5 Fun Facts About BMW That Might Surprise You

December 7th, 2017 by

2017 3 Series Sedan

BMW has become a common household name over the years and many households today have one sitting in their driveway. These are some interesting facts that you might not know about BMW.

BMW Once Produced Aircraft Engines

There was a shortage of German airplane engines during World War I. BMW stepped up and produced the same aircraft that the famous pilot Red Baron claimed to wish he had. The plane beat records and changed the expectations of the airplane engine. Later, a treaty prohibited Germany from producing any more warplanes, and BMW shifted to motorcycles and then eventually, automobiles. Additionally, many people do not know that although BMW is no longer a part of producing aircraft engines, they still design train and airplane interiors.

BMW Headquarters Mimic the BMW Engine

BMW is so proud of the high-quality engine that it produces that it has designed its Germany headquarters to mimic it. The design replicates a four-cylinder engine. Interestingly enough, the same four-cylinder engine is what made the WWI airplane so successful in its time. The headquarters also has a museum next door which features the history of BMW development.

BMW Created an Electric Car in 1972

BMW was at the forefront of the electric car. The 1972 BMW 1602e started off as a prototype in 1969 and first made its appearance at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. It featured 12 lead-acid batteries that were connected to an undercarriage pallet. The electric engine by Bosch replaced the manual gearbox and the whole thing was kept cool with an inner fan. This was a big deal at the time as the world would soon enter into the OPEC crisis.

BMW and Mercedes Once Almost Merged

Today, the BMW and Mercedes brands are two of the most luxurious and respected vehicle manufacturers around. Many people are surprised to learn that at one time, they almost became the same company. During the Cold War, BMW was struggling financially, and its parent company at the time, Daimler-Benz, attempted a hostile takeover. BMW shareholders did not agree and fought back aggressively. BMW mechanics, employees, and families rushed to buy up the stocks. Eventually, Herbert Quandt came in and bought up the majority of the shares, keeping BMW, and its rivalry with Mercedes brand, afloat.

The BMW Logo Is Probably Not What You Think

A logo helps customers identify its brand. The BMW logo has become a symbol of luxury and prestige. Yet, many BMW loyalists do not actually know what the logo depicts. A large percentage of people believe it is a propeller from its early airplane engine days, and still, others believe the colors represent BMW’s hometown’s flag. If you guessed the latter, you would be right. The logo actually depicts the famous state of Bavaria in Germany, where it was founded.

BMW has a unique and historical background that is both interesting and surprising. Head to your local dealer to view the iconic BMW line and what it has evolved into today.

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