BMW 5 Series (E12)

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BMW 5 Series (E12)
BMW 528 (E12) – Frontansicht, 22. August 2013, Münster.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer BMW
Production June 1972[1]–1981
Assembly Dingolfing, Germany
Rosslyn, South Africa[2]
Designer Marcello Gandini,[3]
Paul Bracq
Body and chassis
Class Executive car (E)
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FR layout
Related BMW 6 Series (E24)
Powertrain
Engine 1.8-2.0 L M10 I4
2.0-2.5 L M20 I6
2.5-3.4 L M30 I6
3.5 L       M90 I6
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,636 mm (103.8 in)
Length 4,620 mm (181.9 in),
4,826 mm (190.0 in) - USA only
Width 1,690 mm (66.5 in)
Height 1,425 mm (56.1 in)
Chronology
Predecessor New Class sedans
Successor BMW 5 Series (E28)
E12 Interior

The BMW E12 is the first generation of BMW 5 Series mid-size luxury sedans, which was produced from June 1972 to 1981. It replaced the New Class sedans and the initial models were powered by inline-4 engines, using either a carburettor or fuel-injection.

A year after launch, the first model powered by a straight-6 engine was introduced. The E12 models transitioned towards straight-6 engines, with most of the models in the final years of the E12 generation being powered by a straight-6 engine.

There was no M5 model for the E12, however the E12 M535i is considered to be the predecessor to the M5.[4][5]

The E12 was replaced by the E28 in 1981, although E12 production continued until 1984 in South Africa.

Styling[edit]

The lead designer for the E12 was Paul Bracq.[6][7][8]

At the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, BMW unveiled the 2200ti Gamish concept car, a 2-door sedan which was developed in conjunction with Bertone.[9] Although the 2200ii Gamish concept car was shown as a potential replacement for the New Class sedans, the eventual E12 production model is visually very different to the concept car.

BMW had previously located turn signal stalks on the right hand side of the steering wheels, and the E12 was their first model to have the stalk on the left side.[10][11]

Engines[edit]

M10 4-cylinder engine

The 518, 520 and 520i models were fitted with the 1.8 L and 2.0 L M10 four-cylinder engines, as per the previous New Class sedans. The 525, 528, 530, 530i and 533i models were fitted with M30 six-cylinder engines, as used in the New Six large sedans and E9 coupes.

The 518 had its fuel supplied by a Solex carburetor,[12][13] while the four-cylinder 520 model used twin Stromberg 175CDET carburettors.[14][15] The six-cylinder 525 and 528 models used dual Zenith INAT two-barrel carburettors.[16][17]

Fuel-injected models have the letter i at the end of their model designation. The 520i used the Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection system from the 2000tii and 2002tii.[18] The 530i (only sold in the USA) used Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection to supply its M30 engine.[19]

The 1976 facelift saw 520 model switch from the M10 four-cylinder to the M20 six-cylinder engine (which was initially named "M60", but renamed to M20 in mid-1981), and the model is often referred to as the 520/6. The four-cylinder 2.0 continued to be used in South Africa, due to local content laws. Even after the M20 entered local production in 1979, the 2-litre M10 continued to be available with "518" badges in South Africa.[20] The 1976 facelift also saw the 525 and 528's dual Zenith carburettors were replaced with a single Solex 4A1 DVG four-barrel.[21][22] The 528 was produced until September 1977, replaced by the fuel-injected 528i, which began production in July 1978.[23]

Drivetrain[edit]

The 4-speed manual transmission options consisted of:[24]

  • Getrag 242 4-speed (for M10/M20/M30 engine models)
  • Getrag 262 4-speed (M30 engine)
  • ZF S4-18/3 4-speed (M30 engine)

The 5-speed manual transmission options consisted of:

  • Getrag 235 5-speed (M10 engine)
  • Getrag 245 5-speed (M10/M20 engines)
  • Getrag 265 5-speed (M30 engine)

The automatic transmission options- all 3-speed transmissions- consisted of:

  • ZF 3HP12 (M10 engine)
  • ZF 3HP20 (M30 engine)
  • ZF 3HP22 (M20/M30 engines)
  • BorgWarner BW65 (M30 engine)

Models[edit]

The following models were produced in this series.[25] All power and torque figures are manufacturer claims, measured according to the German Standard DIN 70020.

Model Engine Power Torque Years
518 M10 (M118)
I4
66 kW (89 hp)
@ 5,500 rpm
142 N⋅m (105 lbf⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
1974−1981
520 M10 (M17)
I4
85 kW (114 hp)
@ 5,800 rpm
162 N⋅m (119 lbf⋅ft)
@ 3,700 rpm
1972−1977
520i M10 (M64)
I4
92 kW (123 hp)
@ 5,700 rpm
172 N⋅m (127 lbf⋅ft)
@ 4,350 rpm
1972−1975
96 kW (129 hp)
@ 5,800 rpm
178 N⋅m (131 lbf⋅ft)
@ 4,500 rpm
1975−1977
520/6 M20B20
I6
92 kW (123 hp)
@ 6,000 rpm
160 N⋅m (118 lbf⋅ft)
@ 4,000 rpm
1976−1981
525 M30B25
I6
107 kW (143 hp)
@ 6,000 rpm
211 N⋅m (156 lbf⋅ft)
@ 3,700 rpm
1973−1976
110 kW (150 hp)
@ 5,800 rpm
208 N⋅m (153 lbf⋅ft)
@ 4,000 rpm
1976−1981
528 M30B28
I6
125 kW (168 hp)
@ 5,800 rpm
234 N⋅m (173 lbf⋅ft)
@ 5,800 rpm
1975-1976
121 kW (162 hp)
@ 5,800 rpm
234 N⋅m (173 lbf⋅ft)
@ 4,000 rpm
1976−1978
528i M30B28
I6
129 kW (173 hp)
@ 5,800 rpm
235 N⋅m (173 lbf⋅ft)
@ 4,300 rpm
1977−1978
USA only
126 kW (169 hp)
@ 5,600 rpm
230 N⋅m (170 lbf⋅ft)
@ 4,500 rpm
1979−1981
USA only
135 kW (181 hp)
@ 5,800 rpm
235 N⋅m (173 lbf⋅ft)
@ 4,200 rpm
1978−1981
530 M30B30
I6
130 kW (170 hp)
@ 5,800 rpm
250 N⋅m (180 lbf⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
1975-1978
South Africa only
530i 131 kW (176 hp)
@ 5,500 rpm
251 N⋅m (185 lbf⋅ft)
@ 4,500 rpm
1975-1978
USA only
530
MLE
147 kW (197 hp)
@ 5,800 rpm
251 N⋅m (185 lbf⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
1976
South Africa only
533i M30B32
I6
147 kW (197 hp)
@ 5,500 rpm
290 N⋅m (210 lbf⋅ft)
@ 4,250 rpm
1979-1981
M535i M90
I6
160 kW (210 hp)
@ 5,200 rpm
310 N⋅m (230 lbf⋅ft)
@ 4,000 rpm
1979-1981

Special models[edit]

Motorsport versions[edit]

Beginning in 1974 BMW Motorsport offered the Motorsport 530 or 530i as an special order upgrade for the 525/528/528i, exchanging the engine for the 3-litre 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp)[26] engine from the BMW 3.0S or the fuel-injected 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp)[27] engine from the BMW 3.0Si.[28] Other modifications were a rear axle ratio of 3.45:1 (3.25:1 for the 530i),[27] a 25% LSD, vented disc brakes, Bilstein shock absorbers, Scheel or Recaro sports seats, a sports steering wheel, light alloy wheels on lower profile tyres plus optional (often omitted) front-rear air-dams/spoilers.[28] Later, the similar Motorsport 533i and 535i packages were available for the 528i but featuring the 3.2L and 3.5L engines from the 633CSi and 635CSi. [29][30]

M535i[edit]

