BMW 530 MLE (1976): the first BMW M street carry emblems of BMW Motorsport was not the M1

Without thinking, the three. What has been the first BMW Motorsport street? If you said the BMW M1 we will not disqualify, but it really was not the first M street. The first BMW Motorsport of street, or rather the first street car in carry emblems of BMW Motorsport, was the unknown BMW 530 MLE. Don’t worry, I also had not heard of the car until a few days ago, when documentándome about the BMW 333i I discovered their existence. And now you also know everything there is to know about this curious sport.

To be able to compete in a championship of cars south africa, BMW needed a car racing and 100 street units.

Before we get into flour, it is appropriate to recall the origins of BMW south Africa. It was the first production subsidiary of BMW outside of Germany, and began assembling kits SKD and CKD shipped directly from Germany in the early 70’s. BMW soon saw the potential of this market and began to delegate more work to the BMW south Africa, as for example the stamping of body parts or the manufacture of components of the interior. The BMW 3 Series E30 were already constructed in your practice entirely in south Africa.


The E12 was a success from the beginning, and its sales increased each year. The public wealthy south african – remember that we are in the times of apartheid – era amateur car competition. BMW tried to capitalise on this hobby with a BMW 3.0 CSL racing, which struggled in the circuits in the “Star Modified Production Series”. This championship car was the private game reserve, from manufacturers such as Ford or Toyota, which dominated with an iron fist the most important car competition in the country.

Like the BMW M1 or a BMW M3 of the first generation, the 530 MLE was created to homologate a racing car.

BMW south Africa was commissioned by BMW Motorsport in Germany for the production of a racing car based on the 5-Series, produced locally. Motorsport collaborated with the brothers Schnitzer – yes, the same that after fundarían the famous company of preparations – in the development of a competition car based on the BMW 525 E12. To be able to compete BMW had to prove that it had produced 100 units of street. After the green light from BMW Germany, begins the production of the first M street, south africa, and four doors.

bmw-530-mle-1976-8Was christened BMW 530 MLE, an abbreviation of Motorsport Limited Edition. BMW produced these cars just-in-time of the star competition of the championship, demonstrating the same Day of the Republic that he had sold the 100 units regulations. The BMW 530 MLE had the same chassis and engine of a racing car. Its undercarriage was adapted to the streets, but employs a multitude of techniques of weight savings never seen before in a street car. A rolling laboratory, a real M of pure strain.

Only 218 cars were built. The huge demand prompted BMW to expand its production beyond the 100 units planned.

Its engine was a block M30 “big-six” inline six-cylinder and three-liter in the front, from the BMW E3 3.0. Although he had only two valves per cylinder, the magic of BMW Motorsport and feeding two carburetors Zenith achieved a maximum power of 200 HP at 6,000 rpm and 277 Nm of torque 4.350 rpm. In the racing car the engine developed a whopping 275 HP. This propellant had a radiator dedicated to the oil and its crankshaft was much lighter than the other BMW 5-Series E12.

bmw-530-mle-1976-7The engine was connected to a gearbox Getrag five relationships and a limited-slip differential, mechanical rear axle. Its undercarriage was highly optimized, with shock absorbers Bilstein high-performance four-wheel and alloy wheels BBS Mahle 14 ” , on which are mounted tires sports of 195 mm of section. New anti-sway and brake discs ventilated – with four-piston calipers in front – closing a package which is exceptional for a street car. A true M.

The BMW 530 MLE was quick: made the 0 to 100 km/h in only 9.3 seconds and had a top speed declared of 208 km/h.

Before you had mentioned the lightness in the construction of the BMW 530 MLE. Your weight in order of march was 1.233 kilograms. It was possible thanks to a diet of savings worthy of a car like the BMW M4 GTS. For a start, his body was thinner and used less paint. Some panels were of aluminium and drilled holes in areas with little visible of the car. In its interior, is provided with sports seats Scheel, much lighter than the seats of series. The back seat was stuffed with foam, and devoid of springs.

bmw-530-mle-1976-6Outwardly, mounted a body kit with flared wheel arches with plastic parts, and a huge front bumper with the colors of BMW Motorsport. The headlights were protected with a thin grid of aluminum, with track days in circuit in mind. In hindsight, it was really similar to the iconic BMW 2002 turbo, the first street car in which BMW Motorsport contributed to the development, without being considered a model Motorsport pure as it could be the M1, or this peculiar BMW 530 MLE.

Source: | | SithWP