The BMW 633CSI was a variant of the first BMW 6 series, the BMW E24, a successor to the BMW E28 series. With model years ranging from 1978 to 1984, the 633CSI is now known as a stylish BMW powered by a reliable engine, decent interiors, and durable components. Today, the BMW 633CSI is an option worth a second-look among second-hand buyers searching for an old bimmer that can still handle the rigors of daily driving.
1978: Introducing the BMW 633CSI
Production for the E24 Series started in 1976, beginning with the two models: the 633CSI and the 630CS. However, it wasn’t until 1978 that the first model was officially launched in the US. The E24 was meant to replace the CSL and CS coupes that were first manufactured in 1965. The initial plans for the E24 were to increase its height to make getting into and out of the car easier. But EVP of Sales Bob Lutz was against the decision. So he presented a different version that was soon used as basis for the 6 Series. Initially, the bodies for the 633CSI and 630CS were made by Karmann, a German manufacturer. However, production was absorbed by BMW in the later years.
During its first year on the US market, the E24 was sold as a 630CSI. In mid-1978 however, the 630CSI was replaced with the 633CSI. From its introduction until 1984, the US 633CSI was equipped with a 3.2L M30 that could produce 181 horsepower.
1980s: Cosmetic and engine upgrades
1983 models for the US market were given a cosmetic upgrade. The changes included a better interior and a redesigned exterior. This redesigned exterior would then redefine the look of the 633CSI, with many considering this model as one of the most stylish units produced by BMW. Technical revisions were also done on 1983 E24s by upgraded them with rear and front suspension system and a new chassis that was based on the E28. Despite a moderately successful run, the BMW 633CSI variant was discontinued in 1984 to make way for a more modern successor.
Even though the 633CSI was discontinued, other E24s continued on and received several upgrades. In 1987, E24 units were equipped with ellipsoidal headlights for improved light beam projection. To meet US regulations, vehicles for the US market were upgraded with thicker bumpers that can withstand impact at 5mph. In 1988, E24s were sold with the new M30, a 304L engine. With a modernized Motronics/DME and a bigger compression ratio, E24s with this engine produced a whopping 208 horsepower and 225 lb/ft. of torque.
Today, the BMW 633CSI continues to attract buyers looking for a reliable second-hand BMW. To address the needs of car owners looking for 633CSI parts, components are still available through select retailers of classic BMW parts. Old units are also commonly found on wrecking yards since the demand for parts are still on the rise.