Are BMW’s Sports Cars?

Are BMW's Sports Cars

BMW’s are incredibly classy and luxurious cars, but are they considered true sports cars? Can we put them in the same bracket as a Porsche or a Ferrari? The answer is more complicated than you think it should be. This is because there are so many different BMW models available for you to buy. Some of these can definitely fit into the sports car category, while others are more luxurious, high-end cars.

BMW has produced 2 sports car models, the BMW Z series and the BMW i8. BMW’s M range can be considered sports cars, however the term ‘high performance’ vehicles is used more often for this range.

Lets take a look at some other commonly asked questions that you may have in regards to BMW and it’s range of sports vehicles.

What is a sporty BMW?

By definition, a sporty BMW is any model that’s been designed for speed and offers a few racing comforts. When you buy a BMW, you can select different trim levels. Most of these will give you a few extra features inside the car, along with some aesthetic additions outside it. But, there is one trim that can make a BMW sporty; M Sport.

The M Sport trim typically alters the model to have a slightly sportier look and feel to it. The body type is adjusted for better performance and to make the car more streamlined. Then, you have racing-style seats in the front, and some additional features like a boost to the engine horsepower, and so on.

However, there is also an entire range of M cars from BMW. These differ from M Sport options in that M Sport is just a trim, while the M range of vehicles is specifically designed to be sports cars. They automatically have more horsepower, the suspension is adapted for racing performance rather than just casual driving, the brakes are altered, they’re basically entirely different cars for a totally different purpose. Some of the cars in the BMW M Series are actually created for competition purposes. Still, you can buy them and drive them on the roads with no issues.

Lastly, we have to mention two BMW vehicles that are specifically categorized as sports cars:

  • BMW Z series
  • BMW i8

The Z series is a small convertible sports car that’s extremely nippy and a joy to drive. The i8 is BMW’s first-ever supercar. Here, you can put it in the same category as Ferraris, Porsches, Lamborghinis, and all the other extreme sports cars.

So, as a mini summary, if you’re looking for a BMW sports car, then you have these options:

  • Choose the M Sport trim
  • Get a car from the M Series range
  • Opt for the Z Series of i8

Is a BMW considered a luxury car?

The reason most people are confused about how to categorize BMW’s is that they often fall into multiple categories at the same time. Yes, there are definitely sports cars in the BMW range. Some are designed to be that way, others can be made into sporty vehicles with the trim.

However, there’s also no denying that a BMW can be considered a luxury car as well. The entire aura surrounding the brand is draped in luxury. Every single car in the range is marketed and designed to be above average.

What makes a BMW a luxury car? Typically, it’s thanks to the following features:

  • Excellent performance stats across the board
  • Extreme levels of comfort – mainly due to incredible suspensions
  • So much technology inside the car – auto-brake assist, parking sensors, heated seats, etc.
  • Classy car designs
  • Most BMWs come with leather seats and very stylish interiors

It’s very easy to see why BMW’s are luxury cars when you compare them with other cars in the same category. Let’s take the 1 Series as an example here. This is a small car that rivals things like the Volkswagen Polo or Ford Fiesta. While both of these vehicles are excellent, there’s no debate as to which option out of the three is considered more luxurious. It’s the BMW 1 Series, purely because it’s packed full of luxury features that warrant a higher price tag.

Is a BMW 3 Series a sports car?

white BMW 3 series

The BMW 3 Series is probably the most popular and well-known range that this manufacturer offers. Technically, there are three 3 Series options for you to choose from. There’s the M3 Saloon, the standard 3 Series Saloon, and the 3 Series Touring.

When it comes to sports cars, we can definitely say the M3 is in this category. It comes with over 400bhp and is designed with a sporty structure and all the M Sport trimmings. In comparison, the 3 Series Saloon will only ever have just above 250bhp – and that’s in the most advanced M Sport trim range. So, if you wanted to have the best sports car from the 3 Series roster, then you’ve got to go for the M3.

The 3 Series Touring can also be kitted out in the M Sport trim to give it some extra sporty features. But, would we classify this as a sports car? It’s tricky because it will have impressive performance stats, it will look sporty, but it is an estate/touring car. So, it’s a lot more practical than it is sporty.

Ultimately, to answer the initial question, it depends on the 3 Series model and the trim level that you choose. If you pick an M3 Saloon, then you’ve 100% got a sports car. If you choose the standard SE Model for the 3 Series Saloon or 3 Series Touring, then you can’t really say that you have a sports car.

Summary: Are BMW’s sports cars?

Not all BMW’s are technically considered sports cars. Having said that, you can find a few sports car options throughout the different ranges. In general, all of the M Series, Z Series, and the i8 are fully-fledged sports cars.

Then, you can take a model from a different series and add a sporty trim to it. This will either be a simple Sports trim or the more popular M Sport trim level. Here, you can turn a standard BMW into a much sportier version of the car.

So, in summary, BMW’s can be seen as sports cars – it just depends on what model you choose or the trim level you select. Alongside this, BMW’s are definitely luxury cars. As such, you can potentially get your hands on a luxury sports car!


I'm Scott, a BMW enthusiast and many time owner of these wonderful machines. I'm here to document my experiences with BMW's over the years and hopefully help people out along the way.

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