# BMW E numbers.

• posted on September 9, 2006, 11:59 am
A couple of weeks ago there was a question about finding the E number for a car. Just out of curiosity, have the E numbers any real significance? They seem to be almost randomly allocated.
Mike.
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• posted on September 9, 2006, 4:07 pm
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.

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• posted on September 11, 2006, 1:33 pm
Jeff Strickland wrote:

The only real significance is that the bigger numbers are later designs.
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-Fred W

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• posted on September 11, 2006, 2:46 pm

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.
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• posted on September 11, 2006, 3:00 pm
Jeff Strickland wrote:

Wikipedia suggests a new letter - table at bottom of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E36
Of course, it's Wikipedia, so...
Andrew
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• posted on September 11, 2006, 5:01 pm
Andrew Morton wrote:

But it indicates an F1 is the next 5 series car scheduled for 2008. That's pretty close timeframe. Maybe they know something here?
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-Fred W

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• posted on September 14, 2006, 10:28 pm

And I'm already planning on replacing my Z4 (E85) with a Z10 next year!! (Like Jeff said, "it's Wikipedia, so...")
Tom K.
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• posted on September 11, 2006, 4:06 pm
Jeff Strickland wrote:

I saw a list once that explained many of the "missing" numbers at the time. They were mostly cars that went through some part of development before they were canned.
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-Fred W

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• posted on September 9, 2006, 8:16 pm
wrote:

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 was released.     epbrown -- "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
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• posted on September 14, 2006, 10:14 pm
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 before); - 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...