12 things you never knew about BMW
Founded in 1916, BMW is one of the oldest carmakers in the business. We’ve compiled some lesser-known facts about the brand’s heritage.
The first BMW was British. Sort of BMW's ties with the U.K. go deeper than MINI and Rolls-Royce: the first BMW, known as the Dixi, was based on the British Austin Seven and built under licence in Germany. BMWs were badged EMW for a time After the Second World War one of BMW’s factories in Eisenach fell under Soviet control. Following a lawsuit in 1952, cars produced in this factory weren’t allowed to be called BMWs. The name E The BMW Z8 and the Rolls-Royce Phantom have something in common It’s hard to think of two more different cars, but the luxurious Rolls Royce Phantom VII (which has recently been replaced) and the BMW Z8 roadster both sit on a The BMW badge isn’t inspired by an aircraft propeller Although it makes for a neat story, the BMW roundel has nothing to do with aviation, despite the company’s earliest products being aeroplane engines. In fact, the blue and BMW built a Lamborghini Lamborghini and BMW had an agreement in the 1970s to build a production car in sufficient numbers to qualify for racing, a process known as homologation. The deal fell apart, however, and BMW went it a BMW’s headquarters is one big engine Finished in 1972, BMW Headquarters in Munich comprises four linked cylinders, inspired by a car engine. The adjacent BMW museum, meanwhile, is designed to represent a cylinder head. The i3 is a true global car The carbon fibre used to produce the i3, i8 and the chassis of the 7 Series is a global production effort. The raw materials are produced in Japan, shipped to the US to be turned into fibres The iconic kidney grill is over 80 years old Every modern BMW sports an instantly-recognisable twin ‘kidney’ grille, and this first appeared on the BMW 303 or 1933. The 303 was also the first BMW to feature a straight s The motor in the i8 hybrid supercar has over a mile of copper wire That motor produces 127bhp and powers the front wheels, while the 217bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine powers the rears. That combination of propulsion, together wi BMW is famous for its April fools’ jokes Each year, BMW indulges its sense of humour with an April fools’ joke. These are typically found in national newspapers, and previous examples include a steering wheel than can be swit BMW won a Formula 1 season with the engine from a 3 Series Okay, so the famous ‘M12’ engine had a turbocharger and produced 1,400bhp when it was fitted to BMW’s F1 car, but it was based on the same ‘block’ as the 102bhp engin The BMW Z1 was both revolutionary and conventional The Z1, a two-door convertible made for just two years from 1989, had plastic panels that were designed so owners could swap them if one became damaged, or if they just