The Bavarian region of Germany is synonymous with world class automobiles and Bayerische Motoren Werke, better known as BMW, is one of the best in the world. From benchmark sports coupes like the M4, to state-of-the-art sports cars like the all-electric i8 Club Sportiva has always been proud to feature fine BMW automobiles. Browse our excellent selection of luxury and exotic cars today and you can be behind the wheel of an BMW tomorrow.
Like Bavarian neighbor Audi, BMW can trace its roots back to multiple companies. In the beginning, there was simply airplane engine manufacturer Rapp Motorenwerke. After the departure of their founder; that's right - "Mr. Rapp", the name was changed to Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) in 1917. Sounds like the end of the story doesn't it? Well it isn't! After World War I ended in 1918, BMW was ordered to cease aircraft works and BMW produced a bunch of items including household goods and even farm equipment. After the BMW name was purchased by a shareholder, it was applied to yet another aircraft company known as "Bayerische Flugzeugwerke" which is the second company that BMW can trace its roots to. This original company dates back to 1916 and many BMW historians note that year as the birth of the company.
However, the first BMW automobile didn't arrive until 1928 with the purchase of the Automobilwerk Eisenach car company. The addition of the third, and final, company in the BMW trifecta resulted in the BMW 3/15, their very first production car. It wasn't the most original start, the car was derived from the the Dixi 3/15 that Automobilwerk Eisenach was already producing; which in reality was a licensed copy of the British Austin 7. Did you get all that? It doesn't matter, BMW was on the map as an automobile producer and in 1932 produced the BMW 3/20 which was their first car designed in-house. Using a 4-cylinder based on the Austin, it wasn't until the following year that BMW designed their first automotive straight-six engine for the new BMW 303. BMWphiles will note that this was quite a moment for the company and kicked off decades of straight-six history.
After WWII, like many German companies, BMW was in a rebuilding phase. Not able to produce cars or motorcycles initially, the company turned once again to producing kitchen and household supplies. Motorcycles returned to production in 1947 and cars in 1952. Interesting trivia, the Bristol Aeroplane Company (BAC) used seized BMW plans to produce pre-war versions of some of their cars. Once production kicked back off, BMW produced the 501, 502, and eventually the 600 and 700. They also produced the tini Isetta under license from a company called Iso. Things weren't great by the late 1950s and several companies attempted to take over a near-bankrupt BMW; there was even a proposal to merge with Daimler-Benz that was struck down internally. By 1960 a new range of models, called the "Neue Klasse", aka New Class, were proposed and by 1962 sedans arrived in showrooms setting a new tone for BMW.
The rest of the 1960s saw the arrival of the now iconic BMW 02 Series of compact coupes as well as a brand new inline-six engine. In 1968 BMW also launched the New Six series of large sedans (think 7 Series) and New Six CS large coupes (think 6 Series). Shortly after that in the early 1970s the BMW lineup of today began to take shape with the 5-Series mid-size sedan, the 6-Series coupe built off of the same platform, as well as the new smaller 3-Series and larger 7-Series. Look familiar?
In 1978 BMW brought out it's first ///M car, the might M1, a mid-engine sports car built in partnership with Lamborghini. While it was the first production model from the new M Division, their first "regular" car was the E12 M535i, a predecessor to the mighty M5. Both the M5, and the M3 arrived in 1985 and BMW was on a roll. By the early 1990s, the V8 8-Series was unveiled as well as the limited run Z1 2-seater, the genesis of the Z-line of BMWs that continues today.
Success means mergers and acquisitions, and BMW bought the the British Rover Group in 1994, which included Rover, Land Rover, Mini, MG, Austin and Morris brands. By 2000 the group was sucking money out of BMW and it broke up the pieces and sold them off to various companies, including the sale of Land Rover to Ford. BMW retained Mini and successfully relaunched that brand in 2001. 1998 also marked the acquisition of Rolls Royce, which has remained in place since and resulted in new success for the brand. This era also saw the introduction of the wildly important X5 luxury SUV. BMW was one of the first to bring such a vehicle to market and it was seen as quite a departure from the company's image. It was incredibly successful, as we know, and the X3 followed.
Modern BMW means turbocharging and more efficiency, but no less tire smoke. In 2006 the company started to migrate to forced induction engines with the 2006 E92 335i. Since then, a trend of downsizing engines and upsizing turbochargers has kept BMW at the forefront of the performance luxury market and the introduction of futuristic i-Series means that BMW is at the forefront of electric technology.
Rent an BMW today to discover why this German manufacturer is producing some of the best cars on the market. Club Sportiva's inventory changes rapidly, register for free to get updates on new vehicles as they arrive. With Clubhouses throughout California, including locations in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Monterey, and Menlo Park@AutoVino, we have just what you are looking for for your next exotic driving experience, corporate event, or weekend getaway.
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