BMW E65 7-Series

The E65 7-Series was designed as a true executives car and was manufactured as a full-size luxury sedan which was produced by BMW from 2001 to 2008. The BMW E65 was first launched at the Frankfurt Motor show in September 2001 and replaced the E38. The E65 was the first 7-Series range of cars to use specific chassis codes for each version. There are three different versions; the E65 was denoted to the short wheelbase version, E66 to the long wheelbase, E67 to the bullet-proof version and the E68 to the hydrogen powered cars. The BMW E65 broke all the records to become the best selling 7-series ever made.

The final design for the E65 was approved in early 1999, being later revised later in that year. After controversy surrounding its exterior design following its introduction in July 2001, external updates were developed and with the design completed the final product went on sale in March 2001.

Early production E65’s were problematic as the vast majority had problems caused largely by  functionality issues of iDrive system which had software issues with updates having largely cured the electronic problems that infuriated owners of the vehicles sold. Furthermore, BMW had to extended the factory warranty on 2002 and 2003 model years of the 7-Sseries cars sold in the USA to an extended 6 years term or 160,000 km’s from the original 4 year or 80,000 km warranty plan for coverage. The BMW E65 and E66 were the only BMW cars that were available with the top of the line engines which includes the 6.0 litre V12 petrol N73 and the 4.4 litre V8 turbo diesel engines.

There is no BMW M version of the 7-Series because BMW did not want it to be powered by a high revving engine like the rest of the M lineup offers. However, Alpina was permitted to produce a high performance version known as the Alpina B7, based on the short wheelbase BMW 750i. The B7 is built at the same assembly line in Dingolfing in Germany.

Compared to the BMW 760Li's naturally aspirated 6.0 litre V12 which was too heavy, The Alpina B7 uses a supercharged 4.4 litre V8 found in the BMW 750i and 750 Li cars. The supercharger is of a centrifugal  type that is capable of delivering 11.6 psi and 0.8 bar boost run through an intercooler with a lower compression ratio engine as well as a revised stronger crankshaft and connecting rods for reliability. The engine output is 500 Hp or 373 kW and 700 N.m of torque.

The Alpina B7 was widely acredited against top performing vehicle manufacturers  such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Bentley and the Jaguar XJ-8, while BMW's own flagship model, the 760Li was considered uncompetitive. The B7 was the only Alpina 7-Series offered in the USA.

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