BMW 7 Series (E32)
|BMW 7-Series (E32)|
|Designer||Ercole Spada; Hans Kerschbaum (1983)|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Full-size luxury car (F)|
|Body style||4-door saloon (sedan)|
3.0-3.4 L six-cylinder BMW M30
3.0-4.0 L V8 BMW M60
5.0 L V12 BMW M70
6.7 L V16 Goldfish
|Wheelbase||SWB: 2,833 mm (111.5 in)
LWB: 2,947 mm (116.0 in)
|Length||SWB: 4,910 mm (193.3 in)
LWB: 5,029 mm (198.0 in)
|Width||1,845 mm (72.6 in)|
|Height||SWB: 1,400 mm (55.1 in)
LWB: 1,435 mm (56.5 in)
|Curb weight||735i: 1,720 kg (3,790 lb)
740i: 1,790 kg (3,950 lb)
750i: 1,800 kg (4,000 lb)
735il: 1,792 kg (3,951 lb)
740il: 1,830 kg (4,030 lb)
750il: 1,930 kg (4,250 lb)
After almost 7 years in development since September 1979, in July 1986, BMW introduced the second generation of the 7 series, known internally as the E32. Aimed at the high end of the luxury market, the car offered some of the latest innovations in automotive technology, and (beginning in 1987) a new, top-of-the-line V12 engine. First BMW featuring EDC III Electronic Damper Control. Some luxury options featured on the E32 included integrated telephone and fax machines, a wine cooler, double glazing, Automatic Stability Control + Traction (ASC+T) traction control system, and a system that automatically increased spring pressure on the windscreen wipers to keep them firmly pressed on the glass at Motorway speeds. The E32 (750i) was the first car adhering to BMW's self-imposed speed limit of 250 km/h (155.37 mph) because it could reach 300 km/h (186 mph) very easily (according to the product brochure for the American market in 1986).
The car was also available in a stretched version (indicated by an 'L' from German Lang, after the model number), in which case an extra 11.4 centimetres (4.5 in) of leg room was available to the rear passengers by stretching the rear doors, and the body at this point.
The styling is credited to then-chief stylist Ercole Spada and Hans Kerschbaum working under the guidance of then-chief designer Claus Luthe. Design work began in late 1979, in which by 1983 1:1 scale models were presented and frozen in 1984 for 1986 production.
Production of the BMW E32 series concluded in 1994 with a total of 311,068 units built.
The BMW 750iL Highline was the top-of-the-line model of the E32, with lots of added luxury for the rear passengers like full leather, dual radio controls, dual climate control with coolbox mounted in the center console, electrically heated and adjustable rear seats, walnut veneer folding tables, two crystal glasses neatly placed in the coolbox, legrests, and sun shade all around the rear/side windows. Complete with independent heating and ventilation, it also added a second battery in the trunk and a second alternator to provide power for all these luxuries. The 'Highline' option package cost more than 20,000 DEM (€10,000 equivalent), and was only available on the 750iL, bringing the total price to well over twice that of a 'basic' 730i ('basic' to be taken in context).
767iL Goldfish prototype
The 767iL Goldfish was a single prototype of E32 car powered with V16 engine. It was conceived in 1987 and built by the end of 1988. Because of the length of the engine, the cooling system (radiator) was moved to the trunk and additional vents were added at the rear.
The E32 7-series cars were offered with 5 gasoline engines.
In 1992, a new 32-valve V8 engine was introduced, the M60. The 730i got this engine in a 3-liter version, while the new 740i got the 4-liter version. Both versions were coupled to a new, 5-speed automatic transmission made by ZF.
In some countries (notably in the USA and UK), there were problems with the M60 engine because of excessive sulfur amount in gasoline, causing corrosion problems in its Nikasil cylinder block. The cylinder lining would quickly wear, causing the engine to lose compression, which caused rough idling and eventually the engine would fail to start. Engines were replaced under warranty; the problem was corrected by using a different material, Alusil. In the USA and UK sulfur rich fuel is being phased out. Nikasil engines are unlikely to be a problem today, as cars with affected engines are off the road or have received replacement engines.
Externally, the BMW 'kidney' grille indicated which engine was present under the hood: all 6-cylinder models had a narrow grille, and all 8- and 12-cylinder models had the wider version. This feature was not seen on later models (the E38 used a wide grille for all models). The narrow grille was available as an option on the 8- and 12-cylinder E32 models.
The 740i speed was electronically limited at 240 km/h (149 mph) to distinguish it from the flagship vehicle 750i. The 740i E38 which used the same engine as 740i E32 had speed limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).
Engines specifications and performance
|Model||Engine Code||Power||Torque||0–100 km/h (s)||Top Speed (km/h)||Years made|
|730i||M30B30 I6||188 PS (138 kW; 185 hp) @5800||260 N·m (190 lb·ft) @4000||10.6 (AT)
|735i||M30B35 I6||211 PS (155 kW; 208 hp) @5700||305 N·m (225 lb·ft) @4000||9.1 (AT)
|730i V8||M60B30 V8||218 PS (160 kW; 215 hp) @5800||290 N·m (210 lb·ft) @4500||9.3 (AT)
|740i||M60B40 V8||286 PS (210 kW; 282 hp) @5800||400 N·m (300 lb·ft) @4500||7.4||240*||1992–1994|
|750i||M70B50 V12||300 PS (220 kW; 300 hp) @5200||450 N·m (330 lb·ft) @4100||7.4||250*||1987–1994 (USA)
|767i||Goldfish V16||408 PS (300 kW; 402 hp) @5200||637 N·m (470 lb·ft) @3900||6||282||1987|
- = electronically limited Performance figures may differ for long models and gearing
Design and Legacy
The E32 was the first BMW that brought the L-Shape tail-lights into the company's design line-up. This was intended for safety and security from the rear view of the car. The next generation 7-Series the E38 slightly drifted away from this in terms of design aspect with its more blocky tail-lights, although the amber indicator light in connection with the red brake lights clearly did form a smaller L-shape as well. It wasn't until the introduction of the F01 7-Series that this design aspect was truly revived.
The E34 5 series, introduced in 1988, has design cues similar to the E32, and some engines and other parts are shared between the two cars.
- Oswald, Werner (2001). Deutsche Autos 1945–1990, Band 4 (1. ed.). Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-02131-5.
- Kittler, Eberhard (2001). Deutsche Autos seit 1990, Band 5 (1. ed.). Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-02128-5.
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- Behrend, Jürgen. Hella 1899-1999. p. 97.
- Neumann, Rainer; Woerner, B. (1993). "Litronic – New Automotive Headlamp Technology with Gas Discharge Lamp". Automotive Design Engineering: 152–156.
- "BMW Car Designers". Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- Ercole Spada
- "BMW 7er, Modell E32, Sonder-Ausstattungsdetails inkl. Preisen". www.7-forum.com. 2006-06-03. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
- "BMWCar - V16 E32" (PDF). BMWCar. March 2009.
- "BMW World - Nikasil". Usautoparts.net. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
- "Tier 2 Vehicle & Gasoline Sulfur Program | US EPA". Epa.gov. Archived from the original on 26 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
- Published: 12:00AM GMT 11 Nov 2000 Comments (2000-11-11). "No fuel like a low-sulphur fuel". Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
- "THE BMW V8 NIKASIL MYTH". Meeknet.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
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- "BMW 7 Series. The second generation E32.". BMW YouTube Channel. 2013-08-30. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
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