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Are We In the Golden Age of BMW? (Graphic)

It may be hard to believe but in 1976, BMW only offered three models: the 2002, 3.0i, and 530i. Seems hard to imagine in today’s automotive industry, ripe with diverse product portfolios. An interesting new chart from EuroSportTuning compares the BMW of 1976 to today, and it’s pretty cool.

“BMW’s North America popularity has exploded over the last 40 years, and that’s putting it mildly,” says Frank Derks, Manager at EuroSportTuning.com.

Derks maintains the manufacturer’s evolution over the years is significant.

“The most popular car in 1976 was probably the 100 horsepower 2002 model,” he said. “Today, BMW offers seven times as many models, most with at least three times the power.”

The graph compares the max horsepower in 1976 versus today, the difference of which is tremendous. For example, the 1976 2002 was rated at 100 horsepower. The most comparable now is the 2 Series, but it’s available with as much as 320 horsepower.

“Speaking as a performance enthusiast, most models today are pushing 300 plus horsepower,” Derks said.

Some enthusiasts believe the automaker’s golden age peaked in the 1960s and 70s, citing the 2002 as proof, but Derks disagrees. He points out a proven reputation on the track along with the automaker’s crossover and SUV lineups. Derks believes they offer excellent performance despite their size.

“I wonder if we aren’t living in BMW’s golden age right now,” he said.

Do you think we are seeing the golden age of BMW today? 

*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. 

BMW Graphic