5 March 2018

More than an old car #57: BMW E38 L7

BMW has always been the go-to car for the newly-rich in my opinion: many people I know own some type of Beemer. However, why settle for less when you could go all out with this 1998 BMW E38 L7?

The E38 is the 3rd generation of the BMW 7 series, which was first developed in 1988 under the direction of design director Claus Luthe. It had the code name "Entwicklung 99". The final production design was green-lighted in 1991 and production began in 1993. Many models were made with different engine capacities, from the 728i to the 750i.

The L7, also known as the 740/750iXL, first appeared in 1997. It was 25cm longer than the "iL" models, which you can see as the additional length between the front and back door. As a top-of-the-line model sold exclusively in the Middle East, Europe and Asia, BMW spared no expense in maxing out the possible amenities within a small area. Features included a telephone, cooler box with glasses, folding table, writing pad and even a fax machine of all things! Check out this brochure to see it for yourself!
These are features you would associate more with high-end luxuries like Rolls-Royce, but it is seriously cool to see how BMW really served to provide the best customer experience. Although I wonder whether there was a need for the user to check on his/her business while on the go?
It was powered by a 5379cc M73 V12 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 250km/h with an acceleration of 7 seconds [0-100km/h]. It was 5374 mm long and weighed 2215 kg.

Production of the L7 ended in 2001 with 899 made, of which only 71 were made in RHD. I was rather surprised to find out that there are 2 more units currently registered on our roads, although all of them seem to be owned by Raffles Hotel. Its number plate alludes to the foundation of the hotel back in 1886. You can see the flag holder beside the headlight--probably utilised when ferrying important personages. As the picture shows, it was taken on the spur of the moment when it was about to drive off. It's quite amazing that we have 1/24 of all RHD L7s in the world! It's not everyday that you get to witness luxuries wrapped up in an otherwise unremarkable body: who knows what gems you may find along the way!

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