The first-gen BMW 7-Series is still the benchmark

40 years old and going strong
by Vijay Pattni | Jul 27, 2017


At the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, BMW will unveil a special, ‘40 Jahre’ edition of its all-new 7-Series. It is intended to celebrate 40 years since the first, E23 BMW 7-Series arrived, and it puts us in a bit of a quandary.

Because while the new BMW 7-Series is a fine car—high-tech underpinnings, good engines (including the lightly nutty 6.6-liter blown V12 in the M760), and much connectivity—it’s frankly not as cool as the original one.

Which BMW has very helpfully reminded us about. Just look at its sharp-nosed, angular magnificence. It marked something new for BMW—a new design language, and a new beginning, following BMW’s E3 ‘New Six’ line of luxury sedans (themselves a response to Mercedes-Benz).

All cars came with a straight-six in many variants—ranging from 2.5 to 3.5-liters in size—all packaged up into that new silhouette. A stronger sloping design, shorter overhangs, that shark-nosed face. All excellent.

It was of course, packed to the rafters with tech of the day, as befits a luxury sedan. Air conditioning! Gauges! An on-board computer! In-car telephones! Leather! Power windows! And yes, the exclamation marks aren’t those of derision, but of delight—remember, this was 1977.

BMW also used the 7-Series to kick off a few firsts too, much like Mercedes does with the S-Class. So 1977's 7 got a check-control system, 1987’s 7 was the first post-war German car to feature a V12, integrated nav arrived in 1994, iDrive in 2001, and THE INTERNET in 2008.

Continue reading below ↓

And it all kicked off with that little ol’ E23. So while the new 7 is fine, the old one is just better.

Tell us we’re wrong (even though we’re not).

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made. 

Also Read

WE RECOMMEND
MORE FROM THE SUMMIT MEDIA NETWORK
SPONSORED CONTENT
PHOTO: BMW
  • Quiz Results

  • TGP Rating
    --/20
    Engine
    --
    Power
    --
    Torque
    --
    Transmission
    --
    Fuel
    --
    1.8 E CVT
    Starts at P1,110,000
    TGP Rating:
    --/20
    Pros
    Light on amenities, Honda kept styling it long after it was done.
    Cons
    Light on amenities, Honda kept styling it long after it was done.
    Verdict
    Honda’s winningest combination comes when you opt for a six-speed manual transmission available in the Civic hatchback Sport, in which …
    Learn More
  • TGP Rating:
    /20

    Starts at ₱

    TGP Rating:
    /20
    Starts at ₱