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Ever since the manufacturer began to churn out engines in 1917, flexibility and adaptability have come top of the company’s list of attributes with production efficiency and high sales a prerequisite.
Inevitably then, speed is often tempered by the need for affordability and style — something the German based manufacturer knows all too well. The iconic logo — automatically synonymous with the brand, derived from the flag of Bavaria, and evolved from the now defunct Rapp Motorenwerke — is a stamp of quality.
The manufacturer’s first car — the 3/15 — was released in four versions between 1927 and 1932. Perhaps understandably, the vehicle’s top speed, 45mph, is nearly 200mph down on the speed generated by the vehicles on this list. By the end of the next decade, the 328 Roadster had begun to put form, function and style on the same shelf as hearts were set racing with its sleek white design and 93mph top speed.
Post-war growth slowed, but by the early 1960s, BMW was truly a world leader in automotive design and innovation. Speed and aesthetics continued to sit hand in hand with comfort and driver satisfaction proving other implements in the BMW toolbox. Top speeds leapt into the hundreds and 0-60 times shrank as performance figures began to reflect an industry that was flourishing fast.
The legend behind the BMW also began to grow. Their presence in films such as Splash, Pretty Woman and of course the James Bond series soon established the manufacturer as a cool product. Employing over a 100,000 people and churning out nearly one and a half million units per year, BMW is not built in the same way as some of the supercar manufacturers that dominate many of the fastest cars countdowns.
The appeal of the BMW to the consumer is unsated. Perhaps this is due to the experience and know how garnered over nearly 100 years of production, or perhaps it is because the iconic brand produces extremely fast and powerful cars at a less than premium price. Recent years have seen the traditional car manufacturer move into new areas and into partnership with other developers and manufacturers, but this has simply seen brand fascination grow.
By 2010 BMW was producing over 110,000 motorcycles and had become a market leader. That is not to say that the newly released cars don’t pack a punch. They do. As the following roll of honor attests, BMW remains at the forefront when it comes to chasing raw speed.
M5 G-Power Hurricane RR
Top of the pile, the Hurricane RR pips the Hurricane RS by just three mph. With the capacity to move from 0-62 in 4.35 seconds the RR can live with just about any vehicle on the planet.
Capable of speeds up to 235mph, the Hurricane RR blows off the competition with engine performance capable of dwarfing all but the world’s most extraordinary supercars.
The RR’s record-breaking run was completed on a stretch of the famous German autobahn in 2010 and despite the car’s 4400lb weight and less than favorable conditions on the day, the RR, complete with specially engineered Pilot Sport tires easily touched 235mph.
Coming in at $440,000, the RR is a uniquely powerful engine with an equally attention-grabbing price tag.
BMW M5 G-Power Hurricane RRS
A phenomenally powerful vehicle in its own right, the RRS sits in silver medal position on the BMW speed podium.
The RRS adopts the much discussed BI-Kompressor “Sporty Drive” system, ceramic brakes and produces a combustible 640 hp.
All of this combines to give the RRS a top speed of 231mph. Add this to the 2011 car’s ability to move from 0-124 mph in 9.1 seconds and from 0-186mph in 25.2 seconds and the RRS is clearly capable of some extraordinary displays of sustained speed.
With these statistics in hand, vehicle’s $470,000 price tag — the second highest on this countdown — begins to make sense.
BMW M6 G-Power Hurricane CS
Clocking in with a top speed of 231mph is the Hurricane CS- a 2009 upgrade of the M5 Hurricane’s 730HP twin-turbocharged V10 engine.
This 5-liter version, generating 750hp and 590 lb-ft torque, makes the Hurricane CS the fastest road dwelling coupe in the world and gives it third slot on this countdown.
Complete with the safety features that define the brand — carbon ceramic brakes on all four corners of the car- the CS is perhaps not as close to the edge as some of the other vehicles on this roll of honor.
Costing $507,000, this G-Power manufactured effort, deploying specifically cultivated engine electronic to produce premium power and performance output, is a combination of straight line speed and accessible features for the user.
The two-ton coupe proves just how much is under the hood when taken for a track session. Capable of moving from 0-300 km/h in a tear inducing 26 seconds, the Hurricane CS lives up to its billing in every way.
BMW M6 G-Power Hurricane RR
This brutal addition to the list, complete with two centrifugal superchargers churning out 597 kW, thunders into fourth spot on the BMW roll of honor.
Capable of 0-60 in 4.3 seconds and utilizing a carbon fiber rear deck spoiler, the G-Power modified speedster takes the BMW M6 and pushes it up a level.
