You probably already know BMW prides itself as the "ultimate driving machine."
But if that's the claim it is willing to make about a stock 3 series sedan, imagine what goes into the most expensive BMW cars. Well, we've taken a look at the priciest vehicles in this auto maker's respected lineage. Prepare to learn what makes each one so special. And then we'll try to determine if these cars are worth their seriously steep price tags.
About the Brand
BMW has built a loyal following over its storied history. And it is not just the most expensive BMW cars that are celebrated for their innovation and style. Vehicles that still command big bucks, however, are often those that first jump to mind when thinking of the brand. Some are classic autos that hearken the glory days of automotive performance. Others are more recent and rely on tech more than brute force. One thing they all have in common is that they defined driver confidence and luxury in their time. And for one reason or another, they are still in serious demand to this day. Before we determine what set the most expensive BMW cars apart, let's take a look at the company itself.
Tracing its heritage back more than a century, BMW's company history contains numerous important milestones. Though most historians cite 1916 as its founding year, 1923 might have been more important. In that year, the company produced its first model, the R 32 motorcycle. That model included a number of crucial innovations that would serve to set the company apart from its competitors. For example, the model's boxer engine was so sound its design elements are still in use nearly 100 years later!
BMW ushered in the latter half of the 20th century with the incredible 501 automobile. It was never a best seller. But it set the standard for luxury performance that still retains today. The brand continues to make breakthroughs and automotive advances. It is now invested in electric engine technology and other cutting edge initiatives.
It might have originated as an ad slogan, but "ultimate driving machine" has become BMW's mantra. Beyond that slogan, however, the company's mission statement reflects its current values. "The BMW Group is the world's leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility," the company says.
Well, technically that is the mission statement for the BMW Group, which owns other auto brands. BMW itself has an even more specific set of values. It's mission statement says it stands "stands for one thing: sheer driving pleasure." It identifies the brand with "[s]porting and dynamic performance combined with superb design and exclusive quality."
For the record, the other BMW Group brands also have specialized mission statements. MINI says it "wins hearts and turns heads." That company defines itself as "refreshingly different." The MINI brand strives to be "extroverted, spontaneous and in every respect something out of the ordinary.
And for the ultra luxury brand under the BMW Group umbrella, Rolls-Royce offers a straightforward mission statement. "For over 100 years, motor cars of the Rolls-Royce brand have stood for truly outstanding engineering, quality, and reliability."
Best Known For
Though its roots are in motorcycles, BMW is best known for its automotive technology. Its iconic blue and white logo is one of the most recognizable features of any BMW. Many people mistakenly believe it is meant to resemble a propeller. Despite the circular emblem, it was not intended to serve that purpose. Instead, it is inspired by the colors of Bavaria's national flag. As a fledgling company, it did manufacture airplanes, though.
BMW cars are also known for the kidney shaped grills on almost all of its autos. The design traces its roots back to a model first introduced in 1933. As far as car models go, BMW has long been associated with performance. And none feature that quality to the level of its "M" trim level. Focused on delivering a sports car feel no matter the base model, M cars have become among the company's most popular. But it was almost never part of BMW's corporate lore. As it turns out, the folks at Lamborghini was all set to release the M1. That turned out to be the first in the M line of high performance autos. When they encountered critical budget issues, however, BMW took over the legendary program.
The Most Expensive BMW Cars in the Brand's History
Now comes the fun part. We've already established that BMW prides itself in creating the best in automotive performance. What happens when the company outdoes itself with unparalleled power and luxury? You end up with an incredible car, and an eye popping sticker price to match. Let' take a look at why these the most expensive BMW cars are selling for so much.
1. Italdisign Nazca M12
Taking a look at this fierce car, you might not think it was designed nearly three decades ago. But the incredible Italdesign Nazca M12 came out in 1991. It's crazy deign made a huge splash in the automotive world at that time. And among enthusiasts, the fascination is still as intense as ever.
Italdesign made this vehicle for BMW in very limited numbers. This was a real super car of the era, making up to 660 horsepower in some versions. Giorgetto Giugiaro designed its breathtaking lines. His name might ring some bells for BMW fans and auto enthusiasts in general. He was responsible for the paradigm shifting lines of the classic M1 sports car.
