"Bavarian Motor Works, BMW, started in 1913 by Karl Rapp. It is one of the leading global car manufacturers. BMW’s cars are synonymous with superior performance, excellent tactile response and high-quality craftsmanship. Its logo, a white propeller against a blue sky, it’s a reminder of the original purpose of this company as an aircraft manufacturer. Its first motorcycle engine was produced in 1919 and their first full motorcycle in 1923. After purchasing a small car manufacturer (Dixi) in 1927, it started producing its own cars in 1933. BMW has stuck with its ""Series"" naming convention for decades, an impressive continuous standard. Letters have been added to its numbered series to account for the X SUVs and Z roadsters. All 1 Series cars that were introduced in Europe only, were produced with standard rear-wheel drive. Initially offered in 2004, the 1 Series came to the U.S. market until 2008 for the first time. The 3 Series, the smallest of the BMW series, have been known world-wide as the entry-level car for BMW. Jokes are plentiful about young executives obtaining their first 3 Series as a rite of passage. Make no mistake, these small and powerful cars have been successful both in racing and on the road. A frequent occurrence on the Car and Driver Ten Best list are the midsize BMWs 5 Series. Among this series, the M5 is a very powerful machine. The all-coupe line, the 6 series, has been temporarily dropped since 1989 making way for the 8 series. In 2003 the 6 came roaring back with such sharp-looking machines as the 4.4 liter, 325hp V8 645ci and the 4.8-liter, 360hp V8 650ci. The full-size sedans are carried by the 7 Series and they are the flagship for the automaker. BMW takes true pride on its 7 Series models, and rightly so. The newest line commercials in the US show the quite impressive task of parking itself between stacks of crystal glasses. The 8 Series lasted only 10 years with 30621 units sold. It began production in 1989 and seems to have been one of BMWs few missteps. The price tag was a whopping six-figure that many did not feel worth paying for. After James Bond drove a Z Series in “Golden Eye” they reached maximum popularity, although they were first introduced in the late 80’s. These 2 seat roadsters maintained its popularity for years after the film. In 2000, BMW entered the SUV market with the X5 and later on in 2004 with the X3. These cars are meant to give the agile ride of a BMW sedan while projecting the commanding view of an SUV. "