Three 2020 BMW M Series sedans and coupes are are driving on a racetrack against a yellow sky. 


While it has developed and evolved over the decades, today, the BMW M Series is a high-performance variant available for many BMW models. It would be understandable to call it a "trim" for these vehicles, but it is much more than that. The "M" comes from "Motorsports" and calls back to when the M Series were models designed for the racetrack. When you choose a BMW M Series vehicle, you know you are getting the most powerful and impressive version of that model available, while also getting incredible luxury features. This is the ultimate blend of sophistication and raw power that pushes the limits of what you will find in a street-legal vehicle.

Although there is not an M Series model available for every vehicle that BMW produces, most of them do have one that you can choose if tremendous power is something you crave in your car. The truly fantastic aspect of these vehicles is that you do not have to sacrifice any of the luxuries you would expect from BMW when you choose one. Few other manufacturers can provide this level of performance and sophistication in a single vehicle, and the first time you drive one, you will understand why so many people fall in love with these models. Visit us at BMW of Cincinnati North, and we will show you a driving experience that is unlike anything you have known before.

History of the BMW M Series

The BMW M Series started in 1972 with the formation of a subsidiary called "BMW Motorsport GmbH" within BMW. This new part of the company was originally formed, as the name would suggest, to focus on motorsports and to make vehicles specifically for the racetrack. BMW's racing program had been quite successful throughout the 1960s and continued to be so in the 1970s, so it only made sense to form a group with that as their focus.

Over time, however, it became clear that purely focusing on motorsports and racing vehicles was unnecessarily limiting. As people saw the power and performance that BMW racecars were capable of, they naturally wanted to be able to experience that kind of power for themselves. And so, this division began working on not only racing vehicles but on street-legal cars for customers that wanted a BMW with a performance focus.

Rebranded in the 1990s as BMW M GmbH (you can see "Motorsports" simply became "M" and continues as the name today), the BMW M Series has continued to be the highest standard for luxury performance vehicles. These incredible models go well beyond simply having a unique brand, however, as there are numerous mechanical upgrades and changes made to them before they are offered as M versions. Plenty of other manufacturers say they have "performance" trims that really feature few enhancements over the standard model, but the BMW M Series provides you with incredible power and exquisite design.

Recognizing the BMW M Series

There are a few different terms you need to know when looking at new and used BMW M Series vehicles, in order to make sure you find exactly the right vehicle with everything you need.

  • M Sport - First things first, "M Sport" is very much not the same thing as an "M Series" vehicle. "M Sport" refers to an accessory package that is available on most BMW vehicles. While it does add some things to the vehicle, especially a lot of unique badging inside and out, it does not have the kinds of significant upgrades that you get in a true M model.
  • M - These are BMW M Series vehicles, and while you can think of them as a trim, they are offered by BMW as their own models. For example, there are a number of BMW 5-Series models available, but the 5M is considered its own model, rather than simply a trim for the 5-Series in general. M models are tuned for incredible performance with powerful engines and mechanical changes that make for a truly thrilling ride.
  • M Performance - This is a term you will not see on new models, but you might encounter it when looking at used options. Although some people might use "M Performance" to refer to the M Series in general, it was primarily used by BMW to refer to their lineup that featured diesel engines. These models were labeled with a "d," such as "540d," and are no longer offered in North America.
  • M Competition - You can consider this is an ultra-performance trim within the standard high-performance M Series. M Competition models have the same engine as the M Series model but tuned for even higher output to give you more power. If you want a vehicle that offers you performance beyond anything available on other BMW models, then this is the way to go.

Ultimately, the right model will depend on what you want your vehicle to be able to do. If you want a few minor changes and some unique badging, then the M Sport package is a good choice. For really upgraded performance that is truly incredible to drive, then an M Series model is probably right for you. But if you want even more power than what the M Series can offer, then you should consider an M Competition model to feel truly unbelievable performance.

A red and a blue 2020 BMW M Series coupe and sedan are driving around a racetrack near Cincinnati, OH. 

Why Choose an M Series Vehicle?

Although every BMW vehicle is a pleasure to drive and surrounds you with tremendous comfort and luxury, a BMW M Series model simply takes that to another level. It is more than just a focus on performance, though that is undoubtedly important. An M Series vehicle provides you with a unique experience that you will not find anywhere else.

