The first 327, launched in 1937, was a cabriolet. In 1938, this was joined by a fixed head coupé version. The car was shorter and lower than its sedan counterpart, but shared the famous BMW grill and a streamlined form representative of the more progressive designs of the 1930s.
Mechanically, the car utilised the hydraulic brake control, gear box, clutch and front suspension system first seen on the BMW 326, along with the live axle used on the BMW 320 and BMW 328. The BMW M78straight-6 engine was used. The advertised top speed was 125 km/h (78 mph).
A higher-powered model, the 327/28, was offered with the M328 engine. 569 of these high-powered 327/28 cars were built up to 1940.