BMW M to celebrate 50th anniversary with new badges, colours


BMW’s iconic performance division will mark its 50th birthday next year, with new models, celebratory personalisation options and special events on the agenda.

BMW will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its hallowed BMW M performance division in 2022 with a selection of new customisation options – joining a barrage of new petrol-only and hybrid cars.

From early next year, Australian buyers will be able to option their M cars with classic BMW Motorsport badging, which replaces the traditional BMW roundel on the vehicle’s front end, rear end and wheel centre caps.

The badging – which comprises “shifted semicircles” of blue, violet and red – was first used on a BMW Motorsport race car in 1973, before its appearance on the M1 supercar of 1978. The M1 saw the three M colours (later blue, dark blue and red) evolve into the three-stripe M logo still used today.

Available from March 2022 production, BMW Australia will offer the heritage badges across M3, M4, M5, M8, X3 M, X4 M, X5 M and X6 M model lines. Drive has contacted BMW’s local arm to confirm pricing.

Overseas, BMW will offer a range of heritage-inspired BMW Individual colours referencing past BMW M models, including Dakar Yellow (from the E36 M3), Fire Orange (E92 M3 GTS), Daytona Violet (E36 M3), Macao Blue (E30 M3), Imola Red (E46 M3) and Frozen Marina Bay Blue. It’s not clear if these will be available in Australia.

The 50th anniversary celebrations will kick off a big 2022 for BMW M, which will introduce four new models during the calendar year, led by the M3 Touring wagon, new-generation M2 coupe, and “the first electrified high-performance model”, believed to be the new XM plug-in hybrid SUV.

BMW says “fans can also look forward to a special model from the BMW M4 Coupé series,” widely expected to be a lightweight M4 CSL, as spied on the Nurburgring in recent months.

The 50th anniversary will also be celebrated at various events, including the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy in May, the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK in July, and the Concours d’Elegance in California in August.

“With the classic ‘BMW Motorsport’ emblem, we would like to share our joy about the anniversary of BMW M GmbH with the fans of the brand,” said Frank van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH.

“We have a great year ahead of us, which will be celebrated with unique product highlights and exciting performances. The M has long been considered the strongest letter in the world, and in our company’s anniversary year it is stronger than ever.”

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

Read more about Alex Misoyannis