BMW 6 Series (E24)

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BMW 6 Series (E24)
BMW 633 CSi Front-Side.JPG
BMW 633 CSi
Manufacturer BMW
Production 1976–1989
86,216 built[1]
Assembly Dingolfing, West Germany
Rheine, West Germany
Designer Paul Bracq[2][3][4]
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupé
Layout FR layout
Engine 2.8−3.5 L M30 I6
3.5 L M90 I6
3.5 L M88 I6
3.5 L S38 I6
Transmission 4-speed manual
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,626 mm (103.4 in)
Length EU: 4,755 mm (187.2 in)
US: 4,923 mm (193.8 in)
Width 1,725 mm (67.9 in)
Height 1,354–1,365 mm (53.3–53.7 in)
Curb weight 1,450–1,619 kg (3,197–3,569 lb)
Predecessor BMW New Six Coupe (E9)
Successor BMW 6 Series (E63)

The BMW E24 is the first generation of BMW 6 Series grand tourer coupes and was produced from 1976 to 1988. It replaced the E9 coupes and was replaced, after a 16-year hiatus, in 2004 by the E63 6 Series. It was solely produced in the 2-door coupe body style.[5] Aside from the M635csi/M6 models, the E24 was powered by a range of M30 straight-6 engines.

The E24 M635csi (called the M6 in the United States and Japan) is considered the start of the M6 model line. In most markets, the M635csi is powered by the M88 straight-6.[6] In the United States and Japan, the M6 is powered by the less powerful S38 straight-6 engine.[7]

Although the E31 8 Series was released as production of the E24 was ending, the 8 Series is considered a separate model line and therefore not a successor to the E24.[8]

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.[9] Unlike its E9 predecessor, the body of the E24 has a B pillar.[10]

Production started in March 1976 with two models: the 630 CS and 633 CSi. 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.[11] In 1982, the front suspension was upgraded to include twin-pivot lower control arms and the geometry of the rear suspension was revised.[12]

The steering uses a recirculating ball system with power assistance.[13]


Initially, the E24 was available with a 4-speed manual transmission (Getrag 262),[14] a 5-speed manual transmission (Getrag 265),[14] or a 3-speed automatic transmission (ZF 3HP22).[15]

In 1983 the automatic transmission was upgraded to a 4-speed ZF 4HP22.[16]


Figures are for European specification models, unless otherwise stated.

Model[1] Year(s) Engine Power Torque Top speed Notes
628CSi 1979-1987 M30B28 135 kW (181 hp)
@ 5800 rpm
235 N·m (173 lb·ft)
@ 4200 rpm
215 km/h (134 mph)
630CS 1976-1979 M30B30 136 kW (182 hp)
@ 5800 rpm
255 N·m (188 lb·ft)
@ 3500 rpm
210 km/h (130 mph)
630CSi 1977-1977 M30 3.0CSi 131 kW (176 hp)
@ 5500 rpm
251 N·m (185 lb·ft)
@ 4500 rpm
210 km/h (130 mph) US only
633CSi 1976-1983 M30B32 145 kW (194 hp)
@ 5500 rpm
285 N·m (210 lb·ft)
@ 4000 rpm
215 km/h (134 mph)
635CSi 1978-1982 M90 160 kW (215 hp)
@ 5200 rpm
304 N·m (224 lb·ft)
@ 4000 rpm
222 km/h (138 mph)
1982-1989 M30B34 160 kW (215 hp)
@ 5200 rpm
310 N·m (229 lb·ft)
@ 3500 rpm
222 km/h (138 mph)
1988-1989 M30B35 155 kW (208 hp)
@ 5700 rpm
305 N·m (225 lb·ft)
@ 4000 rpm
225 km/h (140 mph)
M635CSi 1983-1989 M88/3 210 kW (282 hp)
@ 6500 rpm
340 N·m (251 lb·ft)
@ 4500 rpm
255 km/h (158 mph)

M version[edit]

1985 BMW M635CSi
BMW M88 engine of the M 635 CSi
Rear seat beverage chiller

The E24 M635CSi, introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1983, is considered the first in the line of M6 models. In 1987, the equivalent model for the United States and Japan was introduced and badged as an M6.

