7Post
7Post
BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Go Back   7Post - 7 Series Forum > BMW 7-Series Forums > General 7-series (F01) Discussion

Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      03-01-2013, 12:29 AM   #1
Jason
Administrator
Jason's Avatar
United_States
6713
Rep
16,676
Posts

 
Drives: E90 M3
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA

iTrader: (0)

Lightbulb BIMMERPOST Review: 760Li V12 and 25 Years of BMW V12s

BIMMERPOST NEWS
BIMMERPOST Review: 760Li V12 and 25 Years of BMW V12s
23
COMMENTS
Name:  v12-1.jpg
Views: 12042
Size:  226.7 KB

A quarter century of superiority

By Matthias Knödler and Jens Meiners


A quarter of a century ago, BMW turned the hierarchy in the luxury segment upside down: In March 1987, the second-generation 7 series (E32), itself a marvel of technology, got a range-topping V-12 engine. Rated at 296hp, it utterly humiliated the Mercedes-Benz W126 S class. The Stuttgart competitor managed to reach this level of power only with a non-catalysed version of the 5.6-liter V-8 - an engine which was lacking the smoothness of its 4.2-liter and 5.0-liter siblings.

It wasn't BMW's first attempt at a V-12. In fact, two prototypes had preceded the engine that finally made it into production. As early as 1972, BMW set out to create a V-12 from two six-cylinder engines. The 5.0-liter engine, code-named M33, made 296hp - but it was way too heavy at 694 lbs: The project was stopped in 1974; shortly thereafter, work commenced on another V-12, the M66, this time based on a lighter, new generation of i-6 engines. A 3.6-liter V-12 and a 4.5-liter V-12 was built; the latter one made 271hp and weighed 606 lbs. Prototype engines were built, but due to an unfavorable political and economic climate, BMW went on to build a turbocharged 3.2-liter i-6 instead. It was offered in the E23 745i and later upgraded to 3.5 liters of displacement. At the time, BMW ran elaborate advertisements explaining why a turbocharged six was the preferable choice compared to a V-8 or V-12.

But in 1982, the engineers went to the drawing board again. This time around, it was decided to start from scratch, instead of trying to elaborately weld together two existing six-cylinder engines.

The M70 was created - a marvel of technology that weighs a mere 529 lbs and is so compact that it would fit into a current 1 series. Made from aluminum, it used two identical cylinder heads, it made 296hp at 5200rpm and 450 Nm lb-ft of torque at 4100 rpm - while providing a silky-smooth soundtrack that is not dissimilar to an in-line six and infinitely more delicate and sophisticated than a V-8.

Down the road, BMW toyed with nuew different concepts, including a V-16, and actually built a prototype. A reaction to the 408 PS Mercedes-Benz 600 SEL? The M70, of course, made it into the 8 series; it was used in racing, and in heavily modified form, it powered the McLaren F1. BMW also built an X5 with a high-powered V-12; this engine was supposed to go into an M8, but it was decided the car was "too extreme".

In its original form, the V-12 propelled the E32 7 series from standstill to 62mph in just 7.4 seconds; top speed was a governed 155mph. "We could have reached around 168mph," recalls an engineer, "but the tires weren't ready back then." There's another reason which is at least as worthy, and which is still sensitive today: The German auto industry's voluntary agreement to cut off top speed was agreed upon in order to avoid a discussion on a speed limit.

The 750i was distinguished from the 730i and 735i by its wider kidney grille and according hood contour; there was a rectangular dual exhaust that recalled not only the kidney grille, but also the jet engines of the Concorde supersonic airplane; and there were specific, almost fully covered wheels. As the subsequent 7 series models with V-8 engines received the same grille, and as more commonplace wheel choices were added, the 750i and iL lost their visual edge.

We got some time behind the wheel of an almost pristine 750 iL E32. It still fires up with a beautiful, sonorous sound. The interior styling oozes functionality and "German-ness". Most definitely a driver's car, its biggest letdown is the four-speed automatic which seems inadequate today. And truly comfortable it isn't, at least not with the unusually large wheels and tires on this example from BMW's historic collection.

The E38 7 series, by contrast, still feels competitive today. More plush than the E32 yet beautifully restrained, it received an upgraded engine that makes 322hp from 5.4 liters of displacement. It is fast, precise, quiet and immensely gratifying behind the wheel.

BMW did not provide an E65 760i for comparison, but we have vivid memories of a behemoth that was plagued with electronic overkill that culminated in the counter-intuitive iDrive system, a lack of a driver-oriented interior, and and an oversized body that discouraged dancing through twisty roads. Its direct-injected, four-valve N73 6.0-liter V-12, rated at 431hp, serves as the basis for the Rolls-Royce Phantom's 6.7-liter V-12. In the E65, it couldn't sparkle.

