BMWs are some of the most beautiful works of art known to automobile enthusiasts and the German automaker combines performance and aesthetics in a manner that is simply unparalleled. These vehicles are some of the very best that the world has to offer and the BMW logo has rightfully become a status symbol, a symbol of power and luxury.
With that being said, narrowing down a list of BMW models into an all-time top 10 is no easy task. Let’s take a closer look at the ten best models that this company has rolled out throughout its storied 100 year history, so that we can further appreciate each and every one.
E23 7 Series
The E23 7 Series is known as the German automaker’s flagship sedan and the first of this series was considered to be very advanced for its time period. It was the very first BMW to contain its own complex climate control system, in addition to service interval indicators. Production on the original 7 series began back in 1977, continuing until 1987, until it was finally replaced with the E32 7 Series.
When it first produced back in 1986, the E39 M5 was not considered to be the world’s fastest production sedan, as this was an honor that already been bestowed upon the original BMW M5. This is the model that placed the four door sedan on the map, though, and for good reason. The E39 M5 is powered by a V8 4.9 liter engine and while it weighs over 4,000 pounds, there is no sacrifice made to its 400 horsepower or its 370 pound feet of torque.
BMW 8 Series
This model is well known, even to the casual observer, as it was once considered to be the BMW flagship model. This model was built between the years of 1989 and 1999 and was able to be purchased with either a V12 or V8 engine. There are also rumors that this model could be experiencing a revival, as there are rumblings of a 7 Series Coupe that is about to be released. BMW sold over 30,000 of this model and it is safe to say that its owners have cherished every moment.
While production on the Z4 has recently been ceased, the Z8 continues to live on in its memory. This iconic model was produced from 1999 to 2003 and designed by the famous Henrik Fisker. The chassis and body is constructed entirely from aluminum, with a 4.9 liter engine under the hood. Thanks to its limited production, the vehicle has become a bit of a collector’s item in recent years and those who own one are able to consider themselves part of a very exclusive club.
One of BMW’s more unique looking models, this micro car earned a spot on the list by becoming one of the most iconic vehicles of all time, without having the same amount of sex appeal as some other vehicles on this list. The Isetta 250 and 300 were initially manufactured during the 1950s and 1960s and their appearance is unlike any other. While they are certainly not for the speed racers out there, they are one of the most readily recognizable BMWs of all time.
The M1 is the first BMW to be mass produced and this mid-engine vehicle remains a top tier vehicle to this day. The M1 is an shining example of meticulous craftsmanship, as this model was hand built from 1978 to 1981. If you find yourself wondering why this model has a vaguely Italian appearance that is because it was initially meant to be released in collaboration with Lamborghini.
The most modern inclusion on this list, the i8 is perhaps best known for its role as the vehicle used in the Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible film franchise. Best of all, this car also serves as a plug in hybrid that is not boring, letting consumers know that they can save the environment and still look cool at the same time. The i8 provides a thrilling vision into the future of BMW, a vision that the consumer can easily get behind the wheel of.
The 507 has received its fair share of information, having made the news after a restoration was completed on Elvis Presley’s 507 model. But the true source of the allure surrounded the 507 lies in its rarity, as there are only 252 units of this model currently available in the world. The fact that BMW lost money on every unit that was built and was nearly forced to file for bankruptcy is now just an interesting footnote.
BMW 2002 Turbo
Now that turbocharged BMW engines have become the norm, as opposed to the exception, it can all be traced back to the BMW 2002 Turbo. This model was BMW’s very first turbocharged production vehicle and cranks out a whopping 170 horsepower. This car is considered to be an important aspect of the BMW heritage and has had a major influence on current BMW styling, influencing the company’s recent update of the 2002 Hommage.
What list of the ten best BMW models of all time would possibly be complete without the vehicle that is considered to be the most iconic of all? This model is synonymous with high grade vehicle performance and serves as the standard that all other automakers are still trying to reach. The single nameplate is one of the most recognizable features on any vehicle and it is a feature that a wide range of automakers continue to try and emulate to this day. When it comes to two door sports cars, there is the E30 M3 and then there is everyone else’s.