BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12 BMW 7 Series celebrates 25 years of the V12
BMW has already celebrated the silver anniversary of its V12-powered 7 Series flagship by offering a special 25 Years Anniversary Edition of the car for 2013, but now the automaker has released a visual display of the engine's quarter-century in the nose of its big Autobahn cruisers. First introduced in 1987 in the 750i, BMW points out it was the first of the modern German luxury sedans to use a 12-cylinder engine – Mercedes-Benz and Audi didn't offer such an engine in their S-Class and A8 models for several more years.

While the current engine used in the current F02 760Li pumps out 535 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque, the E32 750i had just 300 hp and 330 pound-feet of twist; the E38 750i had 322 hp and the E66 760i had 439 hp.

Just as dramatically as its power figures have progressed, so, too, has the car's styling, from its early days as more traditional luxury sedan right through its controversial period with Chris Bangle lines to today's modern look. Even the interior has come a long way over the lifespan of the 7 Series, starting out as barren, soberly Germanic (note the car phone) with a roomy back seat to a progressively more plush cabin stuffed with technology. See the progression for yourself in our gallery above, as well as in the press release below.
Show full PR text
25 years of BMW 12-cylinder engines: setting new standards in the luxury class.

Munich - October 26, 2012
... BMW's second-generation 7 Series, unveiled in 1986, featured two new top-of-the-range sedans whose formidable six-cylinder in-line engines generated universal enthusiasm in the motoring media. Nevertheless, it was an open secret that an even bigger star was waiting in the wings: the first German 12-cylinder luxury model in half a century.

Expectations were running high, fuelled by BMW's release of various advance details of the new model's technical specifications. In September 1986, one news magazine informed its readers: "BMW will be opting for an aero engine-style design. That means most engine systems on the 12-cylinder 7 Series model, which is due for market release in June 1987, will be duplicated. There will even be two lambda sensors. And even if half the engine capacity failed, for some reason, speeds of over 200 km/h would be possible even on just six cylinders." Last but not least, BMW's development chief at the time was quoted as saying: "if the engineers wanted to go for nothing but the best of everything, we didn't try to stop them."

The rumour mill was rife with speculation about the future top-of-the-line engine's capabilities. One story doing the rounds claimed that: "BMW is doing everything it can to promote a sense of exclusiveness and cachet. They even want the licensing authorities to allow them to state the performance not in figures but in words – to the effect that the engine is appropriate in power and performance for the requirements of the vehicle."

In February 1987, BMW finally put an end to the speculation and released the technical specifications of the 12-cylinder engine in the new BMW 750i, ahead of its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show the following month. The new engine, which had been designed completely from scratch, would develop 300 horsepower from a displacement of five litres. Its refinement, low noise levels and excellent balance between performance and fuel consumption set new benchmarks in engine design. These objectives were achieved by using state-of-the-art technologies and a raft of innovative ideas right across the board. In short, the BMW 750i's 12-cylinder engine had been built with the aim of setting a new and groundbreaking benchmark that would occupy the highest echelons of automotive engineering.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 54 Comments
      Eric
      • 2 Years Ago
      I will join in on the E38 chorus. The design is timeless and still makes my head turn. Unlike any of the subsequent models.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eric
        [blocked]
      Paul M
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, what the frack happened to the latest model? It looks like it ran into a tree... and lost. The early versions were svelte-looking and taut. This new one looks bulbous and heavy. I don't care if it has a V16 under the hood... do NOT want!
      k.naz
      • 2 Years Ago
      E38 was the best IMHO with a simple and subtle interior, right performance and a timeless design unlike the current F02.
      Dvanos
      • 2 Years Ago
      The E38 is the best out of all four. My bro had a 99 740iL man what a car.
      guinnessfanatic
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is funny that if you do this with any of the core Bimmers, 3, 5 and 7's, it looks like a series of pictures about progressive elephantiasis. Just more and more bloated with every iteration.
      dukeisduke
      • 2 Years Ago
      The E32 and the E38 look awesome. I especially like the wheels on the E32.
      Jonathan Wayne
      • 2 Years Ago
      The E38 is so damn gorgeous, and then BMW went downhill fast after that. If I could get a brand new BMW with the E38 exterior with all the new tech inside that would be a perfect car. There are still a couple running around town and they still look great. The 8 series of the same era were also the best looking BMWs. Now the current BMWs are just ugly and all look like bigger or smaller versions of each other. The 5 series literally looks like they took a 7 series, lopped off the back, cut a foot off the car and then reattached the back.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan Wayne
        [blocked]
      HUMANMPC2000
      • 2 Years Ago
      The 1990 850i coupe was BMW best use of the V-12 to me.I still would buy one, classic timeless design still looks modern.
      RodRAEG
      • 2 Years Ago
      And yet there was another BMW V-12 that went into a McLaren that still seems to be their best V-12
      WillieD
      • 2 Years Ago
      The new one just looks wrong. I love the wheels on the first one.
      JDochev
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think I'm getting old... Though each model shown is sexy in its own right, I find myself lusting over the earliest model
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Just as dramatically as its power figures have progressed, so, too, has the car's styling" Aaaaaaaaaahahahahahaahaha. Yeah, groundbreaking styling changes for sure.
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