The Top 20 BMW Cars of All Time
The follow-up act to the E9, the E24 6 Series coupe, is still one of the Roundel brigade’s prettiest designs, even though it first went on sale in Europe 40 years ago. And the prettiest version of the Ur-6er – the M6 – has brains and brawn to go with all that beauty. When it was introduced as the M 635 CSi in late 1983 as an ’84 model for the European market, the car featured a handsome aero body kit and a retuned version of the M1’s M88 3.5L straight-six under its hood, good for 282 horsepower. The U.S.-spec car that came along in 1987 used a less high-strung but same-sized engine rated at 256 horsepower; both engines were teamed exclusively with a 5-speed manual transmission.
The M 635 CSi was quickly selected as the BMW factory’s weapon of choice for Group A touring car racing, wrapping up championships and big-name-race wins across Europe and the western Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Macau). Yet away from the track, the ultimate stock E24 was a proper grand tourer, with room for two ( two more if they weren’t taller than average height) and a trunkload of luggage, remarkably civilized road manners…until you really put the spurs to it. It truly was – and if you can find a nice original one, still is – the best of both worlds.