BMW 7 Series (E23)

BMW 7 Series ( 1977 to 1983 )

The luxury model series BMW E23 was the first 7-series BMW and came in the spring of 1977 to the market. It replaced the produced from 1968 series E3.

After the 5-series from 1972, the 3 Series of 1975 and 6 of 1976, the 7 Series models were in the late 1970s, the provisional conclusion point of the reorganization of the car range from BMW. All four series were now rearranged by model name and recurring design features. Successor to the E23, the E32 built from the fall of 1986.

  • 2.1 Motor data to 1979
  • 2.2 Motor data from 1979
  • 2.3 performance
  • 2.4 body

Model history


At its market launch in May 1977, the first models were 728, 730 and 733i with the commitments adopted from the previous model E3 M30 engines in the program. Formal took the already presented in early 1976 6 Series Coupe ( E24 ) many design features of the BMW 7 advance; but the landing gear of the coupe was based on that of the first 5 Series E12 model.

In 1979, the E23 anti -lock braking system (ABS ) was introduced, which was developed by Mercedes -Benz together with Bosch. Also in 1979, all engines were equipped with electronic fuel injection L- Jetronic from Bosch. The BMW 728i replaced the models 728 and 730 from. The 732i with digital engine electronics replaced the 733i. The BMW 735i has been newly included in the rolling program. Also presented was the new BMW 725i. This was only offered for public authorities and for export.

As the top model came in January 1980, the 745i with a 3.2 -liter engine from the 732i, additionally equipped with a turbocharger and intercooler on the market. Thus, the power of the 145 kW 732i could be increased to 185 kW.


In May 1983 the company took a major facelift to. With this the engine of the 735i was used with turbocharging along with other vehicle modifications in the model 745i. The engine performance did not change, however, the response and torque have been increased.

From 1984, the 735i with catalyst was available until January 1985 in conjunction with an automatic transmission. From October 1984 to April 1986 1237 units were delivered. From January 1985 to April 1986 738 piece with manual transmission have been delivered.

Model names

The models of 7 series carry a three digit numeric model name.

The prefix "7" stands for the series. The two digits after the " 7 " refer to a hundredth of the displacement in cc. Here, however, a rounding up or down to achieve the desired model name took place in some cases and is therefore not always mathematically correct. One exception is the 745i with a turbocharger and intercooler, who had a radical derived from the BMW 732 engine with 3210 cc capacity initially. Advertising effect the higher engine performance should be reflected by a higher number. This was determined according to BMW brochure of 1980 by multiplying by 32 with the then usual in motor sports formula for turbo cars ( cubic capacity times 1.4 = the displacement class, came in the turbo vehicles for use ). This was revealed then at 3210 cc, the number 4494 (→ 45). So well was the 745i designation. Contemporary rumors said that the name of the then planned, but due to the second oil crisis came 1979/80 rejected twelve cylinder engine was retained. The 745i model name was retained in 1983 with the increase in displacement to 3430 cc.

The trailing "i" in the model name indicates an engine with direct fuel injection ( "i " = abbreviation for Injection (English for injection) ). Models without suffix "i" have a petrol engine.

Export variants

In Britain, the 745i was not available. In the right-hand drive necessary there because of the turbocharger was no room for the steering column. Therefore, it was exclusively for the UK market a tuned by Alpina 735

In South Africa, however, where was also driven to the left, a more powerful version was desired. South Africa was still under the economic embargo of the western world, hence the import of the complete Alpina BMW from the UK was not possible. Instead, in Rosslyn near Pretoria, South African produced the BMW plant a model of the E23 with the internal M88 / 3 called engine from the M635 CSi E23 in the power was 213 kW ( 290 hp). The torque of the motor was at 340 nm at 4400 rpm. This vehicle has been referred to as BMW M745i and built in a very small quantity of 194 copies.

In the U.S., only the 733i and 735i versions were available. From 1985 the model range was expanded with the L7. This was a luxurious version of the 735i, which was designed exclusively for the American market. An important difference was in the special leather interior, in which also the dashboard and the door panels were covered with leather. Many extras were already standard equipment on this vehicle. All L7 models have an automatic transmission.


The BMW E23 was equipped exclusively with a six- cylinder in-line engines of the type M30 and, in exceptional cases, on the based on the M30 Sport Motor M88 / 3. However, during development, including larger engines were provided, which were already partially tested in the predecessor. The eight-cylinder with four to five liters of displacement was the development department as too big and too heavy. A modern twelve-cylinder V-engine rejected you from doubts, after the second oil crisis in 1979/80 to offer a "too flashy car ." Later, even you tried the 4.5 -liter eight- cylinder Porsche. This was the reason that this machine at Porsche was only available at 928 and there were only small numbers. Among such collaboration it did not come, because you was at BMW, the Porsche V8 with 240 hp was barely more powerful and less elastic than their own straight-six.

The motor data of the individual models in tabular form:

Motor data to 1979

Motor data from 1979

The BMW 725i was only produced for government agencies, which provided for a maximum of 150 hp for the purchase of company cars, as well as for export. The BMW 745i is equipped with a turbocharger. The displacement multiplied by the ( known from motorsport ) factor of 1.4 gives the model name.


The data given to the performance related to the models with manual transmission. Vehicles that are equipped with an automatic transmission that offer slightly lower performance.


The BMW 7 Series is a notchback sedan with a vehicle length of 4860 mm. The vehicle width is 1800 mm, height 1430 mm.

The vehicle's curb weight (Figures in brackets for the version with automatic transmission):

Production figures

The BMW 7 Series was produced from May 1977 to August 1986 in the following quantities:


  • Automobile review, catalog numbers 1977, 1979
  • Rosellen, Hanns -Peter: The white-blue wonder Seewald Verlag, Stuttgart (1983 )
  • The Great BMW: E3 - E23- E32- E38, Thomas G. Mueller, Hamburg 2011, self-published edition - White-Blue, link