The BMW 7 Series is the full-size luxury sedan that was introduced in 1977 by BMW. This German car has gone through many changes since its introduction, and it is currently in its 6th generation. This car is considered to be the top car in BMW’s car line-up. Because of this, new technologies and design themes that are launched by BMW first appear in the BMW 7 Series before showing up in other BMW automobiles.
Six Generations of Innovation
The first generation of the BMW 7 Series was manufactured from 1977 to 1987. It replaced the BMW E3 sedans, and was built with a 4-door sedan body style that featured 6-cylinder engines that were eventually replaced with “turbocharged” 6-cylinder engines in 1983. The BMW E23 introduced many electronic features for the first time like a check control panel, an on-board computer, and more complex climate control. In addition to these features, the E23 was the first BMW to offer a driver’s airbag and an anti-lock braking system.
The second generation of the BMW 7 Series was produced from 1986 to 1994 and featured the BMW E32. The E32s featured either straight-six or V12 engines until 1992 when V-8 engines were introduced. Many features were launched along with the E32, such as dual-zone climate control, Xenon headlamps, and electronic damper control. The BMW E32 750i was the first BMW to follow the self-imposed speed limit of BMW, which was 155 miles per hour. Models of the E32 were the first BMW cars to offer a long-wheelbase option as well.
The third generation of the 7 Series featured the BMW E38 and was manufactured from 1994 to 2001. This was the first car available to offer curtain airbags and was the first European car to offer satellite navigation. This car offered a mixture of standard-length and long-wheelbase models. BMW produced E38s with straight-six, V8, and V12 engines, and some models were the first BMW 7 Series to be made with diesel engines. The BMW E38 was the first BMW to feature a built-in television.
The fourth generation of this BMW series was made from 2001 to 2008 and featured the E65, E66, E67, and E68 models. BMW continued its tradition of offering standard and long-wheelbase models with this generation, but it was the first generation to offer iDrive, electronic smart keys, night vision, and 6-speed automatic transmissions. Furthermore, the world’s first V12 engine to use direct injection was found in the 760i model of this era.
BMW 7 Series’ fifth generation included the F01, F02, F03, and F04 models that were produced from 2008 to 2015. New technology introduced during this generation included hybrid drivetrains, 8-speed automatic transmissions, and turbocharged V12 engines. The BMW F01 was the first of the 7 Series to offer an all-wheel drive and a turbocharged petrol engine.
The BMW 7 Series is currently in its sixth generation and includes the G11 and G12 models. They have been manufactured since 2015. The G11 is the short-wheelbase model, and the G12 is the extended-wheelbase model. Both models became available with hybrid powertrains in 2016. This is the first car line-up from BMW to be based on a modular Oberklasse platform that introduced technology like the use of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers within its build.
The Current State of the BMW 7 Series
BMW’s 7 Series continues to impress and stay in demand. BMW has no issue adapting to new car technology in order to produce cars that are ahead of their time. The BMW 740i and 740Li currently make up about 10% of all 7 Series sales in the United States. Additionally, 70% of all 7 Series cars sold are in the long-wheelbase option.
There have been special models introduced, like the High-Security F03 line-up, which is the very first car line-up to be certified with BRV 2009 and VR7 ballistics protection ratings. Its special features include undercarriage armor, laminated glass windows, and armor plating on the doors. The BMW F04 ActiveHybrid 7 was the first BMW vehicle to offer a hybrid drivetrain. This car includes an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and an automatic start-stop system. The BMW Alpina B7 was introduced in 2011 and includes features like high-performance pistons, strengthened cylinder heads, and external oil coolers for the engine and transmission.BMW even dipped its feet in royalty when they produced a limited selection of BMW 7 Series limousines for the wedding of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco!