BMW M Logo


BMW M is the name of the subdivision of the famous German automating company, BMW. The division, formed in 1972 as the BMW Motorsport, is specialized in the production of motorsport engines and sport tuning of the cars. As for the engines, BMW M produces them for various companies, but the tuning is only made for BMW autos.

Meaning and history

BMW M Logo history

BMW M was established in 1972, 56 years after the foundation of its parent company, which means there was a lot of experience gained by the automaker by that time, and they knew what they were doing. Under the name BMW Motorsport the subdivision existed for more than twenty years and got officially renamed into its shortened version only in 1993.

In 1972 the German concern decided to form a separate division to support the development of motorsport under the leadership of Jochen Neerpasch. The first racing car of the BMW Motorsport was the BMW 3.0 CSL, based on the E9 couple, and it saw the light in 1973.

Today the company manufactures M1, M3, M5, and M6 models with the BMW Motorsport engines. These cars are marked with emblems corresponding to the name of the model and boast super-powerful engines with characteristics completely different from the standard BMW package. Other differences of the M series are a lower and stiffer suspension, plastic spoilers and sill plates, sporty interior of the car — seats, steering wheel, gearshift knob.

More often you can see the cars with the M emblem but without any numbers following it. It is a different thing — this is how BMW marks the cars which received just a small part from the BMW Motorsport tuning pack. For example, in the 1980s this M could be seen on all the BMW cars with the Motronic system. Later Motronic became standard for all cars of the German brand with a sports suspension and interior or just one of these features.

There is also a list of “sport” BMW cars, which have a lot in common with the M series, for example, the E28, 535iS, and E30. They can have all of the M cars’ features, but not the engine.

What is BMW M?
BMW M is the subdivision of the famous German automaker BMW, which specializes in the production of powerful engines for motorsport cars and the sport tuning of the BMW cars.

In terms of visual identity, the motorsport subdivision of the German automating concern has been pretty conservative and keeps using the emblem, designed for it in 1972, with only minor alternations.

1972 – 2020

BMW M Logo 1972

The original BMW Motorsport logo was introduced in 1972 but got placed on the car only in 1973. It was the first car of the subdivision, created on the base of the E9 coupe. That was a bold silver letter M in the uppercase with the right vertical bar straight, and the left one — diagonal. In parallel with the diagonal bar of the “M”, on the left from it, there was a simple geometric banner with three stripes placed. The stripes were set in purple, blue, and red. The emblem was set in gradients and looked voluminous and sleek.

2020 – Today

BMW M Logo

The redesign of 2020 simplified and flattened the BMW M logo, making it in tune with current design trends. The silver “M” turned white, while the striped banner moved closer to the letter and got glued to its diagonal bar. The colors of the diagonal stripe became deep and dark, and without a space between the “M” and the geometric part of the logo, the contrast became stronger and brighter.

BMW M3 Logo

BMW M3 Logo

For the BMW M3 Model, the iconic M tricolor is accompanied by a massive geometric “M3” lettering with the left bar of the “M” diagonal, in parallel with the colorful stripes of the banner. The addition can be seen in both light gray and black and also can be flat or three-dimensional. When placed on a car, the blue, purple, and red tricolor is complemented by a glossy silver “M3”.

BMW M4 Logo

BMW M4 Logo

For the M4 model of BMW Motorsport, the bold geometric “M” is glued to the banner, and has its left bar, parallel to the stripes, set in a line of the same thickness, making up a flag of four stripes. The “4” is heavy and stable, with sharp edges, which evoke a sense of masculinity and power.

BMW M5 Logo

BMW M5 Logo

The BMW M5 logo usually features a black “M” glued to the diagonal tricolor, and a wide geometric “5”, also in black. The contours of the digit are slightly extended, making it look like a capital “S” in a square shape with straight angles and cuts of the bars. The logo looks very stylish and even futuristic, representing progress and motion.



BMW XM is the newest model of the German automaker, a powerful hybrid crossover. And it is also the first car to introduce the new BMW M logo concept. Starting in 2022, all new M Series models will be marked with a black logo with a titanium bronze border instead of the previous tricolor. The XM logo also has a slightly different composition — here the banner is placed in between the letters, so the “X” is placed on the left, at a distance from the three diagonal stripes glued to the “M”.

The 50th-anniversary emblem

In 2021 to celebrate 50 years of the BMW M’s existence, the subdivision released several cars with the new emblem on their bonnets. It is a rethought iconic BMW roundel in a colorful framing, with the circular lines repeating the shades of the diagonal stripes — blue, purple, and red.


The iconic BMW M tricolor was changed a bit with the redesign of 2020 when its original purple hue was switched to dark blue, but the overall composition remained the same, and that slight shift was left almost unnoticed. So what is the meaning behind the colors in the simple yet powerful and bold BMW Motorsport parallelogram?

The middle blue is taken from the corporate BMW visual identity, standing for the roots of the company — the Bavarian region. The scarlet red, which is a bit lighter in the anniversary badge, is a tribute to Texaco, the American oil corporation, which was sponsoring the first years of the BMW Motorsport team. As for the purple, or dark blue, it is just a mix of the shades of two other stripes in the logo — if you take medium-blue and overlap it with red, you get the purple.

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