The BMW M635 CSi is one of those cars from the ’80s that helped define performance motoring for the decade, and unlike its competitors from the era of big hair, keytars and trickledown economics – it’s still almost affordable.
The M88 engine used in the M635 CSi is one of the finest ever made by BMW, it’s the same unit used in the M1 supercar and a modified version of the engine used in the iconic BMW 3.0CSi. BMW introduced the M88 in 1978 and kept tweaking it until 1989 – giving it an impressive 11 year production run.
The inline-6 DOHC, 24-valve unit used in the M635 CSi had a swept capacity of 3.5 litres and produces 282 hp, power is fed to the rear wheels via a close ratio 5-speed transmission and a limited slip differential that was fitted as standard. In 1987 the team at Car and Driver tested the US-spec version of the M6 and managed a 0-60 mph time of 6.1 seconds – notably less than the official BMW time of 6.8 for the same spec car.
As a grand tourer, many consider the M635 CSi to be one of the best produced during the 1980s. It was a car that shared space near the top of the automotive food chain with Porsches, Aston Martins, Jaguars, and even Ferraris – the comparable Ferrari 412 had a 0-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds, 0.6 of a second slower than the BMW.
Bonhams have estimated the value of this particular M6 at £20,000 to £25,000, which seems like bargain bin pricing when you look at the skyrocketing values of the car’s peers from the same era. With styling that is clearly influenced by the BMW 3.0CSi and that M badge on the trunk, it’s very likely that this model is overdue for one of those spikes in value that leave you wishing you’d picked one up when it was only expensive – rather than extortionate.
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