Combining a 5.0 liter engine with a 248mph bespoke G-Power speedo, it is difficult to comprehend just how fast the Hurricane RR is capable of moving.
Characteristically stylish with perforated Kjerba Nappa leather seats a central feature of the interior, this $400,000 modified spectacular does well to remain true to all of BMWs core values while producing a phenomenally powerful motorcar.
BMW M5 G-Power Hurricane RS
This 2009 imagining of the recording breaking M5, priced at a princely $410,000 sits at number five on the BMW roll of honor.
Capable of a top speed touching 228mph, the G-Power Hurricane RS just pips its station wagon cousin despite producing an identical 750hp and 551 kW of torque.
Able to move from 0-60 in a respectable 4.6 seconds, 0.1 of a second down on the Touring, the Sedan compensates with greater aerodynamics- perhaps accounting for a slightly faster straight-line speed.
Despite not enjoying the fanfare of its ancestors, the 2005 M5 in particular, the Hurricane RS will remain a barometer for future Sedans, regardless of manufacturer.
BMW M5 Touring G-Power Hurricane RS
At the time of writing, the BMW M5 Touring G-Power Hurricane RS is the world’s fastest station wagon and sits at number six on our countdown.
Borrowing from the M5 Hurricane RS, this 223mph monster wrenched the title from the Mercedes-Benz CLS-based Brabus Rocket- in its own right an incredibly powerful wagon.
Production has been limited to just over 1,000 units although with an asking price set at just over $400,000, the prospects of those numbers being met by hungry consumers are slim.
Nevertheless, Powered by a 5 liter V10 engine and paired with a twin-scroll, water-cooled intercooler, the RS cruises effortlessly on its 20-inch G-Power Silverstone Diamond wheels and is an attractive addition to both this list and the garage of any dedicated BMW collector.
BMW M3 Manhart Racing MH3 V8RS Clubsport
An out and out racing car, the V8RS Clubsport comfortably secures its place inside the top ten. In possession of the fastest 0-60 rate of all of its BMW brothers, the Clubsport is capable of completing the famous barometer measurement in a frightening 3.2 seconds.
Designed with maximum downforce in mind, the 4.4 liter engine is capable of 217 mph and a Manhart Racing display with all relevant mechanical information fed to the driver.
With such a powerful engine underfoot, the designers have sensibly included a state of the art MOVIT braking system with six piston calipers at the front and four at the back.
Priced at $180,000, the V8RS is one of the more financially viable options on this countdown despite also being one of the more innovative inclusions in the Manhart stable.
BMW M8 Prototype (E31)
By far the oldest car on this list, the BMW M8 was first conceived back in 1989 and was in production, under a number of different guises, for a decade.
Topping out at a highly impressive 217mph, this M8 prototype was a 1990 version and has a series of performance statistics that defied its era.
Generating 550hp and managing a 0-60 time of 3.4 seconds, this $590,000 supercar still produces enough to wedge itself into contention with vehicles that are more than 20 years younger than the M8.
Also visually distinctive, the M8 tips its hat to BMW models from the 1980s while maintaining a futuristic aesthetic that does not look out of place among today’s pack of supercars.
BMW M3 Manhart Racing V8R Biturbo
Following its stablemate into the top ten is the V8R Biturbo. Priced at $190,000 the Biturbo is on the more affordable side of the BMW supercar spectrum and packs a hefty punch to boot.
Complete with a distinctive “power bulge” in the hood of the car, the V8R Biturbo combines incredible straight line speed with greater flexibility and driver control- an aspect that is at odds with the safety first attitude traditionally associated with BMW.
The rock solid safety features remain but there is a sense that the engine’s incredible power is placed in the hands of the driver in a way other incarnations have avoided.
All of this combines to produce a top speed of 210mph — ninth spot on this countdown list.
BMW M3 Manhart Racing V10
One of three Manhart racers on this countdown, the V10 crams in a 5.0-liter V10 engine, seven-speed SMG gearbox, a DME steering system and titanium exhaust to unleash a top seed of 208mph.
Also capable of a highly competitive 0-60 speed of 3.9 seconds, the V10 benefits from front and rear spoilers, a Bilstein coilover suspension and a rear diffuser.
The speed limiter, which hampered previous models, has gone and the 550 hp racer allows the driver, seated inside the alcantra and leather interior, an incredible driving experience.
All of this in a package that will set the consumer back $210,000. As you will see from cars further up this list, the V10 is just about as close to the cost of more mainstream BMWs as you will get.