One of the most visible luxury full-size sedans around, the BMW 7-Series has been a fixture in its segment since the late 1970s. Originally outfitted with an inline-six-cylinder engine, the first edition of the 7-Series provided peppy performance along with a cushy, luxurious accessories. The inaugural generation of the BMW 7-Series was produced for a decade, when it saw several updates and adjustments without being completely overhauled. The second run of the 7-Series made its way onto American roadways in 1988, with both a regular and extended wheelbase (the latter of which was for an increase in legroom). The primary base engine was a 3.4L inline six-cylinder good for 208 horsepower directed through either a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual. Trims were the 735i and 735iL. In 1993, a bolder 4.0L V8 capable of 282 horsepower was introduced into the lineup, replacing the previous inline six-cylinder. It also gave way to both the 740i and 740iL, respectively. However, the model that made the most noise was the 750iL, BMW’s first V12-equipped model. The 750iL pumped out 296 horsepower, and it was geared to a four-speed automatic transmission.
The third generation of the BMW 7-Series rolled off the line and into the showrooms in time for the 1995 model year. The regular wheelbase was the 740i, while the longer wheelbase was branded as either the 740iL or 750iL. Both 740 models were outfitted with a 4.4L V8 engine good for up to 282 horsepower as before. The 750iL was given a bit of a boost, as it was now equipped with a 5.4L V12 engine which showcased 326 horsepower, an increase of about 30 hp over the previous 750. All engines across the board were geared to a five-speed automatic transmission. In 2002, fourth-generation versions of the 7-Series made their way onto the road. A sleeker, more aggressive exterior design was ordered and a bevy of changes to the underhood parts of the BMW 7-Series were made elsewhere, as well. Long wheelbase models were the 750Li and 760Li. 750i and 750Li variants displayed a 4.8L V8 (360 hp). The 760Li churned out 438 horsepower behind a 6.0L V12. From 2004 to 2006, a short wheelbase 760i was produced. The base engine was a 4.4L V8 capable of approximately 325 horsepower. All engines were mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Three models were offered with the arrival of the fifth generation BMW 7-Series: 750i, 750Li, and 760Li. Both the 750i and 750Li received a 4.4L twin-turbo V8 that got credit for delivering 400 horsepower along with 450 pounds-per-foot of torque directed through a six-speed automatic transmission with rear-wheel drive as standard (xDrive all-wheel drive was made available as an option). At the top of the BMW 7-Series lineup was the 760Li which presents a 6.0L V12 engine (535 horsepower and 550 pounds-per-foot of torque). 760Li models were mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and could not be obtained with the all-wheel drive layout. Various features and optional parts for the BMW 7-Series also included leather upholstery, wood trim, adjustable power front-seats, a night-vision camera, a side-view camera, and BMW’s iDrive electronic interface system.
One of BMW's specialties has always been providing drivers with the comfort, image, and performance that always stands alone. A remarkable example of BMW's intuitiveness, the 7 Series has always come equipped with the performance ability and luxury features that make the company what it is: a powerhouse. The 7-Series continues to dominate the landscape today those who own this machine know the real story every time they hop behind the wheel. It is power and luxury at its finest.
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