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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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BMW M Celebrates 40th anniversary

Posted June 13, 2012 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: anniversaries bmw BMW M German cars

From S-badged Audis to factory AMG specials from Mercedes-Benz to V-rated Cadillacs to F-tuned Lexuses, it seems every luxury automaker has some sort of sporting division now to create hotter models. While this competition is all pretty hot these days, the first to have such an entity in house was BMW, which started BMW Motorsport GmbH as a separate subsidiary in May 1972.

Today, it goes by the simple name of BMW M, its tri-color logo and signature M tacked onto the hood of some of the fastest sedans and SUVs on the road. But the division started not as a way to sharpen street cars but as a way to consolidate the various motorsports efforts under one flag.

Their successes on the track are legion: absolute dominance in Formula 2 in the 1970s and 1980s with a 16-valve version of the 2002′s famous M10 four-cylinder engine; European Touring Car titles earned in 1973 and consecutively from 1975 through 1979 with the 3.0CSL "Batmobile"; IMSA GT title in 1975, including a win at the Sebring 12 Hours; an overall win at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1976; touring car dominance again in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the box-flared M3 which nabbed titles in World, European and German (DTM) series. The division was renamed BMW M in 1993 with a focus on creating roadgoing cars only. Soon after they formed BMW Motorsport Ltd. to concentrate the racing efforts. More titles followed, including overall wins at Le Mans in 1995 and 1999 with BMW-powered vehicles; various GT titles in the late 1990s in the United States with the second-generation M3; a handful of F1 victories with Williams in the early 2000s and one, lone victory as an engine and chassis manufacturer in F1 in 2008 before they pulled the plug to concentrate on ALMS and touring car racing.

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