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BMW 732i (E23) in the driving report: Harmony is different - the first 7 Series

Hardy Mutschler
BMW 732i (E23) in the driving report
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D he designer Paul brought to BMW from Mercedes Bracq only drew this first seventh - the board was not satisfied with the result.

Hennarot does not suit him. Sapphire blue okay, reseda green or Polaris are also possible. Something light and simple that discreetly underscores the luxury class status of the big BMW 7 Series. Instead, this aggressive GTI bright red, which is also called like a cheap punk hair dye from the supermarket, emphasizes the provocative outsider position that he defiantly sat out in the scene for a long time.

The first BMW 7 Series is visually a thick ship - with cW 0.42

The first BMW 7 Series, internally called the E23, had a hard time winning the hearts of BMW fans. But he's not the type to curry favor with, he doesn't need a clacqueure because he's bursting with self-confidence. His design did not advertise the cool understatement and light-footed elegance of a three, five or six, which BMW chief designer Paul Bracq, lured away from Mercedes, did much better.

The BMW 7 Series looks strangely out of proportion, the rounded rear end too long and too emphasized. In contrast to this, the sharp-cut face, unmistakably BMW, but with a Cd 0.42 far from any aerodynamics.

The 7 Series has strange details, the tank cap is unorthodox on the left, the 100-liter barrel under the trunk in the middle of the impact zone, the steering wheel is once again a bit too flat, and the big ones just plan weakly corrugated side surfaces make it optically a thick ship. This opulence continues inside. In our BMW 732i, the passengers are lined with plush velor and flanked by warm walnut.

Big enough to celebrate a party

The width is princely, the rear becomes a spacious living area as soon as the wide door opens invitingly. Such an old BMW 7 Series is even fun from a standing start in the double garage - as a party mobile in the seventies look, Slade or Genesis with Phil Collins sing from the perforated rear speakers.

Exactly why you like it today, because it is not as performance-oriented and neat as the other BMWs, but as sensual as an expensive, but somewhat too conspicuously dressed woman in her mid-forties in size 42. That’s why the E23 sevens looks great Henna red excellent. It accelerates the formally leisurely BMW except for the aggressive shark's mouthin the red area of ​​increased attention. The muted business suit suddenly gives way to a provocative Vivienne Westwood rag in henna red.

Eight and twelve-cylinder cylinders for the first 7 series have been stopped

The fast lane is burning, old clichés come to life. Let me through, I'm a BMW and want to pack the S-Class. It did not succeed - less than half of the W 116 were there at the end. Maybe because there were too few sevens in Hennarot, maybe also because the longed-for, prestigious eight-cylinder was missing to round off the top. Daimler had it, BMW stopped the project because it didn't seem politically correct between two oil crises. The eight-cylinder was called the M36 and essentially consisted of two coupled, drilled-out four-cylinders from the Nullzwei, supported by a D-Jetronic - with a displacement of five liters and 275 hp.

Head of Development Bernhard Osswald and the engine makers Alexander von Falkenhausen and Paul Rosche even put two twelve-cylinder prototypes on Kiel in order to beat the star in a kind of obsessive Audi ambition. At first there were two M30s from the BMW 2500 ready to be paired in the M33, but the duo got too heavy and the 7 Series would be too top-heavy. Later, the small, lightweight M60 toothed belt sixes were clamped together to form the congenial twelve-cylinder M66, also making a smooth 275 hp from 4.5 liters.

Wrong path of fuel-guzzling charging

It's a shame that in the top model BMW 745i the wrong path of fuel-guzzling charging for the 7 Series was used, although the king's four-valve engine from the M1 was already available. They can do engines, the Bavarians. Even the six-cylinder in our BMW 732i runs vibration-free, elastic and easy to turn. It is the real joy of driving, accompanied by the muffled, rich exhaust sound of the less spectacular, but extremely efficient engine, whose special talents represent the optimized combustion chamber shape and the carefully balanced crank mechanism.

Owner Ulf Schlotterbeck visibly enjoys it in the light of an endless Indian summer. The youngtimer enthusiast from Tübingen often changes brands and models, tending towards the unconventional. He found his BMW 732i last year. It was love at first sight: 'I had to have it, if only because of the color. I also like the 7 Series a lot because of its defiant inappropriateness.' But the eternal seeker is already looking for a late BMW 735i in the exuberant executive equipment made of buffalo leather.

But even the old BMW 732i is very confident in harmony with the soft-shifting ZF three-speed automatic. The smooth suspension setup with long suspension travel killed the legend of the tight, tough and sporty BMW. Only the genetically determined tendency to oversteer remained as a small vice. Once a highway burner, today a pleasant cruiser. Species-appropriate asHeld as a collector's item, the BMW seven-series no longer has to fear a reputation-damaging blue exhaust flag when braking sharply. Today the fat man rests in himself.


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