9.1.1: 3.0 History
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 20:54:07 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: 3.0S
> Is it likely to be a "CS" or was there really an "S" made? If so does the
> "S" stand for "sedan" ? Also, I have seen several references to "vanos"
In markets other than the US, the 3.0S is the standard 3.0 liter
4 door E3 sedan. There were also 'Si' versions, which were fuel
injected, and 'L' and 'Li' versions, which were the long wheelbase
In the US, the nomenclature used on the E3 sedans was a bit complicated.
When they were first introduced in '69, there were two models available,
the 2500 and the 2800. The 2500 used a 2.5L engine, and was relatively
"stripped" as far as equipment was concerned. The 2800 had the 2.8 motor,
and came more or less fully loaded with equipment that was optional on
The 2500 and 2800 didn't sell too well, due to their high prices, so
the then-US-importer of BMWs, Max Hoffman, came up with the idea
of the Bavaria for '71. This was basically a 2500 sedan with the
2800 motor, i.e., a stripped 2800. This was a US-only model. I believe
the Bavaria nameplate was used "connect" the car with its German origins.
The trick was, other than the nameplate, that the price of the Bavaria
was much lower than the 2800's, and considerably lower than the 2500's.
It apparenly worked -- BMW sold quite a few Bavarias.
Then in '72, the 3.0L engine was introduced, partially to compensate
for the reduction in power from the increasing emissions controls.
The Bavaria continued on, but now with the larger motor. Some of
the trim on the car, such as the taillights and air extraction
vents were changed for '72. Also in '72, BMW resurrected the idea
of having 2 sedan models, and thus, the 3.0 S came to the US. The
3.0S was meant to be the loaded model. All of the 3.0S's I've
seen have been fully loaded -- leather, power windows and sunroof,
rear headrests, A/C, etc. So from '72 through '74, there were
2 sedan models, the Bavaria and the 3.0S.
Then finally, there was one final change for '75. The Bavaria
was dropped at the end of '74, and fuel injection finally appeared
on a big-6 in the US. The 3.0Si was introduced in the US as the only
E3 sedan for '75. The 3.0Si that ended up here was much different
from the earlier euro-only 3.0Si. The euro 3.0Si was often a stripped
car with a D-Jetronic, high compression 3.0liter, good for 200HP (there
was a change to L-Jetronic around '75 in europe too). The US 3.0Si had
the same motor as the 530i, with the thermal reactors, EGR, air pump,
retarded ignition, etc., and was good for only ~176HP. The US models
also came loaded (again, all of the US 3.0Si's I've seen have been
loaded) like the US 3.0S. This model continued through '76, when
it was dropped in the US, to be replaced by the E23 733i in '78.
Hope this was useful or at least interesting.....