There is no particular significance to the numbering sequence. The numbers
simply designate the various chassis designs. the 3 Series cars have been
with us for a long while, and come on several different platforms, these
platforms are defined by the E Nunmber. Obviously, the same holds true for
the various iterations of the 5- and 7 Series cars as well.
While that seems to be true today, there are huge gaps in the numbering
sequence, and a lower number could (in theory) be used at some point in the
future. Another truism today is that the numbers are all E, and they are all
2-digit (plus the letter) numbers. They will run out of numerals if they
continue on the current trend, this would mean they need a new letter, or
expand to 3-digits.
Given that the people assigning them are German engineers, I doubt
they're random; it's just that from outside, we don't see what system
they're using. The only real puzzle is the move from small jumps
between models to where we are now: E30 - E36 - E46, E22 - E32-E38,
E28-E34-E39, those are almost linear and all of a sudden we're in the
90s? Some internal change used up a lot of E numbers. I'm curious if
what we're seeing now, with the 3-series having different numbers for
each chassis, was always going on internally. Or maybe the E47 is a
BMW Polo shirt in lime green.
Porsche did the same thing. The 911 went from 964 to 993, then
slowed to 996 and 997? The Boxster came out *after* the 993, and it's
the 986; could be right though, since I don't remember when the
concept for the Boxster appeared. It might have been before the 993
"Everybody wants a normal life and a cool car;
most people will settle for the car." Chris Titus
2003 BMW 325i Black/Black, 2003 BMW Z4 Black/Black
Regarding Porsche numbers, coincidence or not, here it goes:
- the 930 came after the 911, with a 3 liter engine;
- the 964 was the fist 4wd Carrera 4 (besides 959 supercar that came
- the 993 came out in 1992 but as 1993 model year;
- the 986 Boxster came out in 1996; the same as the 996...
For the rest, I do not know...
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