After the C I, C II and C III locomotives, which were also six-coupled, the C IV was the first Bavarian freight locomotive that no longer had an outer frame. It was manufactured by Krauss and Maffei from 1884. The locomotives of type C IV had slightly larger wheels than their predecessors and thus not only reached 40 or 45 km/h, but were designed for 50 km/h. In addition, they were built with an air brake, which was not a matter of course for freight trains at that time.
In 1889, two examples with a two-cylinder compound engine were delivered, which proved to be superior to the production model. In addition to the increase in efficiency and performance due to the double steam expansion, the boiler pressure was increased, which was now twelve instead of eleven bars. Thus, from 1892 onwards only engines of composite design were manufactured, while the production of the simple machines came to an end the following year after a total of 87 units. A further 98 units were added to the two test locomotives, so that a total of 100 compound units were built by 1897. The series models had an even higher boiler pressure and a larger cylinder diameter.
Although the locomotives were soon no longer able to cope with the increased loads on main lines and were also too weak for many freight trains on branch lines, the Reichsbahn took over a large number of them as the class 5380-81. The simple locomotives were retired by 1926, the others survived five years longer.