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BMW 7 Series (E38)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

BMW 7 Series (E38)
BMW 750i E38 (7719664024).jpg
Overview
ProductionApril 1994–July 2001
AssemblyGermany: Dingolfing
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size luxury car (F)
Body style4-door sedan
LayoutRear-wheel drive
Powertrain
Engine
Dimensions
WheelbaseSWB: 2,930 mm (115.4 in)
LWB: 3,070 mm (120.9 in)
LengthSWB: 4,984 mm (196.2 in)
LWB: 5,124 mm (201.7 in)
Width1,862 mm (73.3 in)
Height1,425–1,435 mm (56.1–56.5 in)
Curb weight1,710–2,085 kg (3,770–4,597 lb)
Chronology
PredecessorBMW 7 Series (E32)
SuccessorBMW 7 Series (E65)

The BMW E38 is the third generation of the BMW 7 Series luxury cars and was produced from 1994 to 2001. It replaced the E32 7 Series and was produced with petrol and turbo-diesel straight-six and V8 engines, along with a petrol V12 flagship model.

The E38 was the first car available with curtain airbags. It was also the first European car to offer satellite navigation[1] and the first BMW to offer an in-built television. The E38 was the first 7 Series to be available with a diesel engine (only available on standard wheelbase models) and last to be available with a manual transmission.

In 2001, the E38 was replaced by the E65 7 Series.

Development

In early 1988, development began on the third generation of the 7 Series.[2] From 1988 to 1990 styling work was done initially under design director Claus Luthe[3] (through April 1990, taken over by Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle), when Boyke Boyer's concept design was chosen and further refined into production form.[4]

In February 1991, the final production design for the new 7 Series was approved by the board 36 months ahead of scheduled start of production for February 17, 1994.[2] On April 27, 1993 German design patents were filed featuring a pre-production prototype as a design representation.[5] Patents were later filed on October 27, 1993 in the United States.[6]

Production

Production started on 23 July 1993 on pilot production models and US specification variants on January 13, 1994, with series production commencing in April 1994 for June 1994 domestic German launch with the 730i and 740i.[7] US-specification cars entered production in September 1994, for November 1994 launch. On February 18, 1994, the E38 BMW 7 Series was unveiled for the 1995 model year via a BMW press release. The 750i production began in November 1994, in advance of its January 1995 launch.[8][9]

A total of 340,242 cars were produced[7][10][11][12] The last E38 rolled off BMW's assembly line on 27 July 2001[13] to make way for the replacement E65 7 Series.

Engines

Petrol

Model Years Engine Power Torque
728i /
728iL
1995–1998 2.8 L M52
straight-6
142 kW (190 hp) 280 N⋅m (207 lb⋅ft)
1998–2001 2.8 L M52TU
straight-6
142 kW (190 hp) 280 N⋅m (207 lb⋅ft)
730i /
730iL
1994–1996 3.0 L M60
V8
160 kW (215 hp) 290 N⋅m (214 lb⋅ft)
735i /
735iL
1996–1998 3.5 L M62
V8
173 kW (232 hp) 320 N⋅m (236 lb⋅ft)
1998–2001 3.5 L M62TU
V8
175 kW (235 hp) 345 N⋅m (254 lb⋅ft)
740i /
740iL
1994–1996 4.0 L M60
V8
210 kW (282 hp) 400 N⋅m (295 lb⋅ft)
1996–1998 4.4 L M62
V8
210 kW (282 hp) 420 N⋅m (310 lb⋅ft)
1998–2001 4.4 L M62TU
V8
210 kW (282 hp) 440 N⋅m (325 lb⋅ft)
750i /
750iL
1995–1998 5.4 L M73
V12
240 kW (322 hp) 490 N⋅m (361 lb⋅ft)
1998–2001 5.4 L M73TU
V12
240 kW (322 hp) 490 N⋅m (361 lb⋅ft)

Diesel

Model Years Engine-
turbo
Power Torque
725tds 1995–2001 2.5 L M51
straight-6
105 kW (141 hp) 280 N⋅m (207 lb⋅ft)
730d 1998–2001 2.9 L M57
straight-6
142 kW (190 hp) 410 N⋅m (302 lb⋅ft)
740d 1998–2001 3.9 L M67
V8
180 kW (241 hp) 560 N⋅m (413 lb⋅ft)

Transmissions

A 5-speed ZF 5HP automatic transmission was available on all models.[14] In many markets, a 5-speed manual transmission was available for the 725tds, 728i,[15] 730i,[16] and 735i,[17] while a 6-speed manual was on offer for the 740i.[18] Long wheelbase cars were only available with automatic transmission.