It all starts with the engine, of course, and M Series models have some of the most powerful and impressive engines of any vehicle on the road in their class. No matter which model you are looking at, you are going to find an engine that is clearly designed for mind-blowing performance that puts you back in your seat and keeps a smile on your face. But it goes far beyond the engine; every part of an M Series vehicle's mechanical system is tuned and considered to ensure you get the best driving experience possible. This gives you true command over the road, putting you in control of a piece of technology designed to be the ultimate driving machine.

But this incredible performance is only part of the equation. BMW is synonymous with luxury and incredible style, and the M Series is no exception. The truly beautiful aspect of these vehicles is that they blend both of these concepts together perfectly. So you end up with a car or Sport Activity Vehicle that surrounds you in sophistication, comfort, and cutting-edge technology while giving you tremendous power to dominate the road.

2020 BMW M8 Coupe

There are three different BMW M Series models available that are a part of the 8 Series, starting with the M8 Coupe. This is a standard two-door coupe, but with an M Series design that offers you tremendous power and incredible performance. If a two-door model is what you are looking for, then this is a great option to consider.

The M8 Coupe has a powerful 4.4L BMW M TwinPower Turbo V8 engine that delivers up to 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, paired with an 8-speed M STEPTRONIC automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. It can go from 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds and has 20-inch performance tires for exceptional handling and control on the road. Of course, it has numerous other mechanical upgrades such as an M-redesigned double-wishbone front suspension, adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers, and an active M differential.

When you compare this to the standard 8 Series Coupe, the differences are substantial. For example, the standard 8 Series features a 3.0L I-6 engine that offers up to 335 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. The 8 Series comes with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission and 18-inch all-season run-flat tires. Overall, an 8 Series model is a lot of fun to drive, but the speed and performance of the M8 Coupe simply blows it away.

A blue 2020 BMW M8 Coupe is facing a full moon at night. 

2020 BMW M8 Convertible

Of course, if you want incredible power and an exhilarating driving experience while feeling the wind in your hair, then the BMW M8 Convertible is a fantastic choice. This has many of the same features and options as the standard M8 Coupe, but with a convertible top that really lets you feel the exhilarating ride that it offers more than any other model. You get the same 4.4L BMW M TwinPower Turbo V8 engine in the Convertible, giving you up to 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, with an 8-speed M STEPTRONIC automatic transmission for amazing overall performance and quick responsiveness.

What really sets the M8 Convertible apart, of course, is its exterior, which features a convertible top rather than the standard top of the Coupe. Along with 20-inch performance tires, an M rear spoiler, and signature M gills, the M8 Convertible features a black soft-top that looks stunning and can open and close quite easily. It also has all the fantastic features you would expect inside, including a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch central information display for everything you need, plus a head-up display to project more information onto the lower portion of your windshield.

One thing worth noting about the BMW M8 is that it is available as either the standard version or an M8 Competition model. This gives you the same engine and other amazing performance features, but the incredible engine is tuned for even more power in the Competition models. The 4.4L BMW M TwinPower Turbo V8 engine in the Competition models delivers 617 hp and the same torque, pushing the acceleration up to 0 to 60 in just 3.0 seconds. That extra performance can make a difference, and the Competition models are available with some unique badging and details to showcase the exclusive nature of your vehicle.

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

BMW now offers an M8 Gran Coupe model as part of the BMW M Series of vehicles, giving you something truly unique and different to enjoy. A Gran Coupe combines the power and performance of a coupe, with a larger interior more like a sedan. In fact, the M8 Gran Coupe has four doors and a much roomier interior for you to enjoy, with comfortable seating for up to five passengers.

Despite its larger interior size, however, the 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe still delivers exceptional power and a performance-focused design that will leave your passengers speechless. It has the same remarkable 4.4L BMW M Performance TwinPower Turbo V8 engine that delivers up to 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque as the standard M8 Coupe model. With performance tires and special M suspension, brakes, and power steering, this roomy model is the perfect choice if you want superb power and plenty of seating for friends or family.

Much like the coupe and convertible models, the M8 Gran Coupe has a Competition model available, with its engine tuned for even higher power. Although BMW has several excellent sedans to choose from, if you want the style and performance of a coupe, but need a bit more room inside than a standard two-door can offer, then take a good look at the Gran Coupe to see if it is right for you.

2020 BMW X3 M

A 2020 BMW X3 M is parked in a modern lobby. 

The 2020 BMW X3 M is a compact Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) that delivers incredible power and performance, while still giving you a fantastic amount of interior space for passengers or cargo. BMW's SAV models are designed to be active, to provide you with reliable performance and power to do everything you need. And yet, they do not sacrifice style and sophistication to do so, giving you size and strength, while ensuring you stay surrounded by comfort and luxury.

