BMW 7 Series (E65) 2002-2006



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MW 7-Series E65/E66/E67/E68

BMW 7 Series (E65)

E65 is the internal model designation for the 7 Series full-size luxury sedan produced by BMW from 2001 to 2008. Development started in early 1996 and was finalised in mid-2001. The car was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2001, and was launched in Europe on November 17, 2001. It first appeared in the USA and other markets in the spring of 2002, succeeding the replaced BMW E38. Although previous generations of the 7 Series had long-wheelbase and protection variants, the E65 was the first iteration to use specific chassis codes for each version. E65 was the designation of the short-wheelbase version of the automobile, E66 of the long-wheelbase version, E67 of the bulletproof version and E68 of the hydrogen version.


The E65 generated much controversy, due to its radical styling and iDrive user difficulties, so customers rushed to purchase its predecessor, the E38, before new E38s ran out of stock. Nonetheless, the E65 broke records to become the best-selling 7-series iteration ever, especially after its 2005 facelift.


It was replaced in 2008 by the F01


The interior of the BMW E65 with iDrive

The arrival of E65 7-Series heralded a new styling era for BMW with the work of chief designer Chris Bangle, as its sheetmetal contrasted drastically with the BMW's previous conservative styling. In particular, the E65's two-level rear end styling that features separate rear fenders with a "bustle-back" boot lid was derisively known as the "Bangle Butt" by critics.[4][5] However, the "Bangle Butt" styling was actually designed by Adrian van Hooydonk, who had worked closely with Bangle on the E65. In fact, van Hooydonk's original 1998 sketch for the E65 was much more radical sleek fastback, but the final E65 profile was toned down considerably to a more conventional three-box sedan. The final design was approved in January 1999, being later revised in the second half of 1999, with the German patent being filed on November 16, 2000. After controversy surrounding its exterior design following its introduction in July 2001 and throughout 2002, external updates were developed up to 2003 and introduced to the market in January 2005, going on sale that March.


Early production E65s were fraught with problems, the vast majority of which were caused by functionality issues of iDrive. BMW repurchased a substantial number of 2002 and 2003 7 series cars in the USA. Subsequent software updates have largely cured these issues. Furthermore, BMW of North America extended the factory warranty on all 2002 and 2003 model year 7 series cars sold in the USA to 6 years or 100,000 miles (160,000 km) from the original 4-year or 50,000-mile (80,000 km) coverage. The UK however was only covered by the standard 3 yr/unlimited mileage warranty on this model.


The E65/E66 were the only BMW cars that are available with the top of the line engines; the 6.0 litre V12 petrol (N73) and 4.4 litre V8 turbodiesel (M67D44), badged as the 760i/Li and 745d/Ld, respectively.

Alpina B7


There is no BMW M version 7 Series, as BMW did not want it to be powered by a high-revving engine like the rest of the M lineup. 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, Germany, alongside BMW's regular 7 Series.


Compared to the BMW 760Li's naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 which was deemed too heavy to have a sporty offshoot, the B7 uses a supercharged version of the 4.4-litre V8 found in the BMW 750i/Li. The centrifugal supercharger delivers 11.6 psi (0.8 bar) of intercooled boost, and the engine has lower-compression-ratio pistons as well as a stronger crankshaft and connecting rods. The output is 500 hp (373 kW) and 516 pound-feet (700 N·m) of torque.


The Alpina B7 was widely credited with being able to hold its own against top performing offerings from Mercedes (including AMG) such as the S600 and S63 AMG, Audi A8L W12 quattro and S8 5.2 FSI quattro, the Bentley Flying Spur, and Jaguar XJ Super V8, while BMW's own flagship BMW 760Li was considered uncompetitive.[10][11] Car and Driver remarked; "How's this for thrust? The B7 ties the Audi R8, which is 1,100 pounds (500 kg) lighter, at 12.8 seconds through the quarter-mile, at which point the gargantuan Alpina starts pulling away. The 551 hp (411 kW) Bentley Flying Spur can't keep up, and Audi's 450 hp (336 kW) S8 is so much slower it's hardly worth mentioning. To 60 mph (97 km/h) and through the quarter, the B7 is within 0.2 second of the 510 hp (380 kW), twin-turbo V-12 Mercedes S600. Warning to Corvette drivers: You will not be able to ditch the 68 7-series connoisseurs who are already on the loose."


The B7 was the only Alpina car offered in the USA. BMW of North America, LLC offered 800 Alpina B7s as limited edition models for 2007 and 2008, all being quickly sold out.


The Alpina B7 was again offered for the 2011 model year on the BMW 7 Series (F01), in short and long wheelbase models, with optional xDrive.

Manufacturer  BMW

Production  2001–2008

Assembly  Dingolfing, Germany

Rayong, Thailand

Cairo, Egypt

Toluca, Mexico[1]

Kaliningrad, Russia

Predecessor  BMW E38

Successor  BMW F01


Engine  petrol

3.0 I6

3.6 V8

4.0 V8

4.4 V8

4.8 V8

6.0 V12


3.0 I6

3.0 I6

4.0 V8

4.4 V8

Transmission  automatic



Wheelbase  2,990 mm (117.7 in) (SWB)

3,129 mm (123.2 in) (LWB)

Length  5,029 mm (198.0 in) (2002-05 E65)

5,169 mm (203.5 in) (2002-05 E66)

5,039 mm (198.4 in) (2006-09 E65)

5,179 mm (203.9 in) (2006-09 E66)

Width  1,902 mm (74.9 in)

Height  1,491 mm (58.7 in)

1,483 mm (58.4 in) (2006-09 LWB)

1,476 mm (58.1 in) (Alpina B7)

Designer(s)  Adrian van Hooydonk (1999)

 The E65 front side before facelift

 The E65 rear side before facelift

The E65 front side after facelift

The E65 rear side after facelift

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