Following the 1998 facelift, only 728i would be available with manual transmission, as 735i and 740i only became available with automatic transmission.

Equipment

Navigation monitor
Navigation monitor

Safety features include ASC+T traction control, headlight washers and auto-leveling low beam xenon HID headlamps. Side tubular airbags (called "Head Protection System") were fitted as standard equipment.[19][20] "Active Comfort Seats" were introduced in 1998, to improve comfort and reduce fatigue for the driver and front passenger.[21] This system uses two fluid-filled bladders which alternate in height.[22]

Other equipment includes Electronic Damper Control (called EDC III), power moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, dual zone climate control, electric drivers seat adjustment and electric steering wheel adjustment.

Double glazed windows were available (called "dual pane glass").[23] Break resistant laminated "security glass" was also available, which is known to delaminate. The delamination occurred with the Protection S357A option only, not with normal S352A dual pane windows.[23][24][25] Bullet-resistant glass was used for the Protection model, with even thicker glass used for the Security model.[23]

The Sport Package included a sport steering wheel, sports seats, sports suspension, "shadowline" exterior trim and unique wood trim for the interior.[26] Some sports models also included a shorter differential ratio and higher stall speed for the torque converter.[27]

The E38 was the first European car to be available with satellite navigation,[28] a system called CARIN jointly developed by BMW and Philips.[29] The in-car entertainment (radio, audio system, satellite navigation, television and communications systems) are part of an automotive communication system called I-bus.[30] A "multi-function" steering wheel, with controls for the audio, phone, cruise control and air recirculation,[31] was standard equipment.[32]

Special models

L7

From 1997 to 2001, BMW sold an extended wheelbase limousine model called the L7.[33][34] The wheelbase was extended by 250 mm (9.8 in) over the "iL" models, resulting in an overall length of 5.37 m (211.4 in).[35] Features included electrically adjustable rear seats, rear footrests, fold down rear trays, a fridge, rear television screen, video player and a fax machine.[35][36]

Based on the 750iL with a 12-cylinder engine, the L7 has an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).[37] The L7 was only available in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe, and 899 examples were built.[12] The 2000-2001 models had an optional "privacy window" glass partition to separate the driver from the rear passengers.[38]

Protection line

The armoured "Protection Line" vehicles were built from 2000 to 2001 and were based on the 740iL and 750iL models.[39] Security features include body armor, bullet-resistant glass and run-flat tyres.[40][41] An intercom system is provided to communicate with people outside the vehicle while the windows and doors are shut.[42]

Security line

A High-Security version with protection up to B6/7[43] was also available in Europe,[44] known internally as the 750iL S. The additional security measures brought an additional weight of 950 kg (2,094 lb) compared to the normal 750iL[45][46] Features include explosive cord around the windshield allowing removal of the windshield facilitating escape[46] and hydraulically actuated windows.[46] A gas sensor can detect irritants like CS gas and respond by turning the blower motor off, closing fresh air flaps and all windows.[46] A fire suppression system is triggered by either a button or the detection of extreme temperatures in the engine bay or the vicinity of the fuel tank.[46][47] A breathing air system is also available which delivers air from a cylinder in the trunk,[46] up to three firearms cases designed to fit a Heckler & Koch MP5K were also optionally available[46] as well as spherical gunports in the doors.[46]

