BMW is one of the most well-known and respected brands in the world especially known for its high-performance and sophisticated vehicles. The company was formed on March 7th, 1916 as Bayerische Flugzeugwerke or BFW. It started out by making aeroplane engines. The company set records for altitude and speed, dominated market and racetracks. From Aerodynamics to motorcycles, there is a lot to BMW than most people know. On today’s list, we are mentioning 10 Interesting Facts About BMW that you probably didn’t know.
1. The Start:
BMW was founded by Franz Joseph Popp, Karl Rapp, and Camillo Castiglioni in Munich in 1916. The first product of BMW or Bayerische Motoren Werke was the BMW Illa aircraft engine. Rappe had already left the company by then in 1917. In the early years of the company, they manufactured engines for buses, trucks, farm equipment, pumps and railway brakes, household items, and agricultural equipment. It was during the world war I and demands for warplanes were only increasing.
Their engines became renowned for high-altitude performance and fuel efficiency. They stopped making engines after the war and resumed it again during world war II. BMW 132 and the BMW 801 were known as the most successful of the World War II engine designs.
2. The Treaty of Versailles:
After the war, the Treaty of Versailles banned German companies from producing both warplanes and engines for warplanes. As a result, BMW had to diversify and expand their company. But still manufacturing cars wasn’t the first choice. They started with manufacturing motorcycles. They began manufacturing cars in 1929. If the Treaty of Versailles didn’t exist, BMW probably still be making only warplane engine.
3. The First Car By BMW:
The first car manufactured by BMW was the Dixi. Although it wasn’t designed by them. It was an English Austin that had been built in Japan as a Datsun. They bought Automobilwerk Eisenach in 1928 when they first decided to manufacture cars. In 1929, they dropped the name Dixi from BMW Dixi and made an updated model called the BMW 3/15 DA-2.
Now BMW also makes the Mini Coopers and Rolls Royces. And although they don’t build aircraft engines anymore, they are still related to the aeroplane business. They have been designing train and aeroplane interiors for a long time now. They have designed interior for famous airlines such as Singapore Airlines. BMW also has been at the forefront of aerodynamics and innovative design. They also design trains and their interiors.
4. The Iconic Design of The BMW Headquarter:
When it comes to designing, BMW has definitely pioneered its game. The headquarter of BMW in Munich, Bavaria has one of the iconic and notable designs. The building symbolizes the shape and design of BMW’s famous four-cylinder engines. The famous four-cycle engines made just about every fuel-efficient car in history even possible. It was the same engine that was called the greatest engine in the war by fighter pilot the Red Baron. And it also won the Formula 1 championship with old motor design. The headquarter is designed by an Austrian architect and the tower was added to the headquarters in 1972.
5. They Almost Built A Lamborghini:
Lamborghini is an Italian company and BMW is a German with no links to each other at all. But during the 1970s, the two companies agreed to build a race car together. It was supposed to be designed by Giugiaro and BMW were providing part of the suspension and the engine while Lamborghini took responsibility of all the other things. But Lamborghini pulled out of the project for financial reasons. So, BMW hired Baur, a private coachbuilder and gave birth to the iconic BMW M1 supercar. It was still designed by Giugiaro. We all know how popular BMW is among car enthusiasts. Reportedly, BMW produced approximately 1.4 million vehicles in 2009 alone.
6. BMW Almost Became Mercedes:
Mercedes is one brand that BMW gets frequently compared to. During a time when BMW wasn’t doing very well in the 1950s, it almost got sold to Mercedes. The company nearly went bankrupt by 1959. The Cold War was one of the reasons for the fall of BMW. The parent company of Mercedes, Daimler-Benz attempted to take over BMW. But the shareholders fought their way out somehow and they actually ended up buying back shares. BMW was taken over by Quandit.
7. The Logo And The Grille:
The iconic logo of BMW, which a lot of people think is a representation of the spinning propeller, really represents the flag of Bavaria. BMW’s main headquarters are located in Bavaria. The white and blue colours were also part of the original logo of the Rapp Motor company who were involved in the founding of BMW. Another signature of the BMW cars is the Grille on the front. They are known as the kidney grille. It was first introduced in 1933 on BMW 303. Another popular recognition of BMW is its slogan, “The ultimate driving machine” which has been used by BMW for more than 35 years. BMW cars and motorcycles are also referred to as “bimmers” and “beemers” respectively.
8. The First Electric Car By BMW:
BMW was way ahead when it comes to electric cars. The first electric car by BMW was introduced in 1972 called BMW 1602e. The concept of electric cars has been lurking around since the early 19th century. The first electric car was made in 1828. The car never made it to the market though. Another car by BMW that really grabbed a lot of attention was the BMW CSL. The car was often compared to the batmobile. The sports car has spoilers and arches and considered as one of the most attractive cars of BMW.
9. World’s Fastest Motorcycle:
Not many people the legacy of BMW in the motorcycle business. In 1937, BMW surprised everyone by producing the fastest motorcycle in the world. The division was called BMW Motorrad and they are still popular among enthusiast. The dynamic engine could reach speeds of up to 173.7 miles an hour. BMW also aced their game in bike racing for lunatics. The concept of leaning out of a sidecar to improve cornering ability during a race might sound dangerous but is very popular. The M10 four-cylinder engine by BMW was this engine that was in the car driven by Nelson Piquet when he won the Formula One World Championship.
10. They Still Make Classic Parts:
If you own a classic BMW car or motorcycle, you don’t have to worry if any of the parts start to malfunction. BMW still continue to make World War II-era parts for their vehicles. Known as the BMW Classic Program, they have bought back their old motorcycle factory in Munich.