BMW 6 Series (E24)

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BMW 6 Series (E24)
1988 BMW 635CSi - 1.jpg
BMW 635CSi
ProductionJanuary 1976–1989[1]
86,216 built[2]
AssemblyDingolfing, West Germany
Rheine, West Germany
DesignerPaul Bracq[3][4][5]
Body and chassis
Body style2-door coupé
LayoutLongitudinally-mounted, Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
EngineAll straight-6s:
2.8−3.5 L M30
3.5 L M90
3.5 L M88/3
3.5 L S38
Power output135–210 kW (184–286 PS; 181–282 hp)
Transmission4-speed manual
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,626 mm (103.4 in)
LengthEU: 4,755 mm (187.2 in)
US: 4,923 mm (193.8 in)
Width1,725 mm (67.9 in)
Height1,354–1,365 mm (53.3–53.7 in)
Curb weight1,450–1,619 kg (3,197–3,569 lb)
PredecessorBMW New Six Coupe (E9)
SuccessorBMW 6 Series (E63)

The BMW E24 is the first generation of BMW 6 Series grand tourer coupés and was produced from January 1976 to April 1989. It replaced the E9 coupés and was, after a 16-year hiatus, succeeded by the E63 6 Series in 2004. The E24 was produced solely in a 2-door coupe body style.[6] Aside from the M635CSi/M6 models, the E24 was powered by a range of M30 straight-6 engines.

The M635CSi is the first of the BMW M6 model line and is the second true "M car" produced after the BMW M1. The M635CSi is powered by the M88/3 straight-6 engine.[7] In North America, the vehicle is badged simply as "M6" and is powered by the detuned S38 straight-6 engine, which has a lower compression ratio and uses a catalytic converter.[8]

Although the 8 Series was released as production of the E24 was ending, the 8 Series is considered a separate model line and therefore not a true successor to the E24.[9]

Development and production[edit]

The initial proposal for the E24 was a based on a BMW E9 3.0 CS with an increased height, in order to make it easier for customers to get into the car. However, Bob Lutz rejected the proposal, eventually leading to the shape of the E24 in its production form.[10] Unlike its E9 predecessor, the body of the E24 has a B pillar.[11]

Production started in January 1976 with the 630CS and 633CSi in February 1976. Originally the bodies were manufactured by Karmann, but production was later taken in-house to BMW. Initially, the E24 was based on the E12 5 Series platform.

Suspension and steering[edit]

Front suspension consists of MacPherson struts and the rear suspension is independent semi-trailing arms.[12] In 1982, the front suspension was upgraded to include twin-pivot lower control arms and the geometry of the rear suspension was revised.[13]

The steering uses a recirculating ball system with power assistance.[14]


Initially, the E24 was available with a 4-speed manual transmission (Getrag 262),[15] a 5-speed manual transmission (Getrag 265),[15] or a 3-speed automatic transmission (ZF 3HP22).[16]

In 1983 the automatic transmission was upgraded to a 4-speed ZF 4HP22.[17]


Figures are for European specification models, unless otherwise stated. [2]

Model Year(s) Engine Power Torque Top Speed Notes
628CSi 1979-1987 M30B28 135 kW (184 PS; 181 hp) at 5,800 rpm 235 N⋅m (173 lb⋅ft) at 4,200 rpm 215 km/h (134 mph)
630CS 1976-1979 M30B30V 136 kW (185 PS; 182 hp) at 5,800 rpm 255 N⋅m (188 lb⋅ft) at 3,500 rpm 210 km/h (130 mph)
630CSi 1977-1977 M30B30 131 kW (178 PS; 176 hp) at 5,500 rpm 251 N⋅m (185 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm 210 km/h (130 mph) US only
633CSi 1976-1983 M30B32 145 kW (197 PS; 194 hp) at 5,500 rpm 285 N⋅m (210 lb⋅ft) at 4,000 rpm 215 km/h (134 mph)
635CSi 1978-1982 M90 160 kW (218 PS; 215 hp) at 5,200 rpm 304 N⋅m (224 lb⋅ft) at 4,000 rpm 222 km/h (138 mph)
1982-1989 M30B34 163 kW (222 PS; 219 hp) at 5,200 rpm 310 N⋅m (229 lb⋅ft) at 3,500 rpm 222 km/h (138 mph)
1988-1989 M30B35 155 kW (211 PS; 208 hp) at 5,700 rpm 305 N⋅m (225 lb⋅ft) at 4,000 rpm 225 km/h (140 mph)
M635CSi 1983-1989 M88/3 210 kW (286 PS; 282 hp) at 6,500 rpm 340 N⋅m (251 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm 255 km/h (158 mph)

M version[edit]

1985 BMW M635CSi
BMW M88/3 engine of the M635CSi
Rear seat beverage chiller

The E24 M635CSi, introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1983, is the first in the line of M6 models. In 1987, the equivalent model for the North American (U.S. and Canada) market was introduced and badged simply M6.

