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BMW 7 Series (E32)


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. Some luxury options featured on the E32 included integrated telephone and faxmachines, a wine coolerdouble glazingtraction 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).
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 has been described as classic, progressive and postmodern and is credited to then-chief stylist Ercole Spada working closely 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 for 1986 production.
Manufacturer
BMW
Production
1986–1994 (311,068 built)
Assembly
Dingolfing, Germany
Predecessor
Successor
Class
Full-size luxury car
Body style
4-door sedan
Layout
FR layout
Engine
Petrol:
3.0-3.4 L six-cylinder BMW M30
3.0-4.0 L V8 BMW M60
5.0 L V12 BMW M70
Transmission
Automatic
4-speed
5-speed
Manual
5-speed
Wheelbase
2,833 mm (111.5 in)
2,947 mm (116.0 in) (long)
Length
4,910 mm (193 in)
5,029 mm (198 in) (long)
Width
1,845 mm (72.6 in)
Height
1,400 mm (55 in)
1,435 mm (56.5 in) (long)
Curb weight
1,720 kg (3,800 lb)
1,930 kg (4,300 lb) (long)
Related
BMW E34
BMW E31
Designer(s)
Ercole Spada (1982)

Notable versions

750iL Highline

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 radiocontrols, 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 prototypes

Main article: BMW Goldfish V16
The 767iL Goldfish a prototype of E32 car powered with V16 engine. It was conceived in 1987 and built by the end of 1988. Due to the length of the engine cooling system (radiator) was moved to the trunk and additional vents were added to the rear.

Alpina models

German tuning company Alpina was manufacturing 3 main models based on the E32 series cars. Those were B11 3.5 (3 engine versions), B11 4.0 and B12 5.0. In addition to tuned engines and suspension they were distinguishable by bodykit, pinstriping and trademark Alpina wheels.

Powertrain

The E32 7-series cars were offered with 5 gasoline engines.
At the car's introduction, the 730 and 735 used the straight-6 M30 engine, while the 750 featured the all-new M70 V12 engine which produced 300 bhp (224 kW; 304 PS).
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-speedautomatic 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.
BMW E32 735i (note narrow grille)
BMW E32 740i (note wide grille)
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).

Engine specifications and performance

Model
Engine Code
Engine Type
Disp. (cc)
Bore / Stroke (mm)
Comp. Ratio
Power
Torque
0–100 km/h (s)
Top Speed (km/h)
Years made
730i
M30B30
I6 12V
SOHC
2986
89/80
9.0:1
188 PS (138 kW; 185 hp)
@ 5800
260 Nm (190 lbft)
@ 4000
10.6 (auto)
9.3 (manual)
223 (manual)
1986–1994
735i
M30B35
I6 12V
SOHC
3430
92/86
9.0:1
211 PS (155 kW; 208 hp)
@ 5700
305 Nm (225 lbft)
@ 4000
9.1 (auto)
8.3 (manual)
228 (auto)
231 (manual)
1986–1992
730i V8
M60B30
V8 32V
2×DOHC
2997
84/67.6
10.5:1
218 PS (160 kW; 215 hp)
@ 5800
290 Nm (210 lbft)
@ 4500
9.3 (auto)
233
1992–1994
740i
M60B40
V8 32V
2×DOHC
3982
89/80
10.0:1
286 PS (210 kW; 282 hp)
@ 5800
400 Nm (300 lbft)
@ 4500
7.4
240*
1992–1994
750i
M70B50
V12 24V
SOHC
4988
84/75
8.8:1
300 PS (220 kW; 300 hp)
@ 5200
450 Nm (330 lbft)
@ 4100
7.4
250*
1987–1994 (USA)
1986–1994 (Europe)
* = electronically limited         Performance figures may differ for long models and gearing

Transmissions specifications

BMW M30 I6 engine
BMW M70 V12 engine
730i
I6
735i
I6
730i
V8
740i
V8
750i
V12
Speed (gear) ratios
Manual
Getrag 260
Getrag 260
ZF S5D 310Z
1
3,83
3,83
4,20
2
2,20
2,20
2,49
3
1,40
1,40
1,66
4
1,00
1,00
1,24
5
0,81
0,81
1,00
Rear axle
3,46
3,46
3,89
Automatic
ZF 4HP22
ZF 4HP22
ZF 5HP18
ZF 5HP30
ZF 4HP24
1
2,48
2,48
3,67
3,55
2,48
2
1,48
1,48
2,00
2,24
1,48
3
1,00
1,00
1,41
1,54
1,00
4
0,73
0,73
1,00
1,00
0,73
5
0,74
0,79
Rear axle
2,09
2,09
4,10
3,68
2,09
Fluid capacity (L)
Manual
1,25
1,25
1,25
Automatic
3,0
3,0
3,0
3,5
Rear axle
1,7
1,9
1,7
1,9
1,9

Related car

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.
The E31 8 series features some of the same engines as the E32: M60 V8 and M70 V12.
Back to BMW 7 Series
Back to BMW
Last updated on 12 July 2013 at 19:05.

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