However, the first M-badged 5 Series is the M535i,[31] which began production in 1979. The M535i is powered by the 3.5 L (214 cu in) M90 straight-six engine which produces 160 kW (215 bhp). The sole gearbox choice is a 5-speed manual and 1,650 M535i cars were produced.[32] Features include front and rear spoilers, sports suspension, Recaro sport seats, the steering wheel from the BMW M1, a dogleg close-ratio transmission, a limited-slip differential and larger brakes.[33][34][35]

530 MLE[edit]

In South Africa, the 530 MLE was produced as a homologation special for racing, with 218 cars produced.[36][37] The engine is a 3.0 L (183 cu in) M30, producing 132 kW (177 bhp).[38] Significant weight reduction measures were undertaken, included body panels made from aluminium or thinner steel.[39]

Model year changes[edit]

1974[edit]

  • 518i model introduced

1975[edit]

  • On the 520i model, Kugelfischer injection was replaced by Bosch K Jetronic.[40]
  • 528 model introduced

1976 facelift[edit]

With the introduction of the E23 7 Series, the E12 received facelift in September 1976. The styling was overseen by Claus Luthe.[41] The rear-mounted gasoline filler door was relocated to the side of the car and the taillights were widened. The hood was redesigned to a give a 'power bulge' which accentuated the BMW kidney grille, and the dashboard ventilation was repositioned to improve air distribution.

pre-facelift (1972-1976) 
post-facelift (1976−1981) 
post-facelift (1976−1981) 

1978[edit]

  • The 528i model (using Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection) replaces the 528 (which used two Solex Zenith 35/40 INAT carburettors)

1979[edit]

  • 533i and M535i models introduced

North American models[edit]

Initially, only the fuel-injected six-cylinder 530i was sold in the USA. Changes for American-market E12s include lower compression pistons, larger bumpers (designed to withstand a 5 mph (8.0 km/h) collision without body damage), exhaust gas recirculation, an air pump and modified exhaust manifolds called Thermal Reactors.[42]

In an attempt to convince BMW that a more powerful air conditioner was needed for the United States market, two BMW engineers were subjected to a long trip to Texas in the rear seat of a black BMW 530i with the power windows disabled.[citation needed]

For the 1979 model year, the 528i replaced the 530i.[43] To reduce emissions, the thermal reactor and air pump system were replaced with a 3-way catalytic converter and the car's Bosch L-jetronic fuel injection system was now fitted with an exhaust gas oxygen sensor.[44][45] Power was reduced by 5 kW (7 bhp), and the presence of the catalytic converter meant that unleaded gasoline (petrol) was required.[42]

Critical reception[edit]

While being commended for its acceleration and build-quality, Modern Motor criticised the 1978 528i for unpredictable handling and excessive body roll.[46][47] Steering corrections during cornering meant the car's body "lurches back annoyingly and messily", in part due to the soft springing and hard damping combination. In comparison to the Jaguar XJ3.6 and Peugeot 604, the car was viewed as narrow and cramped in the rear and prone to wind noise.[48]

Production[edit]

