Before Group A racing kicked off in 1982 – thanks to the FIA – the car nuts out there used to compete in what was called Group 2 racing. The two races are drastically similar in concepts but a couple of changes were done in terms of regulations for Group A, to make sure that the cars competing were also spotted on the street and were not created solely for racing purposes. One such car was the BMW 635CSi.
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Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the gran tourer of the BMW range was, without a doubt, the E24 6 Series. That car was also the weapon of choice when it came to racing. And even though Group A regulations demanded that at least 5,000 units have to be sold of a certain model before it is allowed to race in FIA-sponsored events, the 6er remained the go-to model.
The 635CSi version featured an M30-based straight six engine initially, making a bit over 200 HP in road-going guise. Since the car in the video below is a Group 2 model, it was most likely built before 1982 and therefore used the M30B34 engine upgraded for racing specs. Later on, the road-legal model received the M30B35 and M88/3 engines on the revised 635CSi model and M635CSi version correspondingly.
As for the racing version, the cars usually had around 300 HP, as they were limited by their respective categories in terms of straight-up HP output. The interiors were also stripped down to make sure the cars didn’t weigh more than 1,200 kg (2,645 lbs), therefore turning them into proper rockets. Chip in the fact that ABS was just a fancy acronym back then and you’ll soon start to grasp the amount of courage you must’ve needed to get in and drive such a car to its absolute limit, especially on a hillclimb event such as the one shown below.