M is the letter reserved for desirable high-performance BMW vehicles. BMW initially used the M badge on detuned race cars like the E30 M3 sports sedan and M1 supercar. Today, the badge is on a range of powerful, fast cars, including the X5 and X6. You’ll encounter unique M badges, including BMW M, M Performance, and M Sport. BMW also offers M Sport packages and BMW M performance parts to help improve the performance of non-M cars.
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BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke company, a car and motorcycle manufacturer established in Bavaria. The acronym represents the company’s home state (Bavaria), the type of fabric or engine (Motoren), and the company type (Werke or works). BMW began by producing aircraft engines and later moved into high-end cars and motorcycles just before WW1. After WW2, BMW made its first subsidiary, BMW M, focusing on high-performance vehicles.
BMW M Series
BMW began its racing program in the 1970s, producing M-badged cars modified in high racing models. The company added the letter M to the original acronym (BMW) to represent “motorsport.” BMW M cars slowly morphed into specially modified high-trim models known by users today. The M-badged cars came with modified engines, suspensions, transmissions, interior trims, and aerodynamics.
All M series cars are tuned and tested at BMW’s private facility at the Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany. The BMW M series today features three unique high-performance cars: BMW M, M Performance, and M Sports. BMW M is the highest-performing trim level and has the fastest BMW car (M8 Competition Coupe). M Performance is one step above M Sport, the lowest rung in the BMW M series.
BMW M Performance adds genuine speed, while M Sport is about appearance. Although M Performance began with the passenger cars, the versions are featured in many other BMWs. You can find M Performance versions in X5, X6, and X7 SUVs, Z4 convertible, 8-Series luxury coupe, and more. M Sport is an accessory package rather than a unique variant of BMW. You can add the package to nearly all BMW cars, including luxury models like X7.
3 Differences Between BMW and BMW M
Regular BMW SUVs, convertibles, and luxury coupes differ significantly from their M-badged variants. The BMW M fabric produces high-performance cars and is reserved for models tuned to enhance speed, acceleration, power, and ride quality. BMW M cars use premium parts and chips to deliver more torque and horsepower.
Manufacturers and mechanics can tune the suspension and other components to match the power increase. BMW cars feature specific configurations optimized for the output level produced by the vehicle. Tuning increases the power and output, so your car will need reinforcements.
Here are three primary differences between BMW and BMW M:
1. High-Performance Parts
BMW M performance parts and packages are the main distinction between M-badged and non-M car models. The M series features high-performance parts, including detuned engines, performance chips, reinforced suspension systems, and optimized interiors. BMW M cars also have larger, sportier tires and exterior trims designed to resemble racing cars. The vehicles produce more power than regular BMWs and are known for their top-level performance.
2. Designed For Speed
The M series cars are manufactured with speed/racing in mind. BMW M is built for the tracks and features a higher performance modification level. M Performance trims are for street racing and offer speed and power. BMW M Sports package also adds features that enhance speed. You can find larger wheels, an M steering wheel, aerodynamic kits, dynamic damper control, and adaptive M suspension. M series cars offer top speed across all BMW trims.
3. Tuned Engines & Suspensions
BMW M series cars have a detuned engine to provide more torque and horsepower. Owners of regular BMWs can get their cars tuned at a reputable auto works company specializing in BMW tuning. The M vehicles arrive already tuned for high performance. The engine and transmission control units are tuned for increased performance, faster acceleration, top speed, and maximum power output. Suspensions and exhausts are also tuned for smooth rides.
Premium BMW M Performance Parts
A tuning shop may help if you plan to enhance your BMW’s performance. Stick to reputable auto works companies specializing in tuning BMW engines and suspensions. You should also look for premium BMW M performance parts that can support your tuned engine. Leading auto works companies can help you safely boost your car’s power output through tuning and premium quality performance parts.