BMW 750i built in 1988

BMW 750i built in 1988

Our test sample dates from 1988 and is well equipped, but far from what was possible back then. Our Bavarian has electric windows at the front and rear, full leather equipment and automatic dual-zone air conditioning on board, as well as cruise control – er, sorry, of course it was called cruise control back then – and an on-board computer. And almost 145,000 kilometers on the clock. The seven is 491 cm long – which creates space for the passengers. One might think. The powerful engine in the front needs space, and there is also a not modest trunk with a volume of 500 liters. Oh yes, there also had to be room for the 102 liter tank. Well – there’s not much left for the passengers.


BMW 750i (11) 

© Image: Markus Chalilow


You don’t sit in the back of a 7 Series – you drive it

At least if you compare the space available with today’s vehicles. There are good seats and plenty of legroom at the front, and the seats at the back are also good – albeit lined with somewhat slippery leather – but the knee room is modest. In contrast, today you feel like you’re in a gym in the back of a Skoda Superb. But you don’t sit in the back of a 7 Series – you drive it. Especially when the huge 12mm is installed. One turn of the ignition key – the starter starts working and the drive unit, known internally as M70B50, comes to life. And how! A bright, alert sound awaits the 7 Series owner.


BMW 750i (2) 

© Image: Markus Chalilow


Now we also ask the automatic system to work

The car starts moving spontaneously, much more spontaneously than, for example, the Jaguar XJ from that time. In general, the BMW looks pretty sporty from the first few meters. There’s nothing palanquin-like about the suspension, although the suspension comfort isn’t bad even by today’s standards. Once the 7.5 liters of engine oil are warm, you can give the BMW its spurs – the silky-smooth engine, each with an overhead camshaft, has nothing against it. It revs up very lightly and accelerates the car, which weighs a good 1,850 kg, quickly. BMW quotes 7.4 seconds for the sprint from standstill to 100 km/h. Theoretically, the 750i is good for 272 km/h, but is electronically limited at 250 km/h. So it’s possible if you want to drive the E32 sporty, but you also have to be aware of a certain consumption. There are said to be people who drive from the Bern area to Ticino with an average consumption of 10 liters.


The BMW 750i is an unsung super slaoon hero that I would choose over an M5

With 523 horsepower paired with a relatively plush chassis, the 750i offers the thrill of an old-school super sedan, even if it’s probably not intended to be that way

By MATT ROBINSON, May 26, 2019

“Damn, where did that come from?” I thought, just moments after climbing into the refreshed 750i for the first time. I was so distracted by that face (and no, I’m not sure those giant, bucktooth-like kidney grilles look any better in the shiny coated plastic) that I neglected to check the specs on this thing before getting behind the wheel . It turns out it’s pretty tight.

It shares its 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with the wonderful M850i ​​and develops a whopping 523 hp and 553 Nm of torque. It’s significantly more powerful than the old 750i’s engine, with BMW unleashing an additional 79 horsepower.

The big daddy of the 7 Series, the M760Li, has been neutered to WLTP and weighs around 200kg more, so it’s barely faster, reaching the benchmark mark of 62mph just two tenths quicker than this. The 750i does it in four seconds.

That’s pleasantly quicker than the old M5 and – amusingly – a little quicker than the M2 Competition. It sounds great too, even if the V8 is quieter here than in the M850i.

The real story, however, isn’t the eye-opening midrange surge. Well, not by itself. The 750i is all about the combination of that powerful V8 and a relatively soft chassis. It’s still a luxury hovermobile, and that’s why it’s incredibly fun to toss around.

Of course, that doesn’t mean he isn’t dynamically talented. The damping is far from firm, but no matter what mode you’re in, the body control is fantastically clean. Dramatic camber changes, poor road surfaces – the 750i can handle whatever comes its way. The steering is good too – not necessarily in terms of feedback, but it’s quick, well balanced and predictable enough to place the 7’s unfortunate-looking new front end where you want it.

The V8 sends power to all four wheels via an eight-speed ZF gearbox (smooth here, as with most BMWs, apart from the occasional annoying delay when you’re trying to get off the line quickly). There is a relatively noticeable backward tilt to the system, although you have to apply quite a bit of pressure for this to come into effect.

