History of BMW E24 6-series



  • The information on the pages covering the E24 history is based on year of production rather than year of sale.
  • The technical information is based on the original German specification, unless otherwise noted.
  • Introductions of new models, options etc. may have been delayed or even postponed in some countries, due to local restrictions or requirements.
  • If you find errors or think that important information is missing please do not hesitate to contact me by email. All input, good or bad, are appreciated.



In the early and mid seventies BMW decided that the coupe tradition that had been so successful with the era of 1965-75 coupes needed a successor. BMW had created a tradition and an image with beautiful models like the 2000 C/CS and the e24-6-series-precursor 3.0-3.5 CS/CSi/CSL coupes, that had to be transfered to the new generation of coupes.

The management at BMW were conviced that the next generation of coupes for the late seventies and the eighties needed to be a six cylinder, high-tech and luxury coupe with an image of its own. The body needed to be strong enough to withstand the compulsory and extensive crash tests needed for legislations in many countries.


Production highlights

This list shows the production years and the highlights for each year.

To get more detailed description of each year, click on a specific year, either in this list or in the menu above.


  • 1976 - Introduction in march 1976. Two models available, 630 CS and 633 CSi (630 CSi in US)
  • 1977 - Assembly brought from Karmann to BMW
  • 1978 - Introduction of 635 CSi. 5-speed gearbox available. US got the 3210cc engine (633 CSi)
  • 1979 - Introduction of 628 CSi. 630 CS withdrawn from model range. First generation of DME in 633 CSi. ABS brakes available as an option.
  • 1980 - 635 CSi got the same DME as 633 CSi
  • 1981 - New rear bumper and new rims
  • 1982 - Body reworked, made it lighter and stronger. New front and rear end (chassi), ABS brakes standard in all E24 models. New 3430cc engine in 635 CSi. New engine management, DME II, in 635 CSi. Reworked interior. 633 CSi no longer available in Europe.
  • 1983 - New 4-speed automatic gearbox. Last production year for 633 CSi.
  • 1984 - Introduction of M635 CSi. Improved headlights. 635 CSi got the foglamps integrated with front spoiler. Electronic/hydraulic control of the 4-speed automatic gearbox in 635 CSi.
  • 1985 - Catalytic version of 635 CSi available. SRS (airbag) available. In some contries, including Sweden and Swiss, the 635 CSi was equiped with 204 bhp engine from 735i.
  • 1986 - Shadow line option available. Aircondition in rear seat available as option. New rear spoiler (optional in some contries).
  • 1987 - New engine management, DME III, introduced. Catalyst version of M635 CSi available. Elipsoid headlamps and foglamps from 06/87. New bumpers with integrated impact absorbers from 06/87. Last year of production for 628 CSi.
  • 1988 - Same specification as late -87 models.
  • 1989 - Last year of production. Last E24 left the factory april 6 1989.


Production numbers

Last on each page covering each model year there is a table showing production numbers for that specific year.

There is also a complete table covering all model years, you find the page here and in the menu above.


Engine specs

Engine specifications has changed and developed through the years. I have compilated a table that show available engines within each model for each production year and also what specification changed through the years. You find the page here and in the menu above.


Source of information


  • Original factory brochures for BMW 6-series 1976-1989
  • Technical department at BMW AG, München
  • General persecution of friends, BMW workshop technicians and others


Recommended books:

BMW 6-Series Jeremy Walton Arco publishing Inc ISBN 0-668-06147-2
Das Grosse BMW Coupe Buch Stefan Schrahe and Hans Friedrich Andexer HEEL-Verlag GmbH ISBN 3-89365-287-6
BMW Coupés A Tradition of Elegance BMW Mobile Tradition Partnumber 01 09 0 004 125
BMW M Series Performance Portfolio Brooklands Books Ltd ISBN 185520 2107
BMW Sondertypen Ralf J.F. Kieselbach Motorbuch Verlag Stuttgart ISBN 3-613-01597-8