The 1976-89 BMW E24 6-Series - The Ultimate Big M Coupe
For those of us that can recall the 1980's BMWs, will most likely remember the BMW's tagline, The Ultimate Driving Machine. This tagline was used for all of BMW's automotive products, but for some of us BMW enthusiast it was a true statement for the Motorsports "M" cars.
BMW offered a good range of economical everyday coupes, sedans, luxury sedans, sports coupes and a sports cars during the 80's. For those that wanted the ultimate in style, luxury and with two doors, then the only true choice was the 6-Series cars. BMW code named E24 came in a few variances. The styling was a viewed as an evolving continuation of the previous E9 2800, and 3.0 CS. Both are big luxury sports coupe designs featuring large open green house cabin feel and beautiful architectural styling.
For this article, I would like to focus on our favorite E24 6-Series, the M6 (M635CSi for rest of world). The BMW Motorsports division had been around for a few years by the time the E24, E28 and E30. Mostly focusing on developing winning BMW race cars for the European Touring Car series and Formula One power plants. The first street car to be developed by BMW Motorsport Division was the BMW super car, M1. In 1984, the BMW Motorsport Division then moved into tuned or modifying variants of the 5 series and 6 series cars for the European or rest of world market. These early cars were given several upgrades and a "M" on the badge. The "M" badge wasn't introduced to the North American Marketing until late 1986 for the 1987 model year for the M6 and M3.
The M6 was both special and very expensive for the North American marketing. With MSRP starting at $58,720 before options. Although the BMW M6 was less costly as a Porsche 928 in 1987 ($72,000 est.), it was more expensive than a base Porsche 911 ($42,095). The M6 was an exclusive car, with low production numbers. For the North American Market (US and Canada) only 1,767 were produced from 1987 to 1989.
Since the M6 was developed by BMW's Motorsports team, means the car had to perform. Today, the performance numbers from the M6 are not that impressive, but in the 80's these numbers were very impressive. The dead stop race to 60 mph is reached in 6.1 seconds, and the quarter-mile marker in 14.7 seconds at 94 mph (Car & Driver).
If you would like to read more about the 1987-89 BMW M6, click the Car & Driver M6 Review.
If you want to check out our M6 click here. 1987 BMW M6
Below are some period advertisements for the 6-series cars.
Some videos of the M6 back in the day.
A more modern road test of the M6. Please note: the journalist make note of the sloppy shift hand. The shift probably needs new bushings. A proper functioning shifter is tight and somewhat notchy.
Another showing of M6 love.