2022 Shannons Autumn Timed Online Auction

1981 BMW E12 M535i Saloon





Engine 3.5 litre six-cylinder
Gearbox Five-speed manual
Body Work Sedan
Colour Polaris Silver
Interior Black
Trim Cloth
Wheels Alloy
Brakes Disc/disc


This lot is no longer available

BMW’s E12 was the first generation of its now-famous 5 Series executive model range and was produced between 1972 and 1981. Initial models were powered by in-line four cylinder engines, either on carburettors or fuel-injection, and then in 1973 BMW introduced the first model powered by a straight-six engine. BMW was yet to introduce an M5 performance model, however the E12 M535i of 1980 is considered to be its predecessor. The first M-badged 5 Series M535i was powered by the 3.5 litre M90 straight-six engine producing 160kW, hooked up to a five-speed close-ratio dogleg manual transmission, with a limited-slip differential and larger brakes. Other features included sports suspension, Recaro sport seats, and a steering wheel from the BMW M1, plus optional were front and rear spoilers, and M-striping. The E12 was replaced by the E28 5 Series in 1981, although the tooling was sent to South Africa where E12 assembly continued (with E28 interiors) until 1984. A total of 1650 M535i cars were produced (including 240 CKD for South Africa).