|BMW 7 Series (E32)|
|Production||June 1986 – April 1994|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Full-size luxury car (F)|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Length||SWB: 4,910 mm (193.3 in) |
LWB: 5,029 mm (198.0 in)
|Width||1,845 mm (72.6 in)|
|Height||1,400–1,435 mm (55.1–56.5 in)|
|Curb weight||1,720–1,930 kg (3,792–4,255 lb)|
|Predecessor||BMW 7 Series (E23)|
|Successor||BMW 7 Series (E38)|
The BMW E32 is the second generation of the BMW 7 Series luxury cars and was produced from 1986 to 1994. It replaced the BMW 7 Series (E23) and was initially available with a straight-six engine or a V12 engine. In 1992, a V8 engine option was introduced.
The E32 was the first car to be available with projector lens headlamps (1986), double glazing windows (1991) and HID (Xenon) headlamps (1991). It also introduced the following features for the first time in a BMW: Electronic Damper Control, Traction Control System, a long wheelbase version ("iL" models) and dual-zone climate control. The E32 750i was the first car adhering to "gentlemen's agreement" amongst the German manufacturers limiting maximum speed to 250 km/h (155 mph).
Production of the E32 ended in 1994, when it was replaced by the BMW 7 Series (E38).
Development and production
The styling is credited to then-chief stylist Ercole Spada and Hans Kerschbaum working under the guidance of then-chief designer Claus Luthe. Design work began in late 1979. By 1983, 1:1 scale models were presented and frozen in October 1984 for production which was scheduled in June 1986.
Production of the E32 7 series started with the 735i in June 1986 and the 730i in December 1986, concluding in April 1994. Production was located at BMW Plant Dingolfing and a total of 311,068 cars were built.
The E32 was the first BMW to use L-shaped tail-lights, which were designed with safety of following traffic in mind. Other styling features include BMW's traditional Hoffmeister kink in the rear window line.
Externally, the BMW 'kidney' grille indicated which engine was present under the hood: all 6-cylinder models have a narrow grille, and a wider grille was standard for the V8 and V12 models. The narrow grille was available as an option on the 8- and 12-cylinder E32 models.
Over its lifespan, the E32 7 Series was produced with straight-six, V8 and V12 petrol engines.
The launch models consisted of the 730i/iL and 735i/iL, which were powered by the M30 straight-6 engine. Also available at the E32 launch was the 750i/iL, which was the first BMW ever sold with a V12 engine. The rated power output of the 5.0 L (305 cu in) M70 V12 is 220 kW (295 hp).
In 1991, BMW began production of its first V8 engine since 1962 with end of BMW 501/502 production. This M60 V8 was introduced in the E32, along with the E34 5 Series. The 4.0 litre version powered the new 740i/iL models, and the 3.0 litre version was sold in parallel with the M30 straight-six in the 730i/iL models. The top speed of the 740i was electronically limited to 240 km/h (149 mph). Both V8 engines were coupled to a new, 5-speed automatic transmission made by ZF.
|1986–1994||3.0 L M30
|138 kW (185 hp)
at 5,800 rpm*
|260 N⋅m (192 lb⋅ft) |
at 4,000 rpm
|1992–1994||3.0 L M60
|160 kW (215 hp)
at 5,800 rpm
|290 N⋅m (214 lb⋅ft) |
at 4,500 rpm
|735i||1986–1992||3.4 L M30
|155 kW (208 hp)
at 5,700 rpm
|305 N⋅m (225 lb⋅ft) |
at 4,000 rpm
|740i||1992–1994||4.0 L M60
|210 kW (286 PS)
at 5,800 rpm
|400 N⋅m (295 lb⋅ft) |
at 4,500 rpm
|750i||1987–1994||5.0 L M70
|220 kW (295 hp; 299 PS)
at 5,200 rpm
|450 N⋅m (332 lb⋅ft) |
at 4,100 rpm
* 135 kW (181 hp; 184 PS) for 1986 models
Available transmissions consisted of:
Some luxury options featured on the E32 include integrated telephone and fax machines, a wine cooler, electronically adjustable rear seats and radio controls for rear passengers (exclusive to the 750iL).
In 1991, world first series production low beam Xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps (Litronic, only low beam) were introduced on the 750iL. Other safety features include a system that automatically increased spring pressure on the windscreen wipers to keep them firmly pressed on the glass at Motorway speeds.
The E32 was the first BMW to be available with traction control (called Automatic Stability Control at the time, however ASC is not considered as stability control by modern definitions). Initial versions (ASC) reduced wheelspin by reducing engine power, while later versions (ASC+T) also applied the rear brakes.
The car was also available in a long-wheelbase version (indicated by an 'L' from German Lang, after the model number). These models have an extra 11.4 cm (4.5 in) of leg room for the rear passengers,(p7) by stretching the rear doors and body at this point.
The BMW 750iL Highline was the top-of-the-line model of the E32, with much added luxury for the rear passengers like full leather seats, dual radio controls, 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 DM, and was only available on the 750iL, bringing the total price to well over twice that of a base model 730i.
The Goldfisch, also called the 767 or the "Secret Seven" internally, is a concept full size luxury car based on the E32 750i. Conceived by Dr. Karlheinz Lange in the late 1980s, it was meant to be the top-of-the line variant of the 7 Series also designed to compete with offerings from rival Mercedes-Benz. Dr. Lange also involved two other employees in the project, namely Adolf Fischer and Hanns-Peter Weisbarth both being senior employees. The concept car was completed in just six months. The main notable feature is the V16 engine designed by Adolf Fischer, which is essentially a modified M70 V12 enlarged to have four extra cylinders, capacity enlarged to 6.7-litres, etched iron pistons, nine-bearing crankshaft and having silicone-aluminium casting. The engine was fitted with Bosch DME 3.3 engine management system for better performance. Desired level of performance was achieved when the system treated the engine as two inline-8 engines bolted together. The resulting engine had a power output of 414 PS (304 kW; 408 hp) and 625 N⋅m (461 lb⋅ft) of torque. Power was sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission shared with the E31 8 Series. The car had the engine cooling system located in the boot along with fabricated fibre glass gills and air scoops at the rear to aid in cooling as there was no space to accommodate them at the front as the resulting engine was 305 mm (12 in) longer than the V12 engine. Air was expelled through a custom made valence panel at the rear of the car which led to the use of small tail lights with no fog and reverse lights. Despite the usage of a large V16 engine, the car was only 60 kg (132 lb) heavier than the 750i. The Goldfisch could accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a claimed 6 seconds and could attain a top speed of 282 km/h (175 mph). The car remained a technology demonstrator only and was never put into production due to the V16 engine being incompliant to the environmental regulations.
The Alpina B12 is Alpina's version of the E32 and is powered by a 5.0 litre V8 engine.
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