We did get time behind the wheel of the current F02 760 Li - and, compared to the E38, it has completed the transformation from a driver's car to a plush sedan to be chauffeured around in. At 537hp, the twin-turbocharged N74 6.0-liter V-12 is ridiculously powerful, but the car is so big and heavy that you don't get much enjoyment from driving it outside of its natural habitat, which is the autobahn. The ultra-low effort steering and the playful electronic instrumentation did not endear it to us, either.

The V-12 was most successful in its first iteration: Up to one sixth of 7 series production was equipped with the range-topping engine. That number has plummeted into the low single digits. Nevertheless, BMW remains committed: The V-12 has a future, we are assured by company executives. We can only applaud this commitment. "Efficient dynamics" is necessary, but not sufficient.

F02 7 Series

E66 7 Series

E38 7 Series

E32 7 Series

25 Years of V12 7 Series




Name:  v12-1.jpg
Views: 12042
Size:  226.7 KB

Name:  v12-2.jpg
Views: 11162
Size:  125.3 KB

Name:  v12-2a.jpg
Views: 11018
Size:  195.9 KB

Name:  v12-3.jpg
Views: 11056
Size:  189.7 KB

Name:  v12-5.jpg
Views: 10995
Size:  136.5 KB

Name:  v12-6.jpg
Views: 10829
Size:  206.5 KB

Name:  v12-7.jpg
Views: 10980
Size:  210.6 KB

Name:  v12-9.jpg
Views: 10543
Size:  169.1 KB

Name:  v12-10.jpg
Views: 10585
Size:  223.6 KB

Name:  v12-11.jpg
Views: 10544
Size:  147.0 KB

Name:  v12-13.jpg
Views: 10523
Size:  141.0 KB

Name:  v12-14.jpg
Views: 10492
Size:  116.4 KB

Name:  v12-15.jpg
Views: 10443
Size:  199.1 KB

Name:  v12-16.jpg
Views: 10480
Size:  239.9 KB

Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 07:19 AM   #2
b33g33
Give '///M' Hell!
b33g33's Avatar
United_States
30
Rep
1,305
Posts

 
Drives: Einser Rex
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Atlanta, GA

iTrader: (0)

V12 or not, the E38 is the last 7-series I would consider superior to the contemporary S-class.

__________________
The 1 series M is the most badass, coolest, sickest BMW to debut since the 1988 M3. The E30 M3 finally has a successor. Please welcome the stupidly fast, wickedly tempered, awkwardly named, possibly perfect little son of a benchmark - Automobile Magazine, August 2011

Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 07:35 AM   #3
Dackelone
Moderator
Dackelone's Avatar
Germany
690
Rep
16,675
Posts

 
Drives: 135i Silber mit/Rot 6MT N54
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Bayern, Germany

iTrader: (1)

^^I agree. The e38 was such a nice car. BMW should have used the project Gold-Fish V16 motor back then. Maybe they will in a future up coming model. ?
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 07:54 AM   #4
MDyDinanM
OIF Veteran
MDyDinanM's Avatar
United_States
57
Rep
2,090
Posts

 
Drives: ///M
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: East Coast

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2008 BMW M5  [3.44]
I am not a fan of the new 7 series headlights. Maybe it looks better in person.
__________________
Retired: '06 BMW E46 ///M3
Current: '08 BMW E60 DINAN ///M5, Interlagos Blue, SMG
DINAN Stage 2 Suspension, Exhaust, Stage III Software, Front strut braces,
Intakes, 13% Underdrive pulley, 3.91 Differential, RPI Scoops.
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 08:15 AM   #5
Zadjali
Second Lieutenant
Oman
19
Rep
216
Posts

 
Drives: 2007 Crimson E92
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Sultanate of Oman

iTrader: (0)

E38 is a Legendary car! . . . Nearly every wealthy family owned an E38 !

Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 08:30 AM   #6
MilehighM3
Colonel
MilehighM3's Avatar
21
Rep
2,184
Posts

 
Drives: E90 M3
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Colorado Springs

iTrader: (9)

As bad as the E65 was in terms of electrical issues, BMW still sold more of them than any other 7.
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 08:55 AM   #7
wdeerfield
A family of bimmers
United_States
36
Rep
3,356
Posts

 
Drives: 2009 e90 2011 f10
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Clifton Park, NY

iTrader: (0)

that e66 just looks so odd compared to the rest. Glad the new 7 has the bigger kidneys
__________________

2009 MBM 328| ZPP | ZSP | ZCW | CA | 6FL | NAV | XENONS | 18x8.5 VB3s ET30/25
2011 Jet Black 535i xdrive | ZPP | ZSP | ZCW | 6FL | NAV | 331s Square
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 08:56 AM   #8
misterbeemer
Second Lieutenant
2
Rep
252
Posts

 
Drives: E92, E46 M3, E39 M5, 760Li
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by b33g33 View Post
V12 or not, the E38 is the last 7-series I would consider superior to the contemporary S-class.

