Most BMW’s have identifying Model Numbers on the rear of the trunk
lid or in other locations,
The "5" refers to the Series, the
Other current Series numbers are 3 and 7. Series 6 and 8 were used
in the past. BMW has announced a 1 Series future model.
The "30" refers to the engine
displacement, 3.0 liters.
Current models run from 1.6 in the 3 Series
Compact to 5.0 in the 7 Series Sedan. These numbers are not always accurate;
the E30 325e and the E28 528e had the same engine, a 2.7 liter!
Many model numbers have a suffix, like
"d" in the picture above.
The "d" refers to a diesel
engine. A popular suffix is "i", which originally referred to an
Injected (fuel-injected) model, but has come to represent BMW performance, and it is applied to a number of models.
Here are some other
common suffix codes and what they mean:
|s = Sport
||These models have
sporting options like bigger brakes, stronger suspension, etc.
|e = Economy
"e" refers to the Greek letter "eta", which means
"efficiency". The eta engine was used in the 325e and 528e
|t = Turbo charged engine
||When used alone,
"t" can refer to gasoline or diesel
models. The "td" stands for " turbodiesel" while
"tds" refers to " intercooled turbodiesel".
|t = Touring
||For early models, " touring" could
refer to hatchback, wagon, or even sport versions.
|x = All Wheel Drive
|| The original
model was the E30 "ix", but the latest E46 3 Series AWD model is
|L = Long wheelbase
||Examples include the 7
Series Sedan, 750iL. Sometimes, "L" is used as a prefix,
like the "L6" and "L7" models. These models are
not only long, but they are also premium models, usually with extra
|C or c = Coupe
||Sometimes used with an
"S", like "Coupe Sport". The "C" code
is often used for luxury coupes like the 6 and 8 Series. The new E46
3 Series uses the "C" code, too.
A = Automatic transmission
||Rarely seen, for BMW
does not often advertise automatic transmissions! A common example
Here is another BMW model number:
The "M" stands for Motorsport, a
unique division of BMW. BMW Motorsport specializes in high performance
versions of BMW production automobiles.
The "M" logo usually appears with
distinctive racing stripes, like the above picture.
The "3" refers to the Series, the
3 Series. M cars have built in the 3, 5 and 6 Series models. The first M car
- the M1 - was a production version of a racing model. The M designator has
also been used with model numbers, like the M535i and the M635Csi.