Hydrogen 750hL

Hydrogen BMW 750hL
Hydrogen BMW 750hL

On May 11, 2000, BMW presented a fleet of fifteen 750hL's in Berlin.[48] Its twelve-cylinder hydrogen combustion engine can be operated on both hydrogen and petrol. In operation on hydrogen, it delivers 150 kW (201 hp; 204 PS), accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.6 seconds and slowing the car to attain a top speed of 226 km/h (140 mph).[49]

The production of the hydrogen engine was integrated into the regular engine production at the Dingolfing plant. It differs from the conventional petrol engine essentially only in regards to the intake tract with additional injection valves for hydrogen.[50] The hydrogen is stored cryogenically at a temperature of minus 253 degrees Celsius in a double-walled steel tank behind the rear seat back. The hydrogen tank holds 140 litres and allows an additional range of 350 km (217 mi).[49] In addition, the 750hL has a fuel cell rated at 5 kW (7 hp; 7 PS) at 42 volts. This is not used as a drive unit, but as an auxiliary power unit (APU) for power supply to the electrical system.[51]

During the Expo 2000 in Hanover the vehicles were used as shuttles. From February to November 2001 the vehicles were part of the "CleanEnergy WorldTour 2001" in the cities of Dubai, Brussels, Milan, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Berlin. By November 2001 the 750hL had achieved a mileage of over 150,000 km.[52] On the Nürburgring the 750hL recorded a time of 9 minutes and 53 seconds while powered by hydrogen.[53]

Alpina B12

The Alpina B12 5.7 and Alpina B12 6.0 models were based on the BMW 750i and 750iL respectively.[54]

Yearly changes

1994

1995

  • 728i and 735i models introduced
  • M62 engine replaces M60 for V8 models. The capacity on 740i and 740iL engines increases from 4.0 L to 4.4 L.
  • An S-EDC electronic sports suspension, onboard TV and satellite navigation system offered as options.

1996

  • Front passenger head airbags introduced. In late 1997, E38 7 Series and E39 5 Series became the world's first cars available with side impact head airbags.[56] These are known as "Inflatable Tubular Structure"[57] or "Head Protection System", and were available as optional equipment.[58] These airbags are designed to offer head protection in side impact collisions and also maintained inflation for up to seven seconds for rollover protection.

1998 facelift

The facelift (also known as LCI) models began production in September 1998. The major changes are:

  • Revised styling for headlights and tail-lights.[59]
  • 740d model introduced, powered by the 3.9L M67 V8 twin-turbocharged diesel engine.[60]
  • 735i and 740i engines upgraded to the "technical update" (TU) version of the M62, featuring variable valve timing on the intake camshaft (single-VANOS).[59]
  • 728i engines upgraded to the "technical update" (TU) version of the M52, featuring variable valve timing on both camshafts (double-VANOS)
  • Sport Package (ZSP option code) released, including M Sport suspension, Style 37 "M Parallel" alloy wheels, Contour seats and shadowline exterior trim.
  • DSCIII electronic stability control becomes standard on all 7 Series models.[citation needed]
  • Head airbags become standard on all 7 Series models.[citation needed]

1999

  • The 750 now includes Electric Catalytic Converter, or "E-CAT", assemblies. Heating coils inside the catalytic converter assemblies are electrified just after engine start, bringing the catalyst up to operating temperature very quickly to qualify the vehicle for Low emission vehicle (LEV) designation.[61] This system required the use of a two-battery system.[62]

2000

  • Display for satellite navigation upgraded in September to 6.5 inch 16:9 screen.[63][64]
  • Navigation upgraded to MKIII in September, therefore maps for satellite navigation switch to CD format.[65][66]
  • A radar-based adaptive cruise control (called Active Cruise Control) became available as an option.[67][68][69]

2001

  • Cosmetic changes including body-colored side skirts and bumper facias (previously black), clear turn signal lenses (previously amber).

In popular culture

In Tomorrow Never Dies, the 18th James Bond film , the sixteen E38 cars used during production were modified so they could be driven from the backseat, making it appear that Bond actor Pierce Brosnan was controlling the car using his mobile phone. The car type is actually a BMW 740iL but they were re-badged as the 750iL.[70] 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 they offered a special promotion that included the R1200C with the purchase of the 750iL.[71]

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