1986 BMW M635CSi

By 1986, BMW’s high-performance credentials had been thoroughly satisfied with such groundbreaking cars as the M1 and the 2002 Turbo, cementing the company’s reputation as a maker of driver’s cars. As the successor to the storied 3.0CSL, the M635CSi is a standard 6-Series on BMW Motorsport steroids. Lifting the M88 inline six from the aforementioned M1 supercar, the M635CSi is certainly no slouch. The motor is a highly developed high-performance unit good for 286 horsepower, an eyebrow-raising figure for a naturally-aspirated engine in that era of low-horsepower, emissions-controlled motors. Of course, as the top-flight BMW car (the M1 went out of production several years before), all of BMW’s luxury and comfort options were available—but first and foremost, the M635CSi was made to drive hard, with BMW Motorsport suspension tweaks and larger brakes. Able to sprint to 60 mph in six seconds flat (an impressive feat in the mid-1980s), the M635SCi also had the good taste to appear relatively stock to passersby, in stark contrast to the wild 3.0CSL “Batmobiles” of the 1970s—nothing was much different outside save a different front air dam and a couple of Motorsport badges. That’s a good thing, as the “E24” six series’ sharknosed proportions are an enduring reminder of an era where this big coupe was as much a status symbol as it was an amazing driver.

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