2. A highly motivated team leader creates a small team with a couple of
highly motivated engineers/ designers to create an innovative
product/process in a short period of time.
The team is taken out of their normal working environment to operate
independently of a company's normal R&D operations.
The organization of a skunk works project is more flat, goal oriented
and with more entrepreneurial zeal.
3. In order to develop high-speed fighter
planet within 180 days, some staff was
removed from the corporate bureaucracy
and encouraged to ignore standard
Team leader Kelly Johnson rented a big
circus tent and set it up next to a noxious
plastics factory, whose stench sneaked
into the circus tent. Due to that stench, the
facility and its works were called “skunk
This was so successful that company
continued and came up with many
4. + In case of company's resistance for change, skunk works
could avoid that great ideas get squashed by standard
channels and processes.
+ Institutions can take risks in a controlled way that do not
impact the majority of staff or revenue streams.
+ The team can think more freely about solutions as it is less
likely to feel threatened.
+ The team is extremely focused on the task and forms a
5. - The management’s support might be missing as team leaders tend to take
- Due to secrecy, external experts might not be asked risk analysis.
- Instead of an independent “facilitator” (leader role for risk management in a
product development project), the role is played by the team leader due to
secrecy issues. Nevertheless, he might loose objectivity during the decision
- Everyone outside the skunk works team is excluded from innovation
-It is easier for managers to ignore ideas developed in skunk works as they
are not part of the core business.
7. Jochen Neerpasch, an ex-Porsche works driver and Ford’s Racing
Manager, started this team of specialists on 1st May, 1972.
This new team was able to move into its own building after just a few
months, with the racing workshop and racing engine production shop,
tool-making and the engine dynamometer all being installed in the
immediate vicinity of BMW’s Munich Plant on a site measuring more than
8,000 square metres in Preussenstrasse.
Their first project was a 3,340 cc straight-six with 12 valves, fuel injection
and a compression ratio of 11:1 with a maximum output of 360 hp.
The model designation of the new car was 3.0 CSL
9. Plant Zero BMW Skunkworks, Munich
All BMW Manufacturing facilities are numbered. The secret Munich plant is
called Plant Zero.
The people are specialized in every aspect of car manufacturing and have an
encyclopedic knowledge of BMW cars.
10. Plant Zero BMW Skunkworks, Munich
The first versions are made by hand here in the experimental vehicle shop.
Rapid Prototyping Centre: Real Working parts out of Aluminum built in 3 days
Along with prototypes of vehicles, prototypes of the way they are to be built are
determined and robots programmed accordingly.
11. Plant Zero BMW Skunkworks, Munich
A dead accurate ‘Zero Vehicle’ is prepared where each part fits exactly the way
it is supposed to.
All vehicles are concealed with patterned decals before worldwide testing
12. Palo Alto (California)
Everyone is very broadly briefed: To be creative, to work independently,
and to be open to all kinds of influences beyond the realm of automotive
The team mainly focuses its search for solutions for IT-driven markets by
making the most of their location, near the Silicon Valley.
To sustain the creative momentum, people
only stay on the team for a limited time
and are replaced regularly. Every three
years, new management is appointed to
head the Technology Office, and people
from the Research and Innovation Center
in Munich only come to Palo Alto for
between one and three years, depending
on the scale of their projects.
14. The BMW 3.0 CSL. The most successful touring car of its day.
15. Won the European Championship six times between 1973 and 1979 and
dominating the international touring car scene for almost a decade.
Pioneer in its colour design, and other significant technical innovations:
1. BMW’s first-ever four-valve six-cylinder.
2. Featured a prototype anti-lock braking system from 1974, long before
this innovation became standard technology in the BMW 7 Series.
3. Maximum output of up to 800 hp.
The BMW 3.0 CSL. The most successful touring car of its day.
Focused almost exclusively on the construction of racing cars.
- The new BMW 320 continued the outstanding success of the 02 Series.
Customers were also looking for M Power on regular roads
- The first “hot” 5 Series came into being from 1974: 530, 533i, 535i.
These cars were superior to their production counterparts not only in terms of their
engines, but also in their suspension and brake technology receiving the special
attention of the engineers at BMW Motorsport GmbH.
Became the first high-performance four-seaters revolutionizing the world of the
sports car through their sophisticated technology.
