FASCINATION INTO THE FUTURE.
Immerse yourself in the world of the BMW Group. Discover fascinating facts that deepen your understanding of the brand’s history. Experience both highlights of the past and trailblazing developments that continue to define the allure of the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars brands to this day.
THE BMW GROUP BRANDS.
The BMW Group, with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars brands, is one of the world’s most successful premium manufacturers of cars and motorcycles. The company demonstrates its commitment to innovation, sustainability and product responsibility all the way from development to production. Its aim is to play an active and innovative role in shaping the face of mobility, now and in the future.
BMW has been one of the most active and successful brands in motor sport from day one, notching up countless victories and records on two, three and four wheels. BMW Group Classic’s Historic Motorsport division sends its old racing cars and motorcycles back out into the world’s courses and circuits with the same enthusiasm as the works and privateer teams back in the day.
On a large billboard inside the BMW Museum we are celebrating four decades of poster art in the service of BMW. Learn more here about the exciting stories behind the posters and download your favourite one.
BMW traces its roots back to Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto. In 1916, a company known as Flugmaschinenfabrik Gustav Otto merged into Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke AG (BFW) at the German government's behest. Elsewhere, in 1917, the Rapp Motorenwerke company morphed into Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH, which duly became an AG (public limited company) in 1918. BMW AG subsequently transferred its engine construction operations – including the company and brand names – to BFW in 1922. The date of BFW's founding, 7 March 1916, has therefore gone down in history as the birthdate of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG.DISCOVER THE HISTORY
The success story of BMW motorcycles started at the Berlin Motor Show in 1923. The aero-engine manufacturer presented its first motorcycle with the BMW R 32. The quality of the machine was a major factor for success. All the parts likely to need repair were encapsulated and the drive shaft was easier to service than standard chains or belts. The Boxer engine with cylinders mounted transverse to the direction of motion remains a characteristic feature of BMW motorcycles to this day, alongside the cardan shaft. The very successful overall design of the R 32 was penned by Max Friz and is regarded as a milestone in motorcycle history.DISCOVER THE HISTORY
BMW's first post-war car was the 501, built from 1952. A large sedan capable of seating up to six people, it was powered by an evolution of the six-cylinder engine used in the pre-war BMW 326. Although not a commercial success, this luxury model restored BMW's status as a manufacturer of high-quality, technically exciting cars.DISCOVER THE HISTORY
BMW presented its 1500 model at the 1961 German Motor Show, filling a gap in the market in the process. This was the model that re-established BMW as a successful modern carmaker. The design of the four-door mile-eater immediately generated excitement and orders far exceeded production capacities. By 1963, the company was back in profit. DISCOVER THE HISTORYDISCOVER THE HISTORY
BMW embarked on a new era of electric mobility with the presentation by the new BMW i brand of the BMW Group’s first all-electric series-production model – the BMW i3. Propelled by an electric motor (and thus entirely emission-free) the i3 delivered an all-new driving experience of compelling agility and unbridled fun. Never has sustainability been so electrifying.DISCOVER THE HISTORY
BMW Motorrad teamed up with the TVS Motor Company based in Chennai, India for its entry into the price-sensitive and highly competitive sub-500 cc segment. The BMW G 310 R encapsulates all the virtues traditionally embodied by the brand, such as dynamism and comfort, excellent ergonomics and handling ease. The single-cylinder engine with 313 cc capacity produces 34 hp and was newly developed at the time of launch. The bike’s design unmistakably references that of its larger sister model, the BMW S 1000 R, and it meets all the internationally applicable technical standards. It was aimed at markets around the world from the outset, particularly those in Asia and South America.DISCOVER THE HISTORY
With the BMW R 18, BMW Motorrad was offering a model in the large cruiser segment for the first time in its history. The R 18 blended traditional values with modern technology. Form-wise, it brought to mind illustrious standard-bearers from years past like the legendary BMW R 5 . And at its heart was the unadulterated joy of motorcycle riding. A very special highlight of the bike was without doubt the classical boxer engine, whose rich soundtrack was accompanied by spectacular looks. Released to celebrate 100 years of the boxer engine, its generous 1802 cc capacity made this the largest series-produced boxer engine of all time.DISCOVER THE HISTORY
Ever since the BMW i3 was launched in 2013, the array of electrified vehicles offered by the BMW Group has been steadily expanding. In 2022, customers could choose from a selection of eleven fully electric variants across eight model ranges, creating the broadest such product portfolio in the premium segment. What makes electrification at the BMW Group special is that the electric drive systems are developed and produced in-house. Indeed, the electric motors and high-voltage batteries offer myriad ways for the brand to put its unique stamp on a vehicle – as BMW combustion engines have done traditionally. BMW electric drive systems stand out from the crowd through the absence of rare-earth metals used in their manufacture, their high level of efficiency and the trailblazing advances made in reducing CO2 and increasing sustainability in the supply chain.DISCOVER THE HISTORY