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Top 10 most iconic BMWs over the last century

Snapshot: BMW is celebrating its successful 100 years and we bring you a list of top 10 BMWs ever made.

Ever since its inception in 1916, BMW or Bavarian Motor Works is producing some of the legendary machines, be it the new i8 hybrid sportscar or be it the gorgeous 507. BMW is celebrating its centenary this year, concentrating on what the future of BMW may look like. On the other hand, we cherish the strong history of the German manufacturing, bringing you a list of top 10 cars ever manufactured by the company.

Here's a list of the best of the best ever produced by BMW!

1. BMW 328

One attribute that helps any BMW recognizable is the signature twin Kidney Grille on the front. Many don't know that this famous design was first adopted by 1936 BMW 328, albeit in a horizontal format. But this is not the reason this car went on to make a strong name in the history books. The 2.0-litre straight six-engine 79 HP producing 328 was difficult for any sportscar to beat in its time. And yes, the two-seat roadster was a good looking car as well. 

2. BMW 507

Last but not the least is the best looking BMW ever made - the BMW 507 roadster! Built during the late 1950s, the front engine housed a 3.2-litre V8 under the hood, sending power to the rear wheels. Incredibly expensive, only 252 units of these gorgeous machines were ever built. And how beautiful it was? Well, King of Rock&Rock, Elvis Presely himself drove one! The legacy of the 507 continued in the form of the Z8 roadster many years later. 

3. BMW 3.0 CSL

Remember the fancy looking 3.0CSL concept unveiled by BMW last year? Well, the concept was the modern avatar of the 1972 3.0CSL, which was built to compete in the European Touring Car Championship. The 1972 3.0CSL was based on the already successful 3.0CS, but with a massive weight cut. In 1973, BMW added a 3.2-litre engine and a full blown multi-spoiler aero kit its ancestor, making the 3.0CSL a highly successful racing car.

4. BMW 2002 Turbo

Don't get confused by the name, the 2002 Turbo wasn't launched in 2002! Infact, launched in 1973, the 2002 Turbo went on to inspire the highly successful 3-series in the late 1970s. What started as the “New Class” of compact cars in the 1960s, reached its peak with the 2002 Turbo, which was powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 170 HP with upgraded aerodynamic bodywork. 

5. BMW M1

We all are fans of BMW's M-performance division, aren't we? But do you know when did the first ever M-series car was born? BMW launched its first M-series sedan, the M1 in 1980, carving the way for the modern M-series cars. And hence we place it in our list of top 10 iconic BMWs ever. The M1 was a purpose-built mid-engine two-seater sports car powered by a 3.5-litre six-cylinder engine. Designed by Giugiaro himself, the 273 HP producing machine became instant hit among the motorsports enthusiasts.

6. BMW E30 M3

BMW M3 earned its reputation as the most sold and most recognized M-series car ever. But it all started with the BMW E30 M3, which was essentially a 3-series couple, purposely built for the DTM racing series. And it was not the 2.3-litre 4 cylinder 210 HP engine alone that gave the M3 such edge over other racing machines, but a lot was done on the aerodynamics, suspension, drivetrain and brakes front. In short, the M3 began a legacy that the modern BMWs exudes.

7. BMW M5 (E34)

While the current-gen BMW M5 is widely touted as the most successful M5 ever, it's actually the second-generation BMW M5, codenamed E34, which is considered by many as the best M5 ever made. The E34  produced between 1989 and 1995, had all the right performance ingredients attached to it - a manual transmission, rear-wheel drive and a powerful six-cylinder engine borrowed from the legendary M1 supercar. The 3.6-litre motor which initially made 310 HP was tweaked into a 3.8L motor with 335 HP.

8. BMW 1-series M Coupe

The 2011 BMW 1-Series M-Coupe took over where the E30 M3 left and was the spiritual successor to the 2002 Turbo. The BMW 1-series M-coupe marked the rebirth of no-excuse, driver focused compact BMW, which had wider track and wider bodywork than the standard 1-Series. Despite this, BMW kept the weight on tab with the actual weight around 1600 kgs. The BMW E30 M3 was powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine producing 335 HP.

9. BMW Z8

If James Bond drives it, there's something special about it! The BMW Z8, which is best known for starring in 'The World Is Not Enough' lasted only 4 years in production. Exorbitantly expensive in its time, the BMW Z8 was powered by a 4.9-litre V8 engine that produced 400 HP of power. The Z8 was built as a spiritual successor to the legendary 507 roadster, and only 5703 units so this beautiful roadster were ever made.

10. BMW i8

The BMW i8 is not only a technological marvel for the company itself, but also for the whole industry. BMW i8 is the world's first hybrid supercar, combining good looks and highly efficient motor that combines with a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine to produce massive 357 HP power. Before it hits the top speed of 250 kmph, the i8 does 0-100 kmph in less than 4 seconds. BMW has really proven to be a car for the future, from the future! 

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