Initially these were built and sold only in very small numbers, but soon the
performance philosophy became increasingly popular. By 1980, 895 units based
on the first 5 Series had been purchased.
18. • 1978: First competition car not based on a regular
• The price of the 277 hp M1 back in 1978 was exactly DM
100,000, but demand exceeded supply by far. When 130
cars had been completed after one year, there were still
more than 300 firm orders waiting to be fulfilled.
• Right from the start the M1 was the fastest road-going sports
car built in Germany
BMW M1. The big sensation in the world of sports cars
As time passed, BMW M began to supplement BMW's
vehicles portfolio with specially modified higher trim models,
for which they are now most known by the general public.
These M-badged cars traditionally include modified engines,
transmissions, suspensions, interior trims, aerodynamics, and
exterior modifications to set them apart from their
All M models are tested and tuned at BMW's private facility
at the Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany.
21. • 1992: The first M3 powered by a straight-6 engine. The E36
was also one of the first cars BMW designed mainly with
computer aid with the use of detailed Finite Element Analysis
and other software.
• 2000 - The E46 M3 appeared worldwide with the new 3.2 L
S54 M-tuned engine. At the time of the car's introduction,
this engine had the highest specific output naturally
aspirated of any engine ever made by BMW (except in the
BMW M3. The most successful touring car ever.
22. • 2007: The fourth generation BMW M3 was announced on the
2007 Geneva Motor Show with the BMW M3 concept. It was
originally set to be called M4 along with 3 Series coupes and
convertibles that were to become the 4 Series, but due to the
interest in retaining the M3 line, as well as the plan for a
separate 4 series line, this change was scrapped.
• 2013: The fifth generation M3 platform structure will be made of
steel, with the bonnet and doors from Aluminum.[According to
the other news, M3 production is closed and there will be no
other M3 Coupe. The next M3 Coupe is called M4.
BMW M3. The car of the century.
24. • 1985: The first BMW M5, based on the E28 5 Series, made its
debut at Amsterdam Motor Show and was the fastest production
sedan in the world at the time.
• The E34 generation of the M5 was produced from September
1988 to 1995. Assembly was done either by a single M
employee or a team of M employees and generally took about
• 2005: The E60 M5 was introduced. As with some of its
predecessors, the E60 variant of the M5 was both the quickest
and fastest 4-door sedan in the world at the time of its release.
BMW M5. The fastest sedan.
Jeremy Clarkson of BBC television show Top Gear says: "This
[The M3] is the best car, and always will be, and there's no
point in ever thinking otherwise.“
Ezra Dyer of Automobile magazine once suggested that
"...car magazines generally regard the M3 the same way a
four-year-old regards Santa Claus.“
Mark Magrath of Edmunds Inside Line wrote these comments
after driving a 2009 E90 M3 saloon in the canyons of
Southern California: "This is the best most complete car in the
world. It's actually a bargain for what you get. Wow."
Radical innovations done in BMW M cars are ultimately
incorporated in all vehicles produced by BMW.
BMW M has a philosophy that "an M car has to be responsive and
fundamentally keen on turning as well as accelerating. ”So they
are able to strike a very good balance between a track car and an
everyday use coupe with powerful engines and racing suspensions
being fitted to a car with 4 seats and a sufficiently large boot.
The cars doesn’t produce too much power nor does it produce too
much torque but it balances the two very well. The cars are much
cheaper and much more practical than other cars/supercars in its
category. So they can be easily integrated into the main line of
cars sold under the BMW brand.
Audi's S and RS models, MercedesBenz's AMG models, and more
recently Lexus F model(s), are often
reviewed in direct competition to
BMW M also faces competition from
several independent companies
offering their own performance
versions of BMW models. Such
companies include Hamann
Motorsport, Alpina, Dinan Cars, AC
Schnitzer and Hartge.
28. M and AMG are similar Skunkworks in BMW and Mercedes-Benz respectively
but they differ in fundamental ideologies and the technology they develop.
Emphasized tuning only
vehicles with "Lateral agility“.
BMW M has also never used
Typically use manuals and
versions of many of its nameplates.
Often use supercharging and
turbocharging to enhance
Largely use automatic
BMW Group Press Releases:
The BMW M Story. 40 Years BMW M GmbH. 16.05.2012
The BMW Group’s Skunkworks in Silicon Valley. 17.12.2008