Top 10 Coolest BMW Cars Ever Built: A Journey Through Automotive Excellence

Top 10 Coolest BMW Cars Ever Built: A Journey Through Automotive Excellence

BMW, the Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH, also known as the Bavarian Engine Works Company, has carved a legendary niche in the automotive world.

Renowned for their blend of luxury, performance, and precision handling, their cars have captured the hearts of enthusiasts for over a century. They are also known for creating some of the coolest cars

This list explores ten of the coolest BMW cars ever built, taking a historical perspective and showcasing iconic models that continue to inspire awe.

1. 1955-1959 BMW 507: The Epitome of 1950s Cool

The 507 needs no introduction to car aficionados. This glamorous roadster, nicknamed the “Elvis Presley car” after the rock and roll icon purchased one, is a timeless beauty. Its sleek lines, crafted from aluminium to save weight, and powerful V8 engine were a head-turner in the 1950s. While commercially unsuccessful due to its high price, the 507’s rarity and undeniable style solidify its place as a coveted classic.

BMW 507

2. 1978-1981 BMW M1: The Homologation Hero

The M1 occupies a unique space in BMW’s history. Designed to compete in Group 4 racing, it was a homologation special, meaning a limited number were produced for public sale.

This mid-engined marvel boasted a 3.5-liter, inline-six engine churning out 345 horsepower, making it a true force on the track. Its wedge-shaped design, penned by famed Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, was both aerodynamic and visually striking. With only 456 units ever built, the M1 remains an elusive and highly sought-after collector’s item.


3. 1986-1991 BMW M3 (E30): The Birth of a Legend

The E30 M3 is arguably the car that cemented BMW’s reputation for high-performance sedans. This homologation special, based on the standard 3 Series, took the automotive world by storm.

Its naturally aspirated 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine produced a thrilling 215 horsepower, propelling the car to a 0-60 mph time of under 7 seconds. The E30 M3’s sharp handling and driver-focused experience made it a track weapon disguised as a practical sedan, earning it a cult following that continues today.

1986-1991 BMW M3 (E30)

4. 1962-1977 BMW 1800 Touring (02 Series): The Affordable Sports Sedan

Not all cool BMWs are extravagant supercars. The 02 Series, particularly the 1800 Touring, offered a unique blend of affordability and performance.

This compact sedan, powered by a lively 2.0-litre engine and lightweight construction, delivered a spirited driving experience. Its iconic design, featuring a prominent “shark nose” front end, coupled with its nimble handling, made it a favourite among driving enthusiasts on a budget. The 02 Series played a pivotal role in establishing BMW’s reputation for sporty handling and driver engagement.

1962-1977 BMW 1800 Touring (02 Series)

5. 1990-1999 BMW 8 Series: The Grand Tourer Reborn

The 8 Series was a bold statement from BMW in the early 1990s. This luxurious grand tourer featured a powerful V8 engine, sleek lines, and a comfortable interior.

While not as focused on outright performance as some other models on this list, the 8 Series offered a refined and exhilarating driving experience for long-distance journeys. Its pop-up headlights, a design feature of the era, added a touch of drama. Though production ended in 1999, the 8 Series recently made a successful return, showcasing BMW’s ability to reimagine a classic.

1990-1999 BMW 8 Series

6. 1999-2006 BMW X5 (E53): The Birth of the Luxury SUV

The X5 marked a significant shift in the automotive landscape. It was one of the first luxury SUVs to offer genuine performance and on-road dynamics that rivalled a car.

The powerful V8 engine options and sophisticated all-wheel-drive system allowed drivers to conquer any terrain in style and comfort. The X5’s success paved the way for a new segment of high-performance SUVs and solidified BMW’s ability to innovate beyond traditional sedans.

1999-2006 BMW X5 (E53)

7. 2005-2010 BMW M5 (E60): The High-Tech Powerhouse

The E60 M5 was a technological marvel. This high-performance sedan was equipped with a revolutionary V10 engine producing a staggering 507 horsepower. It also incorporated advanced features like a paddle-shift automatic transmission and electronically adjustable suspension.

The E60 M5 remains a landmark car, showcasing BMW’s commitment to blending cutting-edge technology with exhilarating performance.

2005-2010 BMW M5 (E60)

8. 2013-Present BMW i8: The Visionary Plug-in Hybrid

The i8 is a bold departure from traditional BMWs. This futuristic plug-in hybrid sports car boasts a sleek and aerodynamic design with scissor doors for added flair.

The combination of an electric motor and a turbocharged gasoline engine delivers impressive performance while maintaining fuel efficiency. The i8 represents BMW’s foray into the world of sustainable performance, showcasing its commitment to innovation for the future.

2013-Present BMW i8

9. 2020-Present BMW M2 Competition: The Modern Throwback

The M2 Competition is a love letter to BMW’s performance heritage. This compact sports coupe delivers a thrilling driving experience with its powerful turbocharged inline-six engine and sharp handling.

Drawing inspiration from the iconic E30 M3, the M2 Competition offers a modern take on a classic formula. It prioritizes driver engagement and raw power, reminding enthusiasts of the pure joy of driving a BMW.

2020-Present BMW M2

10. 1958-1965 BMW Isetta: The Microcar Marvel

The Isetta is an anomaly in BMW’s lineup, but its unique charm earns it a place on this list. This quirky microcar, resembling a giant egg on wheels, was a product of post-war Europe’s need for fuel-efficient transportation.

Its single-door design, where the front of the car hinged open for entry, added to its unconventional character. Despite its humble origins, the Isetta became a surprising success story, showcasing BMW’s ability to adapt and innovate in challenging times.

1958-1965 BMW Isetta


BMW has consistently produced cars that not only perform exceptionally but also capture the imagination. This list merely scratches the surface of their rich history.

From the glamorous 507 to the futuristic i8, each car on this list represents a unique chapter in BMW’s evolution. What ties them together is the unwavering commitment to performance, luxury, and the ultimate driving experience.

As BMW continues to push boundaries and embrace new technologies, one thing remains certain: the coolest BMW cars are yet to come.