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All E38s produced until 09/94 had upholstery codes consisting of four numbers (i.e. 0551 = Standard Montana Leather, Black). From 09/94 onwards, BMW changed to a somwhat more intuitive system of four characters, with the first two denoting the upholstery type and seam pattern, and the last two denoting the colour (i.e. N6SW = Standard Montana Leather, Black). However, with upholstery codes created from 09/98 onwards, BMW no longer distinguished between basic, extended, and full leather. An example of this is L7 or V1, both of which were used in V12 and non-V12 models.

Additionally, when looking at Individual Data, it is important to note BMW specified the “seam pattern” of the upholstery, where applicable. For example, if a customer ordered Nappa leather, but wanted it to look like a Montana leather seat, the seam pattern was specified as N6/N8. Likewise, if a customer ordered a seat with Montana leather, but wanted it to look like Nappa, the seam pattern would be specified as N9/P1 or P4/P5 depending on the type of seat.

This upholstery page is divided in two sections:

Upholstery Codes – Regular Production

These upholstery codes were regularly available without a special order, but not all codes were available in all markets in all production years.

Upholstery – BMW Individual – Sonderpolsterung (Z1XX)

This indicates a special order via BMW Individual, and could range from a different upholstery not regularly available in a certain market at a certain time (for example, full black Nappa leather for a UK market E38 in 2001, to a one-off interior in Porsche Star Ruby with Amethyst carpets. The possibilities were almost endless, and a few thousand customers took full advantage of the BMW Individual catalog at the time! This is where you will find the wildest interiors.