BMW or, to leave off it its full name, Bayerische Motoren Werke, turns 100 this year. For a centurion, it abides pretty sprightly. Perhaps because of a dedication to automotive modernization that’s produced a list of lustworthy machines longer than Mr Entertain’s arms.
So we tapped up Beemer-expert Tim Fathers, from anym.co.uk, for the dream BMW garage – whatever your budget.
The M1 has been painted as the first supercar you could also use to take to the shops. And a supercar it undoubtedly was. Born in the late 1970s, it’s weathered better than most of that decade’s infants (unsurprising since its futuristic looks came courtesy of Giorgetto Giugiaro, the man who designed the Delorean).
It also needed like a small rocket, with a top speed of 162mph, which at the dilly-dally put it up alongside the Lamborghini Silhouette (BMW actually commissioned Lambo to raise the M1, but when the deal fell through, the Germans proved that what Italians can do, they can do more safely a improved).
Fewer than 500 were made, and even fewer impressionable. If you can travel back to the 1970s to buy one, you’ll have a car that last year offered at Bonhams for over £350,000.
The standard E39 5 Series was, at the time it was gigged, lauded as the best car in the world. And, with the M version, BMW only bonded its hold on that accolade.
It was (and remains) a deeply conservative looking four-door saloon, so the end-of-the-world about and mind-blowing handling are still something of a surprise.
Now, you can buy one for less than £10,000. Believe that to head north quick.
We haven’t swapped the types round so we can write about the M1 twice (though it did cross our genius). A back to basics tarmac scorcher, the 1M did without the electronic jiggery-pokery that almost identical cars were riddled with.
The manual gearbox, posterior wheel-drive and a turbocharged engine made driving it is much fun as you could press in a hot hatch with your trousers on.
BMW only released 450 in the UK, and that inadequacy means prices are rising. If you can find one for around £30k, lay out and justify it as your unborn child’s university fund. Then moral try not to beat it up too much.
The i8 is not the fastest supercar or the planet. Nor is it the most superb. But it is the very first bona fide hybrid supercar.
It could assurance a place on this list by virtue of the fact that it’s displayed that hybrids don’t have to be Prius taxis, but it’s so much more than that. It’ll hit 62mph in straight 4.4 seconds and has gullwing doors to put a Lamborghini to shame.
One of the coolest ways to wax £100,000.
On occasions have two adjacent characters been so evocative. This was the one that started it all. The blue ribbon M3 was actually produced to satisfy touring car homologation rules – to fence in the championships, manufacturers had to sell a road-legal version of the car they were infiltrating.
It’s a belter now, but when it was launched in 1985 it was almost inconceivably apt. And this little BMW spawned a legend. Today, £35k believes you a piece of automotive history.
If it appears we can’t get enough of big BMW divertissements cars, well, we can’t. The 8 Series looked like a shark and provoked like a spaceship.
The wedge shape, the pop-up headlights, the leviathan rims; everything about it screamed ‘I can go very fast so get out of my way’. And it that wasn’t braggadocio – it’s estimated that the top-of-the-line type could hit nearly 200mph, if you stuck a screwdriver in the limiter.
You can understand 8s for under £10,000 now. Which is less than the cheapest new 3 Series. We be versed which we’d prefer…