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Old 07-04-2005, 06:50 PM   #1

Name: 1985_318i
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New to Bimmers What do model letters mean

I have just recently purchased my first Bimmer (1985 318i) for $500 and I am loving it. Their is however one thing I still do not understand and that is the letters after the model number. I get the numbers (318=3-series 1.8l) but what do the letters mean such has the 318i, 325e, 325i, etc, etc, etc. Thank you and I hope to visit often.
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Old 07-04-2005, 08:42 PM   #2
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Name: cainchapman
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In general, they have 3 digit codes. The first is for the series and the last 2 for the nominal engine size. e.g 318i, is a 3 series, 1.8l injected motor (hence the i). Now the motor size does not work for some of the E36 & E46 exactly at least, as the 323 can have a 2.5l motor. The e suffix is the economy motor. iS is the Sport, LE is Limited Edition, iL is for the limo version. CSL, Coupe Sports Light. M is the most important letter in the BMW dictionary.

This doesn't work for 2002 models and the older stuff either.
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Old 07-05-2005, 12:44 AM   #3
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Hopefully this will help a bit: http://www.unitedbimmer.com/forums/thread53.html

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Old 07-05-2005, 07:30 AM   #4

Name: 528man
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welcome, looks like you got the info you were looking for. Please stop by more than often, we are glad to have you here.
1997 528i
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Old 07-05-2005, 08:14 PM   #5
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C = coupe
i = fuel injected
x = all wheel drive
L = long wheel base
s = sport
ti= touring internationale
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Old 07-11-2005, 05:21 PM   #6

Name: Beelzibub
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Has everybody above helped or confused you???? Well read the following and see what you make of it.

e36 316i had 1.6 ltr units but 98>00 e46 had a 1.9ltr and then reverted to a 1.8ltr in 01.

e36 318i's had 1.8 ltr but 98>00 e46 had a 1.9ltr then from 01 a 2.0ltr.

e39 520i started with a 2.0ltr unit which was replaced in 2000 with a 2.2ltr.

e39 523 always had a 2.5ltr - the 523 was replaced in 2000 with the 525. The reason for the earlier model being called a 523 is thus > Bmw made two 2.5 ltr engines a 170bhp one which was placed in the 323i and a 195bhp one for the 325i. As the 523 used the 170bhp unit it took the title of 523 to stay in line with the 3 series naming convention in the 2000 revamp however they decided to use the 195bhp unit so the car became a 525i - again in keeping with the 3's.

Sorry to rattle on but you asked.
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