little could anyone have known how much of a unique success story BMW Motorsport GmbH would grow into when it was founded half a century ago – bundling and further professionalising all of BMW’s racing activities. The newly developed BMW 3.0 CSL won the 1973 European Touring Car Championship.
Since then, BMW M has passed many unique milestones in the fields of motorsport, technology and design. This is embedded in the BMW Group’s corporate history in a lively and exciting new exhibition at the BMW Museum.
Visitors can walk through large sections of the museum on a specially created BMW M circuit, modelled on a racetrack: “We have consciously integrated the eight BMW M stations into our permanent exhibition to highlight the BMW M anniversary everywhere”, said Helmut Kas, Head of BMW Group Classic, explaining the concept.
He continued, “It is not your usual temporary exhibition. Instead, we are adding special highlights within the museum. For example, the ‘Visions’ room is actually all about future topics. We have set up a stage for the most successful racing touring car in the early days of BMW Motorsport – the BMW 3.0 CSL – flanked by the BMW 2002 turbo. That is also a symbol: both vehicles are an integral part of the tradition which is shaping our tomorrow”.
The special exhibition flowing through a further seven rooms highlights various aspects, such as the history of racing touring cars, the manufacture of the BMW Individual, the complete M Story with background information on the distinctive colours, the logo, and the anniversary logo launched in 2022.
Special aspects such as the BMW Art Cars and BMW driver training, which would not even exist without BMW M, are also showcased. The exhibits include the iconic BMW M1, and BMW M3, as well as design concepts, prototypes, BMW M classics, and winning racing cars such as the BMW V12 LMR, all combining to give a sense of what the brand is all about.
“This motorsport gene from the early days still thrives in BMW M today”, said Jochen Neerpasch, co-founder and first Managing Director of BMW Motorsport GmbH from 1972 to 1980. “The brand owes its dynamism, passion, and performance, to motorsport. Innovations such as lightweight construction, aerodynamics, optimised engine performance, or a reinforced chassis, still feature in M vehicles today”he added.
The BMW Museum will run throughout 2022, presenting a fascinating look at the corporate, brand, and product history of BMW. More than 120 of the brand’s most valuable and eye-catching cars, motorbikes, and engines, are on display in the 5,000 m² exhibition area. Information on exhibits and background information is given in German and English.
The BMW Museum, together with the BMW Plant and BMW Welt, impressively showcases the brand experience in Munich. It provides deep insights into the tradition, the present, and the future of the BMW brand. Founded in 1973 as one of the first brand museums, it was redesigned and expanded in 2008.
BMW Museum opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm. Last admissions at 5.30 p.m. All dates, further information – including about guided tours – and the online ticket shop can be found at: https://www.bmw-welt.com/en/experience/guided_tours.html.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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