The 2020 BMW X3 M is no exception, but it takes power you would expect from a BMW SAV a step further with an M Series performance focus that is impossible to beat. You get a 3.0L BMW M TwinPower Turbo I-6 engine in the X3 M, which delivers up to 473 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque for exceptional performance. This comes paired with an 8-speed M Sport Automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, 20-inch performance tires, and an M sport differential to ensure excellent handling and control on the road. The X3 M can go from 0 to 60 in 4.1 seconds while still giving you more than 62 cu.ft. of maximum cargo capacity. This is the perfect vehicle for loading up your friends or family and going on a road trip without feeling like you are being punished.

If you want even more spectacular power, then there is an available Competition Package, which boosts performance by increasing the engine's output to 503 hp. The aggressive, powerful nature of this SAV cannot be denied and is apparent in every decision that BMW has made in designing and manufacturing it. With a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, 10-inch central information display, and 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system, there is no experience on the road quite like getting behind the wheel of the 2020 BMW X3 M.

2020 BMW M2 Competition Coupe

For many people interested in a high-performance BMW vehicle, the M2 is a great place to start since it offers incredible power and an exhilarating driving experience without a potentially overwhelming number of options. Many of the M Series models have a few different versions for you to choose from, which is excellent, but sometimes you simply want one perfect option. That said, if you are not interested in a convertible or any other choices, and you are looking for incredible BMW performance, then the M2 Competition Coupe is one to strongly consider.

The M2 Competition Coupe is powered by a 3.0L BMW M TwinPower Turbo I-6 engine that delivers up to 405 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. This comes paired with a 6-speed manual transmission, so you are always in control over the M2, though a 7-speed M double-clutch transmission with Launch Control is also available. In terms of raw performance, the M2 can go from 0 to 60 in just 4.0 seconds with the manual transmission, and 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds using the automatic, with a top speed of 174 mph.

Along with all of this power, you also get all of the luxury and sophistication that you would expect from a BMW. The M2 Competition Coupe features Black Dakota Leather upholstery with highlight and contrast stitching, M-specific design elements and details throughout the interior, and carbon fiber touches for added style and refinement. You get a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system inside the M2, with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an infotainment and navigation display, and 14-way power front M sport seats with 4-way power lumbar for unparalleled comfort. Comfort and performance; who could ask for more?

A blue 2020 BMW M4 Coupe is driving on a race track and shown from the rear at a low angle. 

2020 BMW M4 Coupe

There are two versions of the BMW M4 available, and though they have a lot of similarities, there are also some pretty big differences between them. First off is the M4 Coupe, which is the best option if you want the highest level of power and performance. Both versions of the M4 are incredibly fun to drive and put a lot of power at your disposal, but the M4 Coupe does have the upper hand.

The BMW M4 Coupe comes with a 3.0L BMW M TwinPower Turbo I-6 engine that offers up to 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. This comes paired with a 6-speed manual transmission standard, though there is an option for a 7-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic if you prefer that. No matter which transmission you choose, you get an amazing driving experience, though the automatic can accelerate a bit faster. With the manual transmission, the M4 Coupe can go from 0 to 60 in 4.1 seconds, while it can go from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds using the automatic.

The interior of the M4 Coupe is gorgeous, with 14-way power M sport front seats, with 4-way power lumbar, M-specific detailing throughout, and carbon fiber touches with black chrome highlights to really set the M4 apart. It comes with a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system and a leather-wrapped M sport steering wheel with audio and system controls. The M4 Coupe has an infotainment display with 3D maps and a 200GB hard drive, including over-the-air updates for map data. Overall, this is a fully equipped vehicle.

2020 BMW M4 Convertible

If you are looking for something a bit sportier, in terms of design at least, then consider the BMW M4 Convertible. This model has very similar performance and features to the standard M4 Coupe, but with a convertible top that lets you experience your ride like few other vehicles can offer. Although this model has a lot in common with the M4 Coupe, there are a few differences that are worth pointing out.

Much like the M4 Coupe, the M4 Convertible features a 3.0L BMW M TwinPower Turbo I-6 engine that delivers up to 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. It has the same transmission options as the M4 Coupe: a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed M double-clutch automatic with Drivelogic. Just like with the M4 Coupe, the transmission will affect your acceleration with the M4 Convertible: it can go from 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds with the manual transmission or 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds with the automatic. This is about 0.3 seconds slower than the Coupe, due to its Convertible design; which is relatively negligible but still worth pointing out. However, whether you choose the Coupe or the Convertible, the M4 has a top speed of 174 mph.