I wholeheartedly agree! BMW cars from that era, 3, 5 and 7 series were some of the best looking cars of the time and vastly superior than their competitors. The E38 is more pleasing to look at than the E60 and F02.

Also loved the BMW films starring Clive Oven.
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 09:28 AM   #9
EmPower
Captain
EmPower's Avatar
United_States
36
Rep
901
Posts

 
Drives: 2014 X5 xdrive 35i
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdeerfield View Post
that e66 just looks so odd compared to the rest. Glad the new 7 has the bigger kidneys
I think the E65/66 were revolutionary at the time. I remember driving down the highway in 2004/05 and saw the E66 about 5 car lengths in front of me and how it looked so different and fresh... weird thing was that there was a W220 S class right in front of me and I failed to notice it.

Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the E65/ 66 interior. It looks like a $80K car interior. The one on the F01/02 is just plain horrible. I mean I get the same interior on a 48K 528 that I can get on a 130K 760. That is just plain terrible
__________________
e92 Schwartz/Koralle Rot/Pappel Grau/ZSP/Sitzheizung

Real Men drive BMW
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 10:09 AM   #10
Park2670
General
Park2670's Avatar
United_States
204
Rep
18,125
Posts

 
Drives: 2014 CX-5
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: UTAH

iTrader: (8)

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmPower View Post
I think the E65/66 were revolutionary at the time. I remember driving down the highway in 2004/05 and saw the E66 about 5 car lengths in front of me and how it looked so different and fresh... weird thing was that there was a W220 S class right in front of me and I failed to notice it.

Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the E65/ 66 interior. It looks like a $80K car interior. The one on the F01/02 is just plain horrible. I mean I get the same interior on a 48K 528 that I can get on a 130K 760. That is just plain terrible
Agreed 100%.

It wasnt a perfect car, but they sold a lot and they stood out in a crowd.
__________________
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 10:17 AM   #11
Whostheboss
Captain
Whostheboss's Avatar
40
Rep
787
Posts

 
Drives: a 9incher
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Connecticut U.S.

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmPower View Post
I think the E65/66 were revolutionary at the time. I remember driving down the highway in 2004/05 and saw the E66 about 5 car lengths in front of me and how it looked so different and fresh... weird thing was that there was a W220 S class right in front of me and I failed to notice it.

Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the E65/ 66 interior. It looks like a $80K car interior. The one on the F01/02 is just plain horrible. I mean I get the same interior on a 48K 528 that I can get on a 130K 760. That is just plain terrible
Do you mean F10 528? if so, no true. The F01/02's interior is much better than F10. Plus it has more color availability.
__________________
WHO'S THE BOSS
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 10:21 AM   #12
greekcs
Private First Class
United_States
1
Rep
175
Posts

 
Drives: 2003 E46 M3
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NY

iTrader: (0)

Great cars when working properly. They will bleed you dry through maintenance though.
__________________
2003 Steel Gray Metallic M3 - Imola Interior - SMGII - Premium - HK Sound - NAV - Sirius
Mods :VFE Stage 2 SC, SS Ceramic Coated Stepped Headers, S-Pipe, X-Pipe,TMS Subframe Reinforcement, KWV2 Coilovers, TMS Camber Plates, Powerflex RTAB's, Rogue RSM's, ZCP F/R Brakes
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 10:31 AM   #13
mkiv808
Lieutenant
6
Rep
438
Posts

 
Drives: 06 E90/Cayman S
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Milford, CT

iTrader: (0)

E38 was so fantastic. How is reliability on those?
__________________
2009 BMW M3 E92 6M AW/FR
Eibach Springs + H&R Front Sway + LUX AE + LCI Taillights + BMW Performance CF Spoiler + Bastuck Clubsport Exhaust
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 10:37 AM   #14
Bomb617
Private First Class
United_States
6
Rep
164
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 Alpine White 535i M-Sport
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Southern California

iTrader: (2)

E38...still the best 7-Series
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 12:41 PM   #15
24601
Major
24601's Avatar
United_States
18
Rep
1,177
Posts

 
Drives: 2013 E92 M3
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Oahu, Hawaii

iTrader: (1)

Garage List
2013 Toyota Prius  [0.00]
2014 BMW 750Li  [0.00]
2013 BMW M3  [5.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zadjali View Post
E38 is a Legendary car! . . . Nearly every wealthy family owned an E38 !


