• Jul 29th 2007 at 4:15PM
  • 15

It's been thirty years since BMW introduced the first incarnation of its flagship luxury sedan. The original 7-Series (codenamed E23) made its market debut in 1977 to replace the four-door version of the smaller 6-Series and to compete with offerings from competitors, chief among them Mercedes-Benz.

Since then, the 7-Series has become a staple of the high-end luxury car market, doing battle with such models as the Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8 and Lexus LS. It is now in its fourth incarnation (not counting facelifts and cosmetic tweaks along the way), and has come a long way in the past 30 years. With the "controversial" styling, insanely complex iDrive system and worldwide portfolio of a dozen different variants, it's doubtful a buyer of the original 7 would even recognize its successor today.

From all of us at Autoblog, we wish the ultimate Ultimate Driving Machine a happy birthday. We look forward to a return to the simpler luxury sports sedan that we'd come to know.

[Source: Motor Authority]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I see autoblog hasn't corrected the '4 door 6 series' thing. Do they read their comments? :(
      • 8 Years Ago
      Happy Ugly!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think Lexus will bring on some strong competition to the BMW 7series. For the past 30 years, BMW has hold a strong hold on this market.

      BMW 1 Series Forums
      • 8 Years Ago
      Um, the E23 didn't replace a '4 door 6 series', there's no such car. It replaced the E3 sedan built from late '68 to '77, and sold under a half dozen model names.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Of the 7-models, I like the e38 the most. I'd prefer a late 740dA. BTW, from a (biased?) euro-point of view, it seems silly how americans see Lexus as a competitor to BMW and Mercedes-Benz, I have hard time placing even Audi to the same "bundle". Lexus are a joke, soulless appliances or just expensive Toyotas (owning one = money, but no taste or style, boring etc). It'll take them atleast several decades to build any prestige here. While they're attempting that, BMW and M-B must be careful not to lose their status at the top of the automotive world.
        • 8 Years Ago
        I guess I should consider myself lucky... I've only ever owned BMW's and have seriously only had them worked on for consumables (Tires, Brakes, Belts, things of that nature) except for some reason over the years I've had a 525i and a 740Li blow a hole in the heater hose; perhaps I should quit constantly flooring the cars.
        • 8 Years Ago
        just because they have 4yr maintenance free, doesn't mean the car won't be at the shop every few weeks.

        it just means that while under the warranty you at least don't have to afford the repairs.
        • 8 Years Ago
        i have a lexus and an audi At least the lexus wont be in the shop every week I work for a lot of high end people they have traded their mercedes and bmw for the lexus . I do not know one 7 series owner who has kept the car over 2 year there are so many of these for sale used its insane i admire bww for the driving dynaimics But how about making car that wont break down every other week. I passed on a bmw to get a lexus it may not be as exciting but i will be rewarded in less maintaince higher resale. Have you been in an audi i think their interiors are the best Audi is a competitor for BMW I like the seven series but they should keep it simple
      • 8 Years Ago
      johnhender, i agree with you, but the BMW and Mercedes are more of drivers cars. But nothing beats a Lexus for its reliability.

      Oh, and BTW, go back to school and learn the proper use of grammar and punctuation.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The simpler luxury sedan will probably never return, unless BMW decides to stop chasing Mercedes--which probably wouldn't be a bad thing, as BMW did well enough when it was selling only the 3, 5 and 7, while Mercedes seems to be trying as hard as it can to commit corporate suicide.

      Of course, every brand these days needs to be a full-line brand. Other than Ferrari and Maserati, I can't think of one make that isn't try to emulate GM's "Too Many Models" recipe for failure.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Mercedes isn't sucessful: they have been, but they've been backsliding as of late in profitability, marketshare and quality.

        And yes, I know Ferrari and Maserati and part of FIAT. You'll note that, unlike Mini (which is part of BMW) or Porsche (which is loosely associated with VWW) that Ferrari only makes sports cars (ok, 612 Scag excepting) and Maserati only makes GTs. Neither makes, or will be making an SUV (like Mini plans to and Porsche already does). FIAT has it's problems, but brand dilution isn't one of them.

        Not meddling with Ferrari is a good thing. If GM or VW owned them, you'd see a TrailBlazer or Touareg-based Ferrari SUV, probably with an X in it's name.

        To drag this back to BMW: they're making money and gaining marketshare, unlike Mercedes. Mercedes started losing it when they stopped focusing on their core brand. BMW is starting to lose focus (the X6, the Mini SUV). Unless you command >50% marketshare or have a Toyota-size pile of cash, this sort of thing is a waste of resources
        • 8 Years Ago
        "Chasing Mercedes"?

        Recently, it has been the other way around - w/ BMW leading in sales and MB offering more "sporty" variants of their models.

        Otoh, MB seems to have finally gotten their quality control in line with their "prestige" - now if BMW can only do the same.
        • 8 Years Ago
        That must be why Mercedes is so succesful...

        And Ferrari and Maserati are the same thing nitwit, it's all FIAT.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Mercedes not making money? Where do you get your news from, your backside?

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