BMW M635CSi

STILL IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN.

The BMW M635CSi: BMW M first luxury sports car.

STILL IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN.

The BMW M635CSi: BMW M first luxury sports car.

Still in a class of its own.The BMW M635CSi: BMW M first luxury sports car.

If there is one model in the history of BMW M that represents its most significant era, it is the BMW M635CSi. In 1984, the four-seater continued the concept of high-performance 6-cylinder in-line engines that the legendary BMW M1 had established just a few years earlier. But like no other BMW M model before it, it embodied the ultimate symbiosis of luxury and high-performance. Considered avant-garde back then, today its typical M characteristics make it a sought-after classic.

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5 POWERFUL

FACTS:

  • 01 Top model of the E24 series
  • 02 Production period: 1984 to 1989
  • 03 5,855 were built
  • 04 BMW M88 in-line 6-cylinder engine
  • 05 210 kW (286 PS) peak output

AN EIGHTIES ICON.

Dubbing it ‘Sharknose’ and ‘Bayern-Express’, fans were quick to give the BMW M635CSi creative yet fitting nicknames. Then as now, it is regarded as the icon of the BMW E24 series, which was designed as a four-seater coupé with a front engine and rear-wheel drive. The first ‘Six’ had a production period of over 13 years – 1976 to 1989 – making it BMW’s longest lasting series. The sublime looks of this charismatic GT may well have contributed significantly to its longevity, and today they make the first BMW 6 Series a sought-after collector's item.

 

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BMW M635CSi

THE DESIGN: CONTEMPORARY YET TIMELESS.

Responsible for the BMW M635CSi progressive and timeless exterior design – and an absolute master in his field – is a name that should be familiar to every automobile enthusiast: Paul Bracq. The signature aesthetic of the then BMW chief designer is also unmistakable in the interior. Here, Bracq developed the concept of the driver-facing dashboard more effectively than had been seen in any previous series model.

The powerful sports coupé combines clear lines and a reduced form with a few deliberately chosen accents, creating a combination of accentuated sportiness and classic elegance that is still unrivalled in the eyes of many fans to this day. The most striking features are the tapered front end with its prominently positioned signature BMW kidney grille, and a front spoiler that extends down closer to the road surface.

 

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BMW M635CSi

The BMW M635CSi exudes an incomparable dynamism, especially when viewed from the side, while its silhouette is characterised by a stoic grandeur. The most conspicuous feature is its side line, which seems to run from the front to rear bumpers, imbuing character yet remaining subtle. The so-called waistline sits low down, creating space for the large windows that invoke memories of the first BMW 6 Series’ predecessors, such as the large sports coupes of the E9 series like the legendary BMW 3.0 CSL.

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TECHNOLOGY IN THE PURSUIT OF PROGRESS.

Technologically, too, the first 6 Series was unrivalled, with constant developments and innovations ensuring it stayed at the top for its entire construction period. While engineers relied on the proven carburettor engines for the first models, in later years only engines with intake-manifold injection were fitted under the bonnet. Exhaust gas purification and, in particular, the use of catalytic converters became increasingly important. In addition, modern electronics increasingly found their way into the four-seater coupé.

 

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BMW M635CSi Front links
BMW M635CSi Front
BMW M635CSi Motor
BMW M635CSi Interieur

BIRTH OF A SPORTS CAR.

The BMW 635CSi first appeared in the limelight in 1978, paving the way for the BMW M635CSi to follow a few years later. While the first Sixers showed their strengths primarily in smooth and comfortable driving, the BMW 635CSi focused much more on sportiness. The engineers made all kinds of adjustments, with the in-line 6-cylinder engine with 3.5 litres displacement and 218 hp being added to the engine range from 1978 onwards.

The chassis was also extensively revised, with reinforced stabilisers and tighter shock absorbers among the new additions. A limited-slip differential with a locking effect of up to 40 percent for even more dynamic pace rounded off the car’s sharpened technical base. On the outside, the BMW 635CSi was instantly recognisable thanks to the special decorative stripes on its flanks, new spoilers at the front and rear and BBS wheels with a cross-spoke design.

 

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BMW M635CSi: from racing to series production.

The BMW 6 Series E24 featured an inline 6-cylinder M30 engine with capacities of 2.8 to 3.5 litres. The only exception: the BMW M635CSi, developed by BMW Motorsport GmbH and produced in small quantities from 1984 onwards. Here, the legendary BMW M88 engine – whose first variant was used in the BMW M1, the ancestor of every BMW M built to date – ensured superior propulsion. The M635CSi’s high-performance engine drew up to 286 hp, thanks to higher compression and modifications to the ignition and injection system. This was nine hp more than the standard version of the M1, from just under 3.5 litres of displacement, and unlike the M30, it featured four instead of two valves per cylinder. Altogether, it made the BMW M635CSi one of the fastest four-seater models of its time.

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To keep the increased power in check, lucky owners of an M635CSi were given a reinforced 5-speed sports transmission, a revised chassis and a more powerful brake system. In addition, its larger battery moved to the rear to improve weight distribution and traction.

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BMW 635CSi Group A

Customer Racing BMW 635CSi Group A

BMW 635CSi Group A

SUCCESS IN MOTORSPORT.

Versions of the BMW 6 Series specially prepared for racing were another big hit, and many motorsport fans will remember its successes at various 24-hour races. The 635CSi celebrated victories in the 1983, 1985 and 1986 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps as part of the European Touring Car Championship (winning the overall championship in 1981, 1983 and 1986). This is also the race that its legitimate successor, the BMW M6 GT3, would go on to win exactly 30 years after the 635CSi final victory there.

BMW 6 Series (E24) models also won the 1984 and 1985 Nürburgring 24 Hours and scored other significant titles, such as Volker Strycek’s overall victory at the inaugural German Production Car Championship – the predecessor to the DTM touring car series – in 1984. In addition, the cars collected titles in the Japanese and Australian touring car championships.

 

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BMW M635CSi

BMW M635CSi. A STATEMENT.

BMW M635CSi. A STATEMENT.