Is my BMW a true ///M car?

It’s rumoured that one of the best-selling parts ordered from BMW dealerships is that shiny M badge with the red, blue and violet streaks next to it. So how can you tell if your car is the real deal?

Dealership or expert

The easiest way to figure out if your BMW is a real BMW-M model is to consult an expert; like the nearest dealership or independent specialist. They are familiar with all the proper M-cars and will quickly tell you if yours is genuine; or just a cosmetic upgrade.

In difficult cases – like an older, less well-known BMW M car – they can even consult the mothership in Bavaria to confirm if your car started life as a proper BMW Motorsport product, or if it was converted at a later stage. In which case, it should have a certificate of authenticity to prove such after-market work.

The most common (real) ///M BMW’s:

  • 1M coupé (named that way because of the…)
  • M1 (1970’s race & super-car)
  • M2 compact coupé
  • M3 sedan, coupé & convertible
  • M4 coupé
  • M5 sedan & touring
  • M6 coupé
  • M8 coupé & convertible
  • X3 M / & M Performance
  • X4 M / & M Performance
  • X5 M / & M Performance
  • X6 M / & M Performance
  • Z3 M / M-coupé
  • Z4 M / M40i
  • Z8

As you can see, the SAV (SUV) range puts the letter “M” behind the vehicle name because they would quickly run into major legal issues – and presumably, laughter – if BMW released the hot new M-X3 or M X5!

M Package

Here’s the major reason why this post was created – because we’ve met plenty of owners who are convinced that their 320i is a pedigree M-Motorsport vehicle due to its extra badges or “M Pack”. We completely understand the confusion: if it says ///M on the tin, surely that mean’s it’s an ///M product?

The M-Package has been joined by AMG-Line and other competing brands who… how shall we put this delicately… watered down their performance brands so that regular buyers like us can LOOK like they have the sporty version when, in fact, it’s all show and none of the go.

And so, aided by our combined powers of observation, here are the chief offenders for fake, aftermarket or dealer-specified M-pack BMW vehicles:

  • 318i M
  • 320d M / M 320d
  • 320i M / M 320i
  • 323i M
  • 325i M
  • 328i M
  • 330d M / M330d
  • 330i M / M330i
  • 335iM / M335i
  • 520iM / M520i
  • 523iM / M523i
  • 525iM / M525i
  • 528iM / M528i
  • 530d M / M530d
  • 530i M / M 530i
  • 535dM / M 535d
  • 535i M / M535i
  • 540iM / M540i
  • 730d M / M730d
  • 730iM / M730i
  • 740d M / M740d
  • 740iM / M740i
  • M X3 (LOL) or X3 M
  • MX4 / X4 M
  • M-X5 (LOLZ) or X5 M
  • M X6 (just stahhp…) / X 6 M
  • X7 M / MX7

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