BMW Model Identification
114 1602 – 2002tii
118 1500, 1600-4, 1800, 1800tii
121 2000, 2000ti, 2000tilux
E3 2500 – 3.3Li
E6 1600, 1800, 2000 touring
E9 2500CS – 3.0 CSi
E12 5 Series cars from 1974 to 1981
E21 3 Series cars from 1976 to 1983
E23 7 Series cars from 1977 to 1986
E24 6 Series cars from 1976 to 1989
E28 5 Series cars from 1981 to 1987
E30 3 Series cars from 1984 to 1991
E31 8 Series cars from 1989 to 1997
E32 7 Series cars from 1986 to 1994
E34 5 Series cars from 1987 to 1995
E36 3 Series cars from 1991 to 1999
E36/7 Z3 Roadster
E38 7 Series cars from 1994 to 2001
E39 5 Series cars from 1995 to 2001
E46 3 Series cars from 1999 to 2003
E52 Z8 Roadster
E53 X5 SAV
E65 7 Series cars from 2002 (short wheelbase)
E66 7 Series cars from 2002 (long wheelbase)
E85 Z4 Roadster
What do these letters on the back of my car mean?
i Fuel Injected
is Fuel Injected – Sports. Sports package, with better suspension, sway bars, etc..
ic Fuel Injected – Cabriolet, Convertible models
e ETA model. Built by BMW as efficiency-minded cars during the 1980’s
Ci Fuel Injected – Coupe. This designation is used on most modern BMW’s
CSi Fuel Injected – Sports Coupe.
iT Fuel Injected – Touring. BMW’s station wagon.
iX Fuel Injected – All Wheel Drive.
Ti Fuel Injected – Touring Compact.
Tii Fuel Injected – Touring International. Used only on early cars.
M Motorsports. M3, M5 for example, BMW’s hot rod.
L Long wheelbase. A car that has a longer body than the standard model.
What is the difference between a 525i and a 535i? A 325i and a 318is?
With the exception of the early cars, 1600, 1800, 2002 etc., BMW has usually used a three digit numbering system to identify models. The first number refers to the Series, for instance 318is would be a 3 Series, while a 740iL would be a seven series. The last two numbers are typically the engine displacement of a particular model, So, a 318is Would mean a 3 Series, Fuel Injected 1.8 litre engine with the sports package. The 740iL would refer to a 7 Series, Fuel Injected 4.0 litre engine in long wheelbase. Keep in mind that the last two numbers do not always mean actual engine displacement.
What are they talking about when they say my 325i has an M20?
Usually BMW uses an M or S designation to identify their engines. In most cases several different engines would be used in a particular series, such as a 2.8, 3.5, and 4.0 all being available in the 5 Series. Here is a breakdown of the various designations and engines. For each engine listed, there is usually a displacement code. For instance, an M20 B27 would be an M20 engine with a 2.7L displacement.
These are old engine codes that are no longer used.
M41 4 Cylinder 1.6L DIDTA carburetor
M42 4 Cylinder 1.8L DIDTA carburetor
M49 6 Cylinder 3.4L 24-valve Motorsport twin-cam
M60 6 Cylinder 2.0L and 2.3L carburetor or fuel injection
M68 6 Cylinder 2.5L and 2.8L carburetor
M69 6 Cylinder 3.2L fuel injection
M86 6 Cylinder 2.8L fuel injection (L-Jetronic)
M90 6 Cylinder 3.5L
M92 4 Cylinder 1.8L fuel injection (K-Jetronic)
M99 4 Cylinder 1.8L 2B4 carburetor
M102 6 Cylinder 3.2L turbocharged
These are the current engine codes used.
M10 4 Cylinder 1.6, 1.8L or 2.0L single overhead cam, timing chain.
M20 6 Cylinder 2.0, 2.3, 2.5 or 2.7L single overhead cam, timing belt.
M21 6 Cylinder 2.4L Diesel single overhead cam, timing belt.
M30 6 Cylinder 2.5, 2.8, 3.0, 3.2, or 3.4L single overhead cam, timing chain.
M40 4 Cylinder, SOHC, Cambelt
M41 4 Cylinder Diesel
M42 4 Cylinder 1.8L DOHC
M44 4 Cylinder 1.9L DOHC
M50 6 Cylinder 2.0, 2.3, or 2.5L DOHC
M50TU 6 Cylinder 2.0, or 2.5L DOHC, VANOS variable intake
M51 6 Cylinder Diesel
M52 6 Cylinder 2.0, 2.3, 2.5, or 2.8L DOHC, VANOS variable intake
M52TU 6 Cylinder 2.5 and 3.0L DOHC, VANOS variable intake and exhaust
M54 6 Cylinder 2.5 and 3.0L DOHC, VANOS variable intake and exhaust
M56 6 Cylinder 2.5L DOHC, Dual VANOS, SULEV (low emissions)
M60 8 Cylinder 3.0 or 4.0L
M62 8 Cylinder 3.5 or 4.4L
M70 12 Cylinder 5.0L
M73 12 Cylinder 5.4L
M88 6 Cylinder 3.5L, 24 valve Motorsport engine, Double row timing chain (HI COMP)
S14 4 Cylinder 2.3L DOHC Motorsport engine (only in the E30 M3)
S38 6 Cylinder 3.6 or 3.8L DOHC Motorsport engine, single row timing chain (LOW COMP)
S50 6 Cylinder 3.0 or 3.2L DOHC, Dual VANOS Motorsport engine (Non-US M3)
S50US 6 Cylinder 3.0 or 3.2L DOHC, Single VANOS Motorsport engine (US M3)
S52 6 Cylinder 3.2L DOHC, Dual VANOS Motorsport engine
S54 6 Cylinder 3.2L DOHC, Dual VANOS Motorsport engine
S62 8 Cylinder 5.0L quad cam, quad VANOS Motorsport engine
S70 12 Cylinder 5.6L Motorsport engine