After its first model year, the Nazca M12 also included a Spyder version and other special upgrades. But the 1991 type is in particular demand. As far back as 2011, one example was selling for $1.1 million. Reports indicate the prices have only increased since then.
2. G-Power M5 Hurricane RR
A super tuned version of the already impressive M5 sedan commands a huge premium for its performance. At one time, it was billed as the world's fastest sedan. Though that title might have been taken away since then, the hype around this car has not. Just listen to a few of the ridiculous specs from this car and you will understand why.
First of all, it made an incredible 800 horsepower. That came from a twin super charged engine that reached an eye popping 231 miles per hour. It was a top speed that not only bested any other sedan, but also any previous G Power super tuned automobile.
The crazy thing about this car is not that it will launch and keep pace with a Ferrari 458 Italia. In the upper rev range, this engine really screams. In that hypothetical match up with the Ferrari, for example, the cars would be neck and neck up to 125 mph. After that, however, it would be the BMW with the upper hand. That's right, a car built on the all too common 5 series sedan blasts pasts a Ferrari. Is there anything else we need to say? That should be enough to warrant asking prices that reach a half million dollars.
3. Zagato Coupe
The most expensive BMW cars typically have unique or stunningly beautiful lines. We like to think the Zagato coupe has both. Not only is the car ultra rare, it is also gorgeous. Underneath its fierce and flowing facade is a standard Z4 frame. Of course, the Z4 roadster is attractive enough on its own. But when the Italian firm Zagato gets its hands on the car, all bets are off.
We think this car is especially worth the premium price because it combines the best of two worlds. The German engineering of BMW is second to none. And those Italian design elements enhance an otherwise great vehicle. Basically, Zagato turned a fine driving machine into a work of art. Like any great piece, though, this artwork will cost you. Expect to pay half a million if you want to drive your own around. And if you love BMW cars, you probably do.
4. 3.0 CLS Hommage
This is a concept car with lines unlike anything you've seen on another BMW. Fender flairs and tons of body cladding set it apart from other cars in an instant. And that rarity doesn't come cheap. Reports indicate concept versions of this car have sold for $1.5 million!
But underneath all the exterior differences, is the price warranted? Well, it's not the fastest car on the road. But it does move. Specs show it goes 0 to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds. And it has a top speed of 174 mph. But let's face it, the main reason for that price tag is its exclusivity. This is an ultra rare concept car that takes BMW into an entirely new direction. A company known for competent engineering if somewhat conservative styling turned the tables with this one. And among the true collectors, it is apparently worth that seven figure sticker price.
They just don't make lines like these anymore. The beautiful design of the BMW 507 dates back more than 60 years. And believe it or not, its roots are in the United States. As it turns out, car importer Max Hoffman convinced BMW to move forward with the design. That was in 1954. The 507 coupe was designed as a roadster companion to the 501 and 502 models.
The original chassis was pieced together using a lot of existing parts. But famed engineer Fritz Fiedler worked magic and made a completely original product. Its design has definitely stood the test of time. You can find proof of that in the demand level that still exists. A lot of that has to do with there are fewer models of the aging classic. The ones that are still exist and are for sale are generally priced at above $2 million.
6. M 760i
The most expensive BMW cars so far on our list have been pricey because of rarity or novelty. We'll end with a car you could go out and buy right now. That is, if you had the means to take up the payments. Sure, it's not going for as much as others on this list. But its sticker price is the highest in the company's history.
For starters, it is based on the highest trim level of the most luxurious sedan in the lineup. Then, it gets the ultra high performance "M" treatment. The result is a ridiculously fast but luxuriously comfortable full size road cruiser. It has enough room for the whole family and your luggage. But the feel is pure exhilaration on par with BMW's sports car heritage. Expect to pay somewhere near $200,000 for a brand new version of this great sedan. No one knows what its future value will hold. But for now, it qualifies as one of the most expensive BMW cars on the market.
The perfect car will never come cheap. But the most expensive BMW cars prove that point like few others.
Whether you're looking for beauty, performance, or a mixture of both, we trust you found it here. The most expensive BMW cars are also the most coveted. We hope you enjoyed our collection.
Please share our list with the luxury automotive fans in your life. And let us know what your favorite BMW model is in the comments section below!