The Magnificent 7s - 1982 BMW 728i Automaic E23 vs. 1987 BMW 730i E32 and 1998 BMW 740iA Sport E38 Featured

   
1982 BMW 728i Automaic E23 vs. 1987 BMW 730i E32 and 1998 BMW 740iA Sport E38 2020 Simon Thompson and Drive-My EN/UK

The Magnificent 7s: How BMW took on the executive class. BMW’s 7 Series is now a byword for executive luxury. But that reputation was hard-earned… Words Nathan Chadwick. Photography Simon Thompson.


MAGNIFICENT SEVENS

Why BMW's path to exec glory wasn't assured

How BMW tackled the executive car establishment with the E23, E32 and E38 – and won in the end


The battle to build the world’s best executive car was a fierce one, as you’ll have seen from our cover feature. The Lexus might have aced it on its first try, but it took nearly a decade to complete. Even now, Lexus struggles to have the brand cachet in the UK, despite the game-Changing LS400 30 years ago.

Membership of the elite executive class can take much longer – just ask BMW.


Photography Simon Thompson.
Photography Simon Thompson - 1982 BMW 728i Automaic E23 vs. 1987 BMW 730i E32 and 1998 BMW 740iA Sport E38

Its take on the executive class as we know it began in the late 1960s with the BMW E3, but fielding a serious Mercedes-Benz Contender would have to wait for the 7 Series line. Even so, it would take Munich around 30 years to break the Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz stranglehold.

Nowadays the 7 Series is up therewith the most prestigious executive saloons you can buy – even if BMW's current design direction hasn't gone down well with anyone other than Silence of The Lambs enthusiasts. It's also under threat from downsizing and a shift away from the saloon form in favour of SUVs.

So before it disappears, we’ve arranged the three greatest eras – E23, E32 and E38 – to chart how BMW went from also-ran to class leader, before it all went slightly awry with the Millennial 7 Series. Which one still cuts the executive mustard? Let's find out.


1982 BMW 728i Automaic E23 vs. 1987 BMW 730i E32 and 1998 BMW 740iA Sport E38
1982 BMW 728i Automaic E23 vs. 1987 BMW 730i E32 and 1998 BMW 740iA Sport E38


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Read 235 times Last modified on Thursday, 05 March 2020 00:57

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