The M635CSi is powered by a 210 kW (282 hp) version of the M88 engine.[17] United States and Japan models were powered by a 188 kW (252 hp) version of the S38 engine, which has a lower compression ratio and uses a catalytic converter.

Over its production life of 1983-1988, 4,088 M 635 CSi cars were built, and 1,767 M6 cars were built for the United States.[18]

Model year changes[edit]


In July 1978, the more powerful 635 CSi variant was introduced. The 635 CSi 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.[19]


In 1979 the carburetted 630 CS was replaced with the 628 CSi;[20] 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.[21] The 635 CSi central locking system could now be operated from the passenger door and trunk.

1982 facelift[edit]

1984–86 BMW 635 CSi

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 635 CSi became available with a wide-ratio 5-speed manual or an automatic.


E24s produced after June 1987 were fitted with ellipsoid headlamps, as per the recently introduced E32 7 Series.[22] The front and rear spoilers were redesigned, with a single design used worldwide[23] (prior to this, models sold in the US used a different design to the rest of the world).

The 635 CSi engine was updated to the higher compression M30B35,[24] 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).

630 CSi[edit]

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

633 CSi[edit]

The 630 CSi was replaced in September 1977 by the 633 CSi.[25] In United States/Japan specification, the 633 CSi was powered by a 181 hp (135 kW) version of the M30 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.[26]

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.

635 CSi[edit]

1980s United States market 635 CSi

In 1985, the 633 CSi was replaced by the 635 CSi for the North American Market.[27] This model used the M30B34 engine, which produced 182 hp (136 kW) and 214 lbf·ft (290 N·m) at 4,000 rpm. An L6 "luxury edition" version of the 635 CSi was available in North America for the 1987 model year. The L6 featured leather headliner and trim and an automatic gearbox.[28]

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 United States models (with catalytic converters) offering similar performance to European models.[27] Self-levelling rear suspension was added to the 635 CSi and M6 features list.[27]


1988 BMW M6 (North American model)

In 1987, the United States and Japan received their M version of the E24, called the M6. The main difference between the M6 and its European counterpart (the M 635 CSi) is that the S38 engine is used instead of the M88/3. Compared with the M88/3, 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 E24 M6 is 256 hp (191 kW).[18]

Standard equipment on the United States market M6 cars included many features which were optional on European cars, including heated power seats, self-levelling 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 sound system.[29]


Achievements in championships and series:

Race wins:


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  2. ^ Norbye, Jan P. (1984). BMW - Bavaria's Driving Machines. Skokie, IL: Publications International. p. 220. ISBN 0-517-42464-9. 
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  4. ^ Lewin, Tony. The Complete Book of BMW: Every Model since 1950. Motorbooks International. p. 111. ISBN 0-7603-1951-0. 
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  15. ^ "6' E24 633CSi Automatic transmission". Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  16. ^ "6' E24 628CSi Automatic transmission". Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  17. ^ "BMW M635CSi: Shark in a sharp suit". Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  18. ^ a b "FAQ E24 M635CSi/M6". Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  19. ^ "Model Evolution - 1978". Retrieved 6 May 2017. 
  20. ^ "Model Evolution - 1979". Retrieved 6 May 2017. 
  21. ^ "Model Evolution - 1980". Retrieved 6 May 2017. 
  22. ^ "Model Evolution - 1987". Retrieved 24 October 2010. 
  23. ^ "6' E24 635CSi Front Spolier M Technic". Retrieved 7 May 2017. 
  24. ^ "6' E24 635CSi Volume air flow sensor". Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  25. ^ "6'E24 630 CSi - model selection". Retrieved 11 May 2017. 
  26. ^ "Road Test Annual & Buyer's Guide 1981". Road & Track (Jan-Feb 1981): 84. 
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