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BMW 7 Series (E38)



Manufacturer
BMW
Production
February 17, 1994–July 27, 2001
340,242 built
Assembly
Dingolfing, Germany
Toluca, Mexico
Predecessor
Successor
Body style
4-door sedan
Layout
FR layout
Engine
2.8 L I6
3.0–4.4 L V8
5.4 L V12
2.5-2.9 L I6 Turbodiesel
3.9 L V8 Turbodiesel
Transmission
5-speed manual
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic
Wheelbase
2,930 mm (115 in)−3,070 mm (121 in)
Length
4,984 mm (196.2 in)−5,124 mm (201.7 in)
Width
1,862 mm (73.3 in)
Height
1,425 mm (56.1 in)−1,435 mm (56.5 in)
Curb weight
1,710 kg (3,800 lb)−2,185 kg (4,820 lb)
Designer(s)
Boyke Boyer (1991)
The BMW E38 model was the basis for the 1995 through 2001 BMW 7 Series automobiles. In early 1988, development began on the third generation 7-series codenamed "Entwicklung 99". From 1989 to 1991 styling work was done, when Boyke Boyer's concept design was chosen and further refined into production form with engineers until 1992. In August 1992, the final production design for the new 7-series was approved by the board for production. On April 27, 1993 German design patents were filed featuring a pre-production prototype as a design representation. Patents were later filed on October 27, 1993 in the United States. In early 1994, development concluded and in May 1994, the 1995 E38 BMW 7-Series was unveiled. Production started on February 17, 1994 on pilot production variants, with series production commencing in the second half of the year.
The E38 models were offered with either a five-speed automatic or manual transmission; 730d, 740d, 740i/iL, and 750i/iL had a 5-speed ZF automatic standard. The engine variants in Europe were 725tds, 728i, 730i, 730d, 735i, 740i (4.0 and 4.4 L), 740d and 750i. In the Americas, the models were sold as the 740i, 740iL and 750iL. The 740i/iL were powered by a 4.4 L V8 engine. The base prices in 2001 were US$62,900 for the 740i, US$66,900 for the 740iL and US$92,100 for the 750iL. The considerably rarer 5.4 L V12 was BMW's flagship vehicle, with a 5.4 L 322 bhp (240 kW; 326 PS) engine, also shared by the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph. V8 and V12 cars had long-wheelbase variants, with the "L" added to the designation. A rare European executive long-wheelbase limousine model was also produced, called the BMW L7, available as both 740iL (4.4 L V8) and 750iL (5.4 L V12) variants. Protection Line light-armored vehicles were built from 2000–2001, again utilizing the 740iL and 750iL platforms, and cost US$99,100 and US$124,400, respectively. These models included body armor, bullet-resistant glass and run-flat tires.
Features of the E38 7 Series included high-pressure headlight washers, auto-leveling xenon HID headlamps, power moonroof, a sound system with 14 speakers and four subwoofers as well as 6-disc CD changer, onboard satellite navigation (1994-1996 MKI based on the VDO-Dayton Carin system, 1997-2000 MKII based on the Phillips system with separate Trimble Navigation receiver, 2001 MKIII based on the Phillips system with internal Trimble Navigation receiver. The E38 7 Series never had the factory DVD-ROM based Navigation system although upgrading to this system is a simple process) and rain-sensing wipers. Other features included an automatic climate control system with separate controls for the driver and passenger, a three-position memory system for the driver’s seat, safety-belt height, new steering wheel and outside mirrors. Front-seat side airbags and a Head Protection System (HPS) were also standard. The 750iL featured an all-leather interior with burl walnut trim, while the sport model featured Sports seats and "Vavona" wood trim . The continuous-motion Active Comfort Seat technology was introduced in 1998 to improve comfort and reduce fatigue for the driver and front passenger.
When the E38 was phased out in 2001 to make way for the new E65, sales of E38s increased noticeably in the car's final months of sales as people moved to buy the car before it was replaced for the 2002 model year. The E65's radical styling and iDrive were not initially well received by consumers, so used E38s increased in value as demand increased. Also contributing to the E38's continued popularity was its appearance in several films such as Tomorrow Never Dies, The Transporter, Bimmer and The Game. The E38 740i featured in the BMW Film Ambush, even though it was the only featured car in the series to be replaced the following year.

E38 models

4.4L M62B44 V8 (US)
Model
Engine
Power/Torque
Years produced
Produced
725tds
2.5L M51D25 Diesel I6
105 kW (143 PS; 141 hp) / 280 Nm (207 lbft)
1995–2001
9053
728i
2.8L M52B28 Petrol I6
142 kW (193 PS; 190 hp) / 280 Nm (207 lbft)
1996–2001
38947
728iL
2.8L M52B28 Petrol I6
142 kW (193 PS; 190 hp) / 280 Nm (207 lbft)
1996–2001
6816
730i
3.0L M60B30 Petrol V8
160 kW (218 PS; 215 hp) / 290 Nm (214 lbft)
1994–1996
20876
730iL
3.0L M60B30 Petrol V8
160 kW (218 PS; 215 hp) / 290 Nm (214 lbft)
1994–1996
2137
735i
3.5L M62B35 Petrol V8
173 kW (235 PS; 232 hp) / 320 Nm (236 lbft)
1994–1997
21481
735i
3.5L M62TUB35 Petrol V8
174 kW (237 PS; 233 hp) / 345 Nm (254 lbft)
1998–2001
735iL
3.5L M62B35 Petrol V8
173 kW (235 PS; 232 hp) / 320 Nm (236 lbft)
1994–1997
6963
735iL
3.5L M62TUB35 Petrol V8
174 kW (237 PS; 233 hp) / 345 Nm (254 lbft)
1998–2001
740i
4.0L M60B40 Petrol V8
210 kW (286 PS; 282 hp) / 400 Nm (295 lbft)
1994–1996
740iL
4.0L M60B40 Petrol V8
210 kW (286 PS; 282 hp) / 400 Nm (295 lbft)
1994–1996
740i
4.4L M62B44 Petrol V8
210 kW (286 PS; 282 hp) / 420 Nm (310 lbft)
1996–1998
88853
740i
4.4L M62TUB44 Petrol V8
210 kW (286 PS; 282 hp) / 440 Nm (325 lbft)
1999–2001
740iL
4.4L M62B44 Petrol V8
210 kW (286 PS; 282 hp) / 420 Nm (310 lbft)
1996–1998
91431
740iL
4.4L M62TUB44 Petrol V8
210 kW (286 PS; 282 hp) / 440 Nm (325 lbft)
1999–2001
750i-iL
5.4L M73B54 Petrol V12
240 kW (326 PS; 322 hp) / 490 Nm (361 lbft)
1995–1997
15759
750i-iL
5.4L M73TUB54 Petrol V12
240 kW (326 PS; 322 hp) / 490 Nm (361 lbft)
1998–2001
1032
730d
2.9L M57D30 Diesel I6
142 kW (193 PS; 190 hp) / 410 Nm (302 lbft)
1998–2001
12336
740d
3.9L M67D40 Diesel V8
180 kW (245 PS; 241 hp) / 560 Nm (413 lbft)
1998–2001
3450

Model history

1995

  • E38 Production started in 1994 for 1995 Model Year replacing the E32. Initial production E38s were available with either a 2.5 L turbodiesel I6 3.0L or 4.0 L M60 V8 or 5.4 L M73 V12 engine.
  • U.S. Model Range includes the 740i, 740iL and 750iL.
1995 E38 used an aluminum block with Nikasil plated cylinder bores - nickel containing silicon carbide particles. Unfortunately, excessive sulfur from fuel reacts bad with the nickel, causing very slight blemishes in the top few millimeters of the cylinder bore. It is no longer an issue now that U.S. companies reduced fuel sulfur levels in fuel their acceptable levels in the late 1990s.

1996

1996 740iA
  • 750i included Steptronic automatic transmission with manual shift mode.
  • 728i and 735i was launched with traction control, ABS, alloy wheels, dual airbags, air-conditioning, leather upholstery, and electric front seats.
  • 740i and 740iL M60 changed from the M62 4.0 L 4.4 L V8 engine.
  • In Steptronic and traction control become standard in 730I, 740i, and 740iL. Steptronic is not available in the North American market until 1999 when the 740i ZSP Sport Package Offered.
  • An Alpina sports suspension, onboard TV and satellite navigation system were offered as options.

1997

1996 740iA interior
  • In 730i/730i 735i/735i TS and TS launched. Equipment includes central locking, front fog lamps and electric heated mirrors; 735i has rear head restraints and electric front seats, a sunroof TS 730I, 735i SE is equipped with air-conditioning, cruise control and leather. * Revisions midway through the model year of the front head airbags; auto air-conditioning on 728i/735i;'s on-board computer on 728i; DSC III (Dynamic Stability Control) offered on 740i/740iL and 750i/750iL.
  • xenon headlamps were included in 750i/750iL.
  • The 750iL (actually re-badged 740iL) is extensively featured in the high Grossing James Bond series film Tomorrow Never Dies.

1998

  • Along with a new selection of ZSP (Sport Package) Alpina suspension, multi-spoke alloys, sports seats and shadowline exterior trim.
  • Revision of midway through the model year new front and rear lights, a revised grille, black side sills and valances, and a remote locking with memory system
  • DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is standard on all 7 series models
  • Satellite navigation system become standard on 750i and 750iL
  • HPS or Head Protection System is introduced and offered as standard on all 7 series models (indicated by HPS badge on interior A-pillar)
  • 'Facelift' from 9/98 production featuring 'scalloped' headlamps, new front fenders with shorter turn signal lens and side fascia improvements (including elimination of the visible jackpoints)

1999

The front side of 1999 E38 728i
The rear side of 1998–2000 E38 735i
  • The 735 and 740 form an improved M62TU V8 engine with single VANOS variable valve timing. The 4.4 engine gets a marked increase in torque from 310 to 324 pounds · ft (439 N · m) Horsepower remains at 282 hp (210 KW).
  • A Sport Package becomes available for the 740i which includes: blacked-out exterior "shadowline" trim, Vavona redwood interior trim, 18-way adjustable sport seats, staggered 18-inch (460 mm) alloy wheels, a stiffer M inspired suspension with thicker front and rear anti-sway bars, Steptronic Transmission with higher stall-speed torque converter, and a higher 3.15 final drive ratio (versus 2.92).
  • The 750 receives an improved M73N 5.4 liter V12 engine making a slight increase in power and torque.
  • Now includes the 750 Electric Catalytic Converter, or "E-CAT", assemblies. Coils inside the catalytic converter assemblies are electrically heated just after engine start, bringing the catalyst operating temperature faster than traditional catalytic converter, providing cleaner cold starts and LEV compliance. This system requires the use of two battery system.

2000

  • A number of previous optional features become standard, including Xenon headlamps, rain-sensitive windshield wipers, headlight washers, GPS navigation, and upgraded audio including DSP and 6-disc CD changer
  • The sport package is extended to include the 740iL but without the same performance enhancing features as the 740i receives. The 740iL Sport maintains the same visual cues as the 740i Sport such vavona redwood trim, shadowline exterior trim and 18 "staggered alloy wheels. Il is usually EDC for improved handling.
  • In Europe, Adaptive Cruise Control became available as an option.

2001

2001 E38 740iL (Facelifted) (US)
  • Final year of E38 sales with production ending in July 2001.
The last E38 (740i silver with black leather interior) rolled up off the assembly line of the BMW on July 27, 2001 to make way for the new E65. The E65 was received so poorly by consumers that sales of E38s increased noticeably in the final month car production as people moved to buy the car before it went out of production and used E38s rise in value.
  • Body-colored side skirts and bumper facias, which were previously flat black.
  • Clear front and rear turn signal lights replace amber-colored lights.
  • More recent optional features become standard, including Motorola Motorola Timeport startac or (depending on the date of production) with BMW Assist telemetry system.
  • Widescreen Navigation and faster CD based navigation computer to be phased in from 9/00 production on all models.
  • (U.S. Models) Power folding exterior mirrors are now standard on the 750iL, and included in the optional convenience package on all other models.

Tuning

Dinan-Modified BMW 750iL
The E38 has been successfully modified with a large number of after market performance tools, treats including free-flow exhaust and intake systems, suspension adjustment, and braking system performance upgrades.

Stretch Limo L7

BMW produced the Stretch Limo L7 after 1997. 899 examples were built, and the 750iL was stretched acerca 10 inches (254 mm), as well as an Increased wheelbase of about 25 cm. Target markets were the USA, Asia and Arabia.

Flexible Electronics System

Since the start of production the entire in-car entertainment system (Radio Function, Navigation System, Television and Telecommunications systems) is based on a very flexible automotive computer system. As a result the E38 models can all be easily upgraded with the newest BMW technologies including BMW's Bluetooth System, the DVD based Navigation system, as well as BMW's CD changers that play MP3s.
Engine tuning companies such as Alpina, Dinan and Hartge have built both turbocharged and supercharged versions of the M73 V12 motor.

Film

Contributing to the E38's continued Popularity was its appearance in several films: such as Tomorrow Never Dies (750iL), Bumer "Бумер" (750iL), Enemy of the State (740iL), Invictus (740iL), Bad Santa (740iL), Fun with Dick and Jane (740iL), Valley of the Wolves (TV series) (L7), Showtime (740i), The Transporter (735i) Which was a one off hand 750i badged as a 735i, "Live Free or Die Hard of" which was 2000 740i, and The Game (740iL). Even though it was the only featured car in the series to be replaced the Following year, the E38 featured in the BMW Film Ambush Which was released in fall 2001.
In the 18th James Bond feature film Tomorrow Never Dies, the sixteen E38 cars used were modified production During So They Could be driven from the backseat. The car type is actually a BMW 740iL but They were re-badged as the 750iL. One survives today and can be seen at exhibition "TOP SECRET" at Museum Industriekultur, Nuremberg. Besides the 7 Series saloons, BMW Also supplied a $ 14,000 R1200C motorcycle. BMW received the rights to use movie clips from the film in its multimillion-dollar campaign, and During the 1997 holiday season a special promotion offered Preferred They That included the R1200C with the purchase of the 750iL.
BMW 7 Series car from Tomorrow Never Dies,
seen at an exhibition at Museum Industriekultur, Nuremberg

E38 total production

There are a total of 340,242 E38s. All E38s were rear wheel drive. 
By Market:
Market
Total Production
EUR
202537
IDN
503
MEX
24
THA
791
USA
123705
By Model:
Model
Total Production
725tds
9053
728i
38947
728iL
6816
730d
12336
730i
20876
730iL
2137
735i
21481
735iL
6963
740d
3450
740i
88853
740iL
91431
750i
8559
750iL
15759
L7
899
By Motor:
Motor Type
Total Production
M51
9053
M52
28086
M52TU
17677
M57
12336
M60/1
23013
M60/2
45724
M62
163004
M67
3450
M73
25217
Back to BMW 7 Series
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Last updated on 12 July 2013 at 19:05.

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