The production total for the E12 is 699,094 units,[49] including 23,100 produced in South Africa. and over 780 produced in indonesia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://bmw-grouparchiv.de/research/detail/index.xhtml?id=3596843
  2. ^ "Photoshoot with the iconic BMW E12 M535i". www.bmwblog.com. Retrieved 19 August 2017. 
  3. ^ "Automotive History: The Cars Of Claus Luthe". www.curbsideclassic.com. Retrieved 19 August 2017. 
  4. ^ Ramey, Jay (ed.). "Watch BMW look back at the M5's predecessor [BMW commercial]". www.autoweek.com. Retrieved 19 August 2017. 
  5. ^ "The Seven Best BMW 5-Series of All Time". www.roadandtrack.com. Retrieved 19 August 2017. 
  6. ^ Norbye, Jan P. (1984). "Expanding on Excellence: The 5-Series and 3-Series". BMW - Bavaria's Driving Machines. Skokie, IL: Publications International. p. 209. ISBN 0-517-42464-9. Dimensionally, the 5 Series differed only slightly from its New Class predecessors, but Paul Bracq's modern, stylish four-door body was far less boxy in appearance. 
  7. ^ "Legendary Car Designer Paul Bracq Remembers His BMW Years". www.carscoops.com. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  8. ^ "The First 5 Series Changed It All for BMW". www.roadandtrack.com. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  9. ^ "Rare BMW concepts from the sixties". www.bimmerin.net. Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  10. ^ "2.5CS-3.0CSL 3.0CSL Switch". www.realoem.com. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  11. ^ "5' E12 520 Steering column switch". www.realoem.com. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  12. ^ "1974 BMW 518 E12". www.carfolio.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  13. ^ "1975 BMW 518 (model up to mid-year 1975 for Europe ) specifications & performance data review". www.automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  14. ^ "1972 BMW 520 E12". www.carfolio.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  15. ^ "1972 BMW 520 (model since mid-year 1972 for Europe Australia ) specifications & performance data review". www.automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  16. ^ "1973 BMW 525 E12". www.carfolio.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  17. ^ "BMW 528 Automatic, 1975 MY". www.carfolio.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  18. ^ "13511259882 Exch. INJECTION PUMP". www.realoem.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  19. ^ "5' E12 530i FUEL INJECTION L-JETRONIC". www.realoem.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  20. ^ Haler, Justin, ed. (July 1979). "BMW's small six 520". SA Motor. Randburg, South Africa: SA Motor (Pty) Ltd. 17 (7): 26. 
  21. ^ "1976 BMW 525, 1978 MY E12". www.carfolio.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  22. ^ "BMW 528 Automatic, 1976 MY E12". www.carfolio.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  23. ^ "1977 BMW 528i (model since mid-year 1977 for Europe Australia ) specifications & performance data review". www.automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  24. ^ "5' E12 Model Selection". www.realoem.com. Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  25. ^ Models table data sources:
  26. ^ "BMW 530 Motorsport". e12.de. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  27. ^ a b "BMW 530i Motorsport". e12.de. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  28. ^ a b "BMW M Registry - FAQ E12 M535i". www.bmwmregistry.com. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  29. ^ "BMW 533i Motorsport". e12.de. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  30. ^ "The Story of 40 Years BMW M ‒ The BMW M5". gtspirit.com. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  31. ^ "The BMW 5-Series: A Personal Look Back". www.jalopnik.com. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  32. ^ "Baureihe BMW 5er (E12)". www.bmw-grouparchiv.de (in German). Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  33. ^ "BMW History: The M535i". www.bmwblog.com. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  34. ^ "E12 M535i General Information". www.m535i.org. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  35. ^ "BMW E12 M535i 35th anniversary - road test". www.drive-my.com. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  36. ^ "Forgotten Beginnings – 530 MLE". www.drive4corners.com. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  37. ^ "530 MLE E12". African Muscle Cars. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  38. ^ "BMW E12 5 Series 530 MLE (South Africa) Specs". www.ultimatespecs.com. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  39. ^ "BMW 530 Motorsport Limited Edition". www.firstfives.org. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  40. ^ "5' E12 520i FUEL INJECTION K-JETRONIC". www.realoem.com. 
  41. ^ "Tan, But Not Beige: 1980 BMW 528i E12". www.dailyturismo.com. Retrieved 19 August 2017. 
  42. ^ a b Road & Track's Road Test Annual & Buyer's Guide 1979, Greenwich, CT: CBS Publications, January–February 1979, p. 83 
  43. ^ "5'E12 528i model selection". www.realoem.com. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  44. ^ "Converting a 530i to L-Jetronic with Lambda Control". www.firstfives.org. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  45. ^ "1979 BMW 528i (model for Europe Australia ) specifications & performance data review". www.automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  46. ^ "BMW's 528i vs Holden's Kingswood [road test]", Modern Motor, p. 29, February 1978 
  47. ^ "Driving Every Generation of the BMW 5 Series". www.topgear.com. Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  48. ^ "Giant Test: Peugeot 604-v-Jaguar XJ3.4-v-BMW 528/ Tough test for the new boy on the block", Car, pp. 58ff (7 pages), November 1975 
  49. ^ Oswald, Werner (2001). Deutsche Autos 1945-1990, Band 4 (1. ed.). Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-02131-5.