BMW's M division has defined the formula for performance saloons since its inception in 1978 under the guise of BMW Motorsport GmbH.
Its first creation was a mid-engined race car to compete in the newly founded ProCar series, however to comply with homologation requirements, a road-going version was also built - and the M1 Supercar was born.
This limited production supercar was an economic disaster; however its 204kW naturally aspirated straight-six engine went on to power some of the most iconic performance cars in the world.
The first BMW M5 came with a 210 kW straight six-cylinder engine, and thanks to its understated styling and blistering performance, became very popular among business types.
Two years later, a new M model would be produced, laying the foundation for a new performance genre.
The BMW M3 endured great commercial success both on and off the track, becoming the most successful touring car ever utilised in motor sports.
Thirty years later, the 300,000th M car, an Alpine White BMW M3 Coupé was handed over to a customer in Regensburg, an East Bavarian town in which the high-performance M sport scars are produced.
To date, the M3 is still the best selling model in the M stable, accounting for 180,000 of the 300,000 total sales.
BMW currently offers nine cars as part of its M division, all featuring high-revving engines ranging from the 252kW Z4 M Roadster to the 373kW V10-powered BMW M6.