How to Separate a Genuine BMW M Series from the Imposters

May 15th, 2014 by

 BMW M Series

How to Identify a Genuine BMW M Series

Since the 1960s and 1970s, BMW has manufactured performance-enhanced luxury models, which in time have become more commonly known as the BMW M Series. As all M models are tested and tuned individually at BMW’s private racing circuit facility, they offer the ultimate sports performance that is second to none. However, it can be difficult to determine when you come across one, which is why we’re providing you with the steps on how to identify a genuine BMW M Series.

Identifying a true BMW M Series can be especially difficult as there are many BMW models that offer M technology and performance upgrades through M Sport sub-brands. This essentially means that the vehicles are outfitted with various M badges or ribbons, but aren’t actually genuine M vehicles. M badges are also freely available both online and at trade shows, which further blurs the lines of what makes a vehicle a true M Series, and makes it challenging to determine authenticity.

We’ll cover each of these points a little more in depth, but here are a few things to look at when you’re attempting to identify a genuine BMW M Series:

  • M Emblems
  • Exterior Styling
  • Engine
  • VIN Number

The M emblems are one of the first things to look for. While there are exterior badges available online, there are many touches of the iconic M logo and BMW racing stripes strategically placed throughout the cabin. A genuine BMW M Series will have emblems on the steering wheel, gear stick and door sills. If any of those emblems are missing, it’s possible that you’re not looking at a true BMW M Series.

While identifying a BMW M Series, it’s also important to pay attention to the exterior styling of the vehicle. There are certain touches found exclusively on BMW M models, including the side vents above the front wheel arches. These M-specific arches are found on every M series model, and are not available as a factory fit on any other BMW model.

The engine is another telltale sign that a BMW model is a genuine M Series. However, it often requires an extremely close look, and often times feel, to determine whether the engine’s performance was specially tuned. That’s because many of the M Sport models use the same engines as genuine M Series models, but the M Series models are refined to deliver significantly more power.

Arguably the easiest way to identify a BMW M Series is to look at the VIN number. This is the quickest and most efficient way, as all you have to do is look at the first three letters. All BMW M models have VIN numbers that begin with WBS. All other BMW vehicles have VIN numbers that begin with WBA. If you want to double check the number, be sure to check it on the BMW VIN database.

Those are a few of the most common things to look for when you’re attempting to identify a genuine BMW M Series. If you’re attempting to identify one before making a purchase from a private seller, we highly suggest that you reconsider. The only way to truly ensure that you’re buying a true M Series is to purchase one from a reputable BMW dealer such as BMW of North Haven.

If you have any further questions about how to identify a genuine BMW M Series, or are interested in purchasing one of the coveted performance-tuned models, be sure to get in touch with us. We’re more than happy to help get you behind the wheel of an M Series, and as we get our vehicles straight from BMW, you can rest assured that every M Series that we stock is 100 percent genuine.

Posted in BMW M Series