BMW 7 Series
E32 7 Series
1 Mar 1987
BMW tried again with the E32 7 Series, a complete redesign.
But this time it righted the wrongs of the previous car with progressive, standout styling, the implementation of a wide engine choice, and the availability of 114mm-longer wheelbase (LWB) editions with extra space for rear-seat passengers.
For this generation ‘7’ engines, suspension and chassis components were all updated or improved.
The 3.5-litre single-cam in-line six-cylinder engine, again tied to a four-speed automatic gearbox, now offered 155kW and 305Nm.
It powered the base 735i, well-equipped 735i Executive (sunroof, leather upholstery, powered front seats) and – from October ’88 – the 735iL LWB edition.
In fact the LWB body debuted in January ’88 when BMW released the 750iL, with the first 12-cylinder engine in a German car since the 1930s.
As the range-topper, the 750iL was powered by a 220kW/450Nm 5.0-litre V12 matched to a four-speed automatic gearbox. It also included self-levelling suspension.
In late 1990 the 730i and 730iL replaced the ageing 3.5-litre in the 735i models, while the 735iL ran on until 1992.
It featured a 138kW/260Nm 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine and a four-speed automatic gearbox. It was designed to come in at a more affordable price than the 735 models at a time of economic downturn.
The E32 came in for a small facelift in late ’92, and brought a new V8 engine – a 4.0-litre DOHC 32-valve unit in the 740iL model delivering 210kW of power and 400Nm of torque via a new five-speed automatic gearbox.
All up 311,015 E32 7 Series were built between 1986 and 1994.
The Road to Recovery podcast series