The M635CSi is powered by a 210 kW (286 PS; 282 hp) version of the M88/3 engine.[18] The North American M6 vehicle is powered by the detuned 191 kW (256 hp) version of the S38 engine, which has a lower compression ratio and uses a catalytic converter.

Over its production run from 1983 through 1989, 4,088 M635CSi cars were built, 1,767 of which were for the North American market.[19]

Model year changes[edit]


In July 1978, the more powerful 635CSi variant was introduced. The 635CSi featured a close-ratio 5-speed gearbox and a single piece black rear spoiler. The M90 engine's bigger bore and shorter stroke resulted in 160 kW (215 hp) and increased torque in models without a catalytic converter. The aerodynamic changes reduced uplift at high speeds by almost 15% over the other E24 models.[20]


In 1979 the carburetted 630CS was replaced with the 628CSi;[21] this car had a fuel-injected 2.8L engine taken from the E12 528i. An anti-lock braking system became available as an option.


In 1980, the fuel-injection systems changed from Bosch L-jetronic to Bosch Motronic.[22] The 635CSi central locking system could now be operated from the passenger door and trunk.

1982 facelift[edit]

1984–86 BMW 635CSi

In 1982 (model year 1983 in the US), the E24 platform changed from the E12 5 Series to the E28 5 Series, resulting changes to exterior styling, engines, chassis, suspension, electronics and the interior.

The 635 CSi engine was updated to the 3,430 cc (209 cu in) M30B34, which used a smaller bore and longer stroke than the previous 3,453 cc (211 cu in) M90 engine. The 635CSi became available with a wide-ratio 5-speed manual or an automatic.


1987-series 635CSi

E24s produced after June 1987 were fitted with ellipsoid headlamps, as per the recently introduced E32 7 Series.[23] The front and rear bumpers and spoilers were redesigned to use a single design worldwide[24] (prior to this, models sold in North America used a different design from the rest of the world).

The 635CSi engine was updated to the higher compression M30B35,[25] which resulted in a power increase of 19 kW (25 hp) for engines with catalytic converters.

North America and Japan model range[edit]

Although other markets offered multiple E24 models, in North America only one model was available at any given time (aside from the M6).


In 1977, the 6 series was released in the US as the 630CSi. The 630CSi is powered by a fuel-injected version of the carburetted 630CS available elsewhere. This 3.0 litre engine produces 176 hp (131 kW) and 185 lbf⋅ft (251 N⋅m).


The 630CSi was replaced in September 1977 by the 633CSi.[26] In United States/Japan specification, the 633CSi was powered by a 181 hp (135 kW) version of the M30B32 engine. Output later dropped to 174 hp (130 kW).

In September 1980 (1981 model year), the manual transmission for US cars was upgraded from a 4-speed to a 5-speed. A 3-speed automatic transmission was optional.[27]

In September 1982, the major facelift (for all markets worldwide) resulted in the North American and Japanese models being based on the E28 5 Series platform.


1980's United States market 635CSi

In 1985, the 633CSi was replaced by the 635CSi for the North American Market.[28] This model uses the M30B34 engine, which produces 182 hp (136 kW) and 214 lbf⋅ft (290 N⋅m) at 4,000 rpm. An L6 "luxury edition" version of the 635CSi was available in North America for the 1987 model year. The L6 featured leather headliner and trim and an automatic gearbox.[29]

In 1988, the engine was upgraded to the M30B35. This engine has a capacity of 3.4 Litres (despite the model code and the "3.5" inscribed on the intake manifold) and produces 208 hp (155 kW) and 225 lbf⋅ft (305 N⋅m) torque. This upgraded engine resulted in catalytic converter equipped United States models offering similar performance to European models.[28] Self-leveling rear suspension was added to the 635CSi and M6 features list.[28]


1987 BMW M6 (North American Model)

In 1987, North America and Japan received their M version of the E24, called the M6. The main difference between the M6 and its European counterpart, the M635CSi, is that the S38 engine is used instead of the M88. Compared with the M88, the S38 has a catalytic converter, the compression ratio reduced to 9.8:1, a double row timing chain, a shorter camshaft duration and a simplified exhaust manifold. The power output for the North American E24 M6 is 256 hp (191 kW), which is 30 hp less than the European M635CSi.[19]

Standard equipment on the United States market M6 cars included many features which were optional on the European cars, including heated power seats, self-leveling rear suspension, beverage chiller (cooled by an air-conditioning system) between the rear seats, air-conditioning vents for rear seat occupants, sunshade for rear occupants and an 8 speaker premium sound system.[30]


Achievements in championships and series:

Race wins:


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