One of the significant differences, of course, is that the BMW M4 Convertible has a power-folding retractable hardtop that is easy to use and makes this the perfect option for any kind of weather. Inside the M4 Convertible, you get Merino leather upholstery with carbon-fiber interior details and black chrome highlights similar to the M4 Coupe. The Convertible has a Harman Kardon 12-speaker surround-sound system with four tweeters, four midrange speakers, two bass speakers, a midrange center channel speaker, and one tweeter in the instrument cluster. With that sound system and the fantastic performance offered, the M4 Convertible is one of the most enjoyable rides on the market.

A red 2020 BMW M5 Sedan is shown from above while driving on a street. 

2020 BMW M5 Sedan

Although most people automatically think "coupe" when looking for a performance vehicle, with the BMW M5, you find a high-performance sedan that can leave a lot of two-door models behind. The beauty of this model is that it proves you do not have to sacrifice interior space and room for your friends and family just because you want to have a lot of power at your disposal. As you would expect, the M5 Sedan is the ultimate combination of style, luxurious roominess, and gorgeous performance.

The M5 features a powerful 4.4L BMW M TwinPower Turbo V8 engine that delivers up to 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. As you can see, this is one of the most powerful engines you will find in a BMW and really showcases the commitment to power in the M5 Sedan. This comes paired with an 8-speed M STEPTRONIC automatic transmission with Drivelogic and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, with Launch Control. With the M5 Sedan, you can go from 0 to 60 in just 3.2 seconds, and it has a top speed of 156 mph.

Inside the M5 Sedan, you get Merino leather upholstery, with a SensaTec dashboard and aluminum carbon interior details and trim. It features a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system, including seven tweeters, seven mid-range speakers, and a pair of bass speakers, along with a leather-wrapped M sport steering wheel with mounted controls. The M5 Sedan also features a 12-inch instrument cluster and a 10-inch central information display that includes voice operation and over-the-air map updates. You also get 20-way power M front seats with illuminated M5 logo and much more. This sedan is genuinely luxurious.

2020 BMW M5 Competition Sedan

If you want all of the luxuries of the standard M5 Sedan, with even more pronounced performance, then the M5 Competition Sedan is the way to go. This model features a similar 4.4L BMW M TwinPower Turbo V8 engine, which is tuned to deliver up to 617 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque for boosted power. You get an 8-speed M STEPTRONIC automatic transmission with Drivelogic and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters along with Launch Control, much like with the standard M5 Sedan. The Competition model, however, can go from 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds, offering slightly better acceleration.

The M5 Competition Sedan also features an M Sport Exhaust that offers a more powerful, authoritative sound than most other vehicles on the road, with high-gloss black exterior details and competition badging. You also get exclusive 20-inch M wheels on the Competition, while the standard M5 Sedan features 19-inch wheels. Inside the M5 Competition Sedan, you will find all of the same amazing features, including Merino leather upholstery, aluminum carbon details, and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system. In all, the M5 Competition Sedan is a full compilation of the BMW luxuries that everyone knows and loves.

A red 2020 BMW M5 Competition is shown from the rear while parked in front of a polished stone wall. 

Why Choose BMW of Cincinnati North?

Here at BMW of Cincinnati North, we put your needs first and ensure you are happy throughout every interaction we have with you. If you are just getting started with looking for your next vehicle, then one of our friendly, professional salespeople can work closely with you to answer all of your questions and make sure you find the perfect model. We have a large selection of new and pre-owned vehicles available, including a carefully chosen number of certified pre-owned models for you to choose from.

Our work with you does not end when you drive away; our parts department and service center will be here for you for years to come. Whether you need standard maintenance or have larger issues after a collision, we are here to help and make sure you get back on the road as quickly as possible. No matter what you need, we, at BMW of Cincinnati, are always here for you.

Come See the BMW M Series Today

Driving a BMW M Series vehicle truly is an experience unlike anything else you will find on the market. It is about more than power and speed, more than comfort and sophistication; it is about combining all of these things and pushing each of them further than ever before. All of this gives you a driving experience that reminds you of the simple joy that comes from sitting down, buckling up, and going for a ride. Visit us at BMW of Cincinnati North to see the current lineup of M Series vehicles, and we will help you find the perfect model.

BMW of Cincinnati North
A BMW M Certified Dealer Certified Center

105 West Kemper Road
Directions Cincinnati, OH 45246

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