+1. This is my favorite 7er!
__________________
MY13 E92 M3 SS w/ ZCP l ZPP l 2MK l 6NR l 752 l M Performance Exhaust, Grill, Side Gills, C/F splitters

Sold - 2009 E92 335i LMB M-Sport
Sold - 2003 E46 M3 LSB SMG
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 12:54 PM   #16
greekcs
Private First Class
United_States
1
Rep
175
Posts

 
Drives: 2003 E46 M3
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NY

iTrader: (0)

My father has an E38. The car has suffered every issue under the sun, but keeps on going. From bad MAF sensors (both), Waterpump failure resulting in loss of entire cooling system, 2 alternators, transmission failure, intake manifold gasket issues, several window regulators, E-CAT issues, defective ABS pump (several instances). And then you have the dreaded front end shimmy that resulted in the replacement of every major front-end suspension component, only to return again a few years later. Not to mention the electrical gremlins.
That being said, the active seats and EDC suspension, along with the gobs of torque from the M73n always seem to put a smile on my face.
__________________
2003 Steel Gray Metallic M3 - Imola Interior - SMGII - Premium - HK Sound - NAV - Sirius
Mods :VFE Stage 2 SC, SS Ceramic Coated Stepped Headers, S-Pipe, X-Pipe,TMS Subframe Reinforcement, KWV2 Coilovers, TMS Camber Plates, Powerflex RTAB's, Rogue RSM's, ZCP F/R Brakes

Last edited by greekcs; 03-04-2013 at 02:59 PM.
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 02:06 PM   #17
tuna_hp
Enlisted Member
0
Rep
39
Posts

 
Drives: X3
Join Date: May 2012
Location: United States

iTrader: (0)

I haven't noticed a single F01/02 V12 on the road and I only saw 1 or 2 E65 V12s. The E38 750i wasn't quite so rare but these V12s definitely seem to be dying out. With the power per liter of displacement that we're seeing in newer turbocharged engines, you would need 6 wheel drive to begin to put down the power you could make from a 6.0L V12.

Hell, those numbers listed from BMW V12s through the E38 were laughable. BMW's next iteration of 4 cylinder engines will put down more power.
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 03:47 PM   #18
Echoz
Private First Class
Canada
2
Rep
128
Posts

 
Drives: E92 M3, Ducati 848
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Toronto

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by b33g33 View Post
V12 or not, the E38 is the last 7-series I would consider superior to the contemporary S-class.

I agree, its so beautiful. I dont know what happened with the models that came after it. E38 is the most beautiful 7 series ever.
__________________
09 E92 M3
2011 Ducati 848
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 04:39 PM   #19
E46M54325Ci
Lieutenant Colonel
E46M54325Ci's Avatar
27
Rep
1,623
Posts

 
Drives: 2009 Porsche Cayman
Join Date: May 2006
Location: SoCal

iTrader: (4)

Quote:
Originally Posted by b33g33 View Post
V12 or not, the E38 is the last 7-series I would consider superior to the contemporary S-class.

Not last, only. There's no way the one prior was better than the W126 Benz, as the W126 was probably top 5 cars benz ever built and solid as a rock.
__________________
987.2 Cayman, Aqua Blue on Black
Appreciate 0
      03-04-2013, 06:12 PM   #20
JUSTIN335
.
JUSTIN335's Avatar
United_States
10
Rep
363
Posts

 
Drives: 2012 535i m-sport
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Carlsbad/Laguna Beach

iTrader: (1)

I don't know why they don't do something to make the 760 look special. Even the S600 has some distinct features, let alone the beautiful (and very expensive) S65.

Also, I remember the 760 being one of Car and Drivers most expensive cars to own per mile. It cost like $1.50 to drive per mile due to its insane depreciation rate. And the high end of the their scale topped out at around $0.85, so you know something is wrong there.
__________________
2012 F10 535i
2013 E70 X5M
2007 E92 335i - sold
Appreciate 0
      03-05-2013, 12:29 AM   #21
Piotr74656
Private
Piotr74656's Avatar
United_States
1
Rep
61
Posts

 
Drives: E92 335i and E38 740iL
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Francisco

iTrader: (0)

The E38 is simply timeless. Ours still looks like new despite its 200,000+ miles and ridiculously expensive maintenance order. Although we now have many newer cars in the household, the E38 never fails to put a big smile on my face.
Appreciate 0
      03-05-2013, 09:38 PM   #22
ljtM5comp
New Member
1
Rep
24
Posts

 
Drives: '14 Singapore grey M5
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: South Carolina

iTrader: (0)

My Mom had one of the first 1988 750iL's in the United States. It was a fantastic car. Black with natur interior. I remember either the brochure or the owners manual that stated an unrestricted top speed of 184 mph. Does any one else remember that or have the original?
My Mom then had a 1990 750iL, a 1994 750 iL, a 1996 750iL and a 2000 750iL. All fabulous cars and I should have been arrested in each of them.
Appreciate 0
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:24 AM.




7post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST