The BMW M Division was established in May 1972 to help with the BMW racing program. The first use of the M stripe colors were seen on the 3.0 CSL Batmobile. The three stripes representing the motorsport division have become iconic to the M brand. Its stripes have been seen on the racing liveries of BMW’s race cars ever since the 1970s. The three M stripe colors of blue, purple and red were not randomly chosen, their colors have a meaning and a history.
The blue represents the blue taken from the Bavarian flag. BMW does stand for “Bavarian Motor Werks” after all so it is fitting to have the color of blue from the city where the BMW brand is established. The third stripe is red which represents a partnership BMW had with Texaco in the early racing days. The middle color of purple represents the merging of the two companies, if you were to mix the blue and red together you get purple. This is a simple and elegant way to represent the partnership of the brands.