This book traces BMW's origins in aero-engine manufacture, telling the story of its near-demise in the 1950s and its rebirth in the 1960s.

The book also covers BMW's impressive motorsport career, including the 1960s 2002 touring cars, the 1970s CSL and 1980s F1 turbo engines.

The company's history is a turbulent story, from the highs of its engineering triumphs in the fields of aircraft engines, motorcycles and cars to the lows of near-bankruptcy in 1959.

The Ultimate History of BMW tells that story, from BMW's earliest days as a manufacturer of engines for the fledgling aircraft industry. The famous 'boxer' engine followed, first as a stationary power unit for industrial applications and later as a motorcycle engine.

At Eisenach, car production began in the late 19th century. BMW took over in the 1920s, by which time the factory was building its own version of the Austin 7 under licence.

BMW soon left the Austin 7 design behind, developing its own saloon cars and roadsters - the ultimate pre-war BMW being the rapid 328.

Post-war, Munich embarked on a misguided model policy which saw it create huge V8-powered limousines in an era when few Germans could afford a new car at all. BMW also built the Italian Isetta bubble car under licence, but badly needed a mid-range car. Only after the company had been saved by the intervention of the Quandt family in 1959 did this 'Neue Klasse' car arrive, rescuing BMW's fortunes.

The Neue Klasse developed into the sporting '02' series which proved successful on the race track and in the showroom. By the 1970s the company was growing in stature and confidence, launching a range of new cars and taking on Ford's mighty Cologne Capris in European touring car racing. In the 1980s it won in F1 with incredibly powerful turbo engines, and in the 1990s provided motive power for the McLaren F1.

Despite controversy over the styling of some recent models, BMWs continue to sell well and the company is set to challenge for Formula 1 honours once again.

Published by Parragon in 2004

Deutsch-Editionen Faszination BMW veröffentlicht im Jahr 2004, BMW veröffentlicht im Jahr 2009 - Kaufen bei

Spanish edition La Gran Historia de BMW published in 2007