On the whole it’s a neutral car that allows you to carry quite a bit of speed until the 750i reminds you that this is a two-ton luxury car and not a 911, which has a lot of squeaks to be heard Tires.

But that’s half the fun. I really love the new M5, but it’s a little too serious now, isn’t it? While this super sedan now does its best to give the impression that it’s actually a sports car (or maybe even a supercar, given its ridiculous pace), the 750i is a reminder of what these cars used to look like. And this is a stylish, comfortable four-door that just happens to have a disproportionately powerful engine under the hood.

As a pure luxury vehicle, the 7 Series is less successful. It’s still the third best of the three main suppliers: the air-sprung Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8 both ride better, and the latter offers more flashy feel-good toys. BMW, particularly with this M-Sport trimmed 750i, has focused a little too much on making the car so it can be tossed around in a way that a luxury barge probably shouldn’t be.

For normal people, this is true over the 7 Series and especially the 750i. Inevitably, the 750i only accounts for a tiny percentage of total 7 Series sales. But if you’re a little weird and like the idea of ​​an old-school super sedan that’s more fun than an M5, then head right this way.

BMW 750i

The BMW 750i as a youngtimer car

The E38 series was the 3rd edition of the 7 Series BMW. More specifically, the  BMW 750i . Built from 1994 to 2001 with some innovations in automotive engineering. A built-in navigation system with a screen on which you can also watch TV. The xenon headlights, parking distance control to name a few things. Located in the luxury class, it was a direct competitor to the Mercedes S-Class of the W140 series. BMW was able to position itself very successfully on the market with this model, and there are many reasons for this. The E38 is now often described as timelessly elegant in terms of design. As the most beautiful 7 Series ever. This is probably mainly due to the fact that the rear lights of the predecessor were often criticized and the rear of the successor is not considered attractive.

Mercedes was heavily criticized for its S-Class, too wide, too long, too heavy. BMW, on the other hand, completely lived up to its reputation for sporty, elegant sedans. The twelve-cylinder consumes 4-5 liters less compared to the Mercedes’ V12. In addition, the BMW was designed to be more sporty in terms of driving behavior and did not seem so sedate. The E38 was a significant image boost for BMW and has now arrived in the area of ​​youngtimers after 20 years.

The engine of the BMW 750i

The engine began with the 728i (193 hp) with an in-line six-cylinder. The two V8s with the 730i and 740i formed the backbone of the series. The engines in the previous model were only developed and introduced in 1992 and were then expanded in displacement to 3.5 liters for the 735i (238 hp) and to 4.4 liters (286 hp). Here the name remained 740i. The top model was the 12 cylinder with 5.4 liter displacement and 325 hp.

There was a diesel from 1996, the 725 tds with 143 hp, but things only became interesting in the diesel sector with the introduction of the 730d with common rail diesel technology. With its 184 hp and powerful torque, it was the engine of the future in all BMW models for the next few years. The 740d followed in 1999 as a V8 common rail diesel with 245 hp.

All petrol engines in this series are purely naturally aspirated and are considered very reliable. Mileages of over 400,000 km are not uncommon. Only the common rail diesels are afflicted with the typical problems, turbocharger damage or defective diesel pumps. This usually leads to expensive repairs, and the entire fuel system often has to be replaced because the finest chips have accumulated there and destroy the new parts in a short time.


The 7 Series is usually very lavishly equipped; electric seat adjustment, climate control, navigation system, parking distance control, etc. are always present, especially in the top models. The parking distance sometimes causes problems, the other electrical helpers usually work well. Leaks in the air conditioning system are of course always an issue as we get older.

The body has a few problem areas with rust, the tailgate is a troublesome issue here. A stainless tailgate is almost never found. The bottom of the doors are still prone to damage, so it’s worth taking a look here too. The tank is also a problem; metal tanks usually don’t last 15 years. Even if the car has been very well maintained, rust on the tank is a big problem. The entire suspension of the wheels, axles and steering deteriorates over the years and kilometers. There is no explicit problem here, but it is worth checking closely.

Overall, a very solid car, a budding youngtimer in the upper class segment whose prices are currently bottoming out. Good used ones are not that cheap and are already sought after by collectors. A price increase for the BMW 750i as a youngtimer car can be expected soon  .