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  the BMW 6 Series

  "the E24"


The BMW 6 (codenamed the E24) appeared in 1976, borrowing much of its design and mechanics from the upcoming E23 7 series and provided a much-needed replacement for its predecessor, the E9 30CS/i Coupe. Most of the first models were produced at Karmann's Osnabruck plant before production was brought under the BMW roof a year later. The new Coupe, whose models were aptly marked 'CS' (standing for 'Coupe Sport') were available primarily in two models. You could have a 3.0 litre single carburetor model, the 630CS, or you could opt for vastly more grunt with fuel injection and a bigger 3.3 litre engine in the 633 CSi.

The 633Csi was a more spacious, luxurious example of the sporting archetype than the 630CS, also introducing a handy innovation replicated throughout today's modern cars. This new feature was Check Control, a status-reporting system which allowed the driver to check brake fluid, windscreen washer and oil levels with a push of the 'TEST' button, the system also reported failures in brake lights and lining. The 6s also debuted with the first on-board computer and a (now commonplace) service interval indicator.

In 1978, the 635CSi joined the line-up and in 1979, the entry-level 628CSi tempted buyers into the driver's seat of a six.

A 1983 M635CSi, with 286bhp.

In 1983, at the Frankfurt show, the defining 6 series achievement was heralded with the introduction of the M635CSi. This high-performance six boasted the same award-winning M-power engine which propelled the fabulously fast BMW M1, with 6 cylinders and 4 valves for each, totaling a capacity of 3453cc. The 'M6' became one of the fastest cars on the market, encompassing 0-60mph (0-100km/h) in a cool 6.4 seconds (Some sources have stated that time as low as 6.0 seconds). A number of additions to the M635CSi's design 'toughed her up' with respect to the 635CSi. BMW served up stiffened suspension appropriated by Bilstein shocks, more resilient anti-roll bars and stiffer springs. The brakes sported 300mm ventilated discs, and to tolerate 286bhp, a stronger clutch and gearbox was fitted. The M6 only appeared as a manual, with limited slip differential as standard.

M markings on both front and rear of the M635CSi. (Right) BMW trademark front double kidney grille accompanied by a discreet 'M' and (Left) 'M' logo fixed above the right tail-light.


All 6s undertook minor facelifts in mid-1987, only for the 628CSi to be discontinued in 1988. As it happened, the 'M6' represented the last major addition to the 6 series which was discontinued in 1989, in favour of a new 8 series. The last car rolled of the assembly line in on April 6, 1989 after a production effort of 80,361 units over a decade and a half.

The M6 (M635CSi) accompanied by the M1 from which its highly developed and powerful M-Power engine is derived.

Extract & Photo: BMW Car, Feburary 2003: Kent, Unity Media



628CSi 630CS 633CSi 635CSi M635CSi
engine M30 6cyl. M30 6 cyl. M30 6 cyl. M30 6 cyl. S38 6cyl., 24 valve, twin cam
capacity 2788cc   3210cc 3430cc 3453cc
max power 184bhp 185bhp 200bhp 220bhp 286bhp
max torque - - 290Nm 315.5Nm 341.4Nm
weight     1490kg 1570kg 1570kg
top speed 212km/h 210km/h 215km/h 229km/h 150mph
0-100km/h - - - 8.4 secs, 7.4 secs** 6.4 secs
economy       26.6mpg 25.0mpg
new price     A$47815    
All E24s were fitted with straight-six (in-line) M30 engines. Most were 12 valve units barring the 24 valve S38 6 cylinder in-line engine which graced the M635CSi (the M6). The 630CS was the only 6 to sport an engine without fuel injection (notice the absence of the 'i' extension).
ft/lb to Nm multiply by 1.36 (200ft/lb = 272Nm).
BHP to kW multiply by 0.735 (200 bhp = 147.0kW).

The Verdict
The BMW 6 series is indeed a very capable motor vehicle even today when most examples are usually well worn and preloved.
The 6 takes age with grace, still flaunting the charms which made it great only a decade and a half ago. If your looking to buy a 6, beware that these cars are meant to be driven, were built for the joy of driving and that your chances of finding a unit with low miles under the bonnet are minimal. That said, spend in the higher end of the bracket to get a well-maintained auto and the six won't disappoint. These are well-made vehicles and higher milages with proper care are still great little operators suitable for an invigourated driving experience. The 6s remain much faster in everyday traffic and still hold their own against newer and more efficient models. The 6 is a sleek and wonderful car and BMW hasn't made anything like it since. The new 6 series set for a 2004 release doesn't seem to be targeting the same bracket and might just be a watered down 7 series with distinctive looks. [As this goes to print, 15-Jul-03] So all you six series fans, don't take too much hope from BMW's newest creation just yet.

Specific Profiles

E24 Sample Vehicle - 633CSi
Model: BMW 633CSi
Year: 1978
Type: E24
Engine: M30 6cyl. In-line
Capacity: 3.2L / 3210cc
Photo: 2000,






E24 Sample Vehicle - 635CSi
Model: BMW 635CSi
Year: 1978
Type: E24
Engine: M30 6cyl. In-line
Capacity: 3.4L / 3430cc
Photo: 2000,

Further Images - BMW 6

Important series-specific notes

All 635s are not equal in terms of specifications. In June 1982 the older M30 engine used in pre-'82 models was discontinued and newer M30 engines (used in the 6's cousin, the 7 series E23) was outfitted in all 635s subsequent. This engine has a higher fuel efficiency rating courtesy an innovative computer control system and is far more desirable. (There is negligible difference in power output between the Pre '82 M30 engine and the Post '82 edition).

US models due to strict anti-pollution legislation were only permitted minimal emissions. As a result, the average US imported six was weaker in power terms (when compared to European editions) and weighed anywhere up to an additional 85kg.

ABS was only offered as an option on early 6s. LSD provided the option on later models.

Automatic 6s weighed up an extra 20kg compared to their manual counterparts.

Luxury Versions
Designated the 'L6' in the United States, it was a luxury edition of the six available in only automatic form, compliant with lower emission standards and a susequent victim of reduction in power. In the UK, its comparable counterpart was the 635CSi 'Highline' with manual transmission as an option. This model had leather head lining, leather door skins and a leather dashboard amongst other features.

Further 6 Series Resources:

E24 Face-off:635CSi vs. M635CSi (the M6)
Buying Guide and Maintenance Issues (6 series)
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Last Updated:
Saturday, May 19, 2007 18:41 WST

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