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The BMW E23: A Luxury Classic in BMW History

The BMW E23 is a platform that laid the foundation for the first BMW 7 Series, an iconic automobile produced by the German manufacturer BMW. Produced from 1977 to 1987, the E23 left an indelible mark on luxury car history and was succeeded by the BMW E32 7 Series in early 1987.

Design and Features of the BMW E23

All 7 Series E23 models (with the exception of the 745i) were equipped with six-cylinder, 12-valve M30-type engines, also used in other BMW models such as the E3 and E9. Although most of the E23 engines were fuel-injected, two models (728 and 730) were fitted with carburettors until 1979, when they were replaced by fuel injection systems in the 728i. Initially, the Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection system was used, but on more advanced models the digital Bosch Motronic system was implemented.

The E23 series stood out for its sophistication and luxury, features ahead of its time. It was the first BMW series to feature indicators that alerted the driver to potential system faults and highly complex climate control systems. On-board computers and anti-lock braking system (ABS) were available as options on the main models, but were later offered as standard equipment. Additional options included leather upholstery, different types of wood for the interior trim, power adjustable and heated seats. In addition, some models had air conditioning control. The transmission could be a four- or five-speed manual, depending on the year of manufacture, and an automatic transmission option was also offered.

Foto: ©BMW Group

BMW E23 Upgrades

In 1983, an upgrade was carried out that mainly affected the front of the vehicle, including the grilles, spoiler and bumpers. Significant improvements were also made to the dashboard and instrument panels. In the UK, the 735i model received a 3430 cc Motronic engine (replacing the 3453 cc engine) and modified rear suspension, along with other minor changes.

In 1984, a four-speed automatic transmission option was introduced in the US, replacing the three-speed unit. The glovebox and ashtray (previously plastic on all US models) were also upgraded, and power adjustable seats and Michelin TRX tyres were added. From 1985, these tyres became standard on all 735i/L7 models, along with a five-speed manual transmission.

Foto: ©BMW Group

The Legacy of the BMW E23

When the first generation of the BMW 7 Series was launched, this model set a new standard in terms of stability, safety and driving dynamics. With its sleek lines, driver focus, powerful engines and sophisticated suspension technology, the BMW 7 Series lived up to its reputation as a sporty luxury saloon. Among its innovations were the world’s first electronic speedometer, speed-sensitive power steering and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors. In 1980, the first on-board computer with outside temperature display was introduced.

Over the years, BMW updated and improved the E23 to keep it at the forefront of technology and comfort. More efficient fuel-injected engines were introduced, improvements were made to the exterior and interior design, and luxury and comfort features were added. The BMW E23 was a true benchmark in the luxury saloon segment during its time in production.

En conclusión, el BMW E23 es un clásico antiguo de la marca BMW y un hito en la historia de los automóviles de lujo. Su diseño elegante, su tecnología avanzada y su comodidad excepcional lo convierten en una elección popular entre los entusiastas de los vehículos clásicos. El legado del BMW E23 perdura hasta el día de hoy, y su presencia en las carreteras es un recordatorio de la excelencia de BMW en el diseño y la ingeniería automotriz.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. When was the BMW E23 produced? The BMW E23 was produced from 1977 to 1987.
  2. What was the successor to the BMW E23? The successor to the BMW E23 was the BMW E32 7 Series, which was launched in early 1987.
  3. What type of engines were used in the E23 7 Series models? All E23 7 Series models (except the 745i) were built with six-cylinder 12-valve engines of the M30 type. These engines were used in other BMW models, such as the E3 and E9.
  4. What were the luxury and sophistication characteristics of the BMW E23? The BMW E23 was considered sophisticated and luxurious for its time. These models were the first BMWs equipped with indicators that alerted the driver to system faults and had complex climate control systems. Other features included on-board computers and anti-lock braking systems (ABS), which were initially optional but were later offered as standard.
  5. What transmission options were available on the BMW E23? E23 models had the option of four- or five-speed manual transmissions, depending on the year, as well as four-speed automatic transmissions.
  6. What were the updates made to the BMW E23 in 1983? In the 1983 update, improvements were made to the front of the vehicle, such as the front ‘kidney’ grilles, spoiler and bumpers. The dashboard and instrument panels were also updated. In addition, the 735i model received a 3430 cc Motronic engine and modified rear suspension, among other minor changes.
  7. What were some of the notable innovations of the BMW E23? Among the innovations of the BMW E23 were the world’s first electronic speedometer, speed-sensitive power steering and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors. In addition, the world’s first on-board computer with outside temperature display was introduced in 1980.
  8. What changes were made to the engines of the E23 models over the years? In 1979, BMW replaced the carburettor engines with fuel-efficient petrol injection versions. New models were introduced, such as the BMW 728i and BMW 732i with worldwide unique digital engine electronics. In 1980, the BMW 745i was launched, featuring a 252 hp six-cylinder engine with turbocharger and intercooler.