The class C V machines were the first express locomotives in Europe to have a 4-6-0 wheel arrangement. They went back to a design that Maffei had created on its own account and presented in 1896 at the Bavarian State Exhibition. The original design was intended for both passenger and freight trains and therefore had coupled wheels with a diameter of only 1,640 mm. The Bavarian State Railways bought this locomotive and put it into service as a test. It was finally decided to purchase it as a pure express locomotive with a coupled wheel diameter of 1,870 mm and only in a reinforced version. However, the increase in the size of the wheels was accompanied by a reduction in the tractive effort, so that in normal operation the maximum speed of 90 km/h could only be used with trains of a maximum of 160 tonnes.
At the request of Anton Hammel, director of Maffei, a bar frame that was still rarely found in Germany was used. While the trend in the north of the country was back towards two-cylinder locomotives with single steam expansion, Hammel ushered in the era of express train locomotives with four-cylinder compound engines in southern Germany with the C V. The thinking prevailed here that the disadvantages of the more maintenance-intensive inner cylinders and cranked axles are more than compensated for by the lower consumption.
Between 1899 and 1901, 42 examples were built, which were pushed into lower-level services by new locomotives from 1903 onwards. They remained in service longer in their new working area, but after the First World War a relatively large proportion of 17 locomotives had to be handed over to France as reparations. The remaining locomotives were taken over by the Reichsbahn and became the class 173. This showed that they were still classified as express locomotives. They were retired by 1930.