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BMW Buyer's Guide

BMW 7 series E38 Specifications & Review

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The E38 BMW & series sedan was introduced to the US market with the 1995 model year /EU 1994/ last year of production was 2001, as the new model the E65 got introduced to the market. The E38 was considered to be the best seven series [and the last "drivers car" in the line of BMW 7] produced by BMW thanks to itís flawless design and amazing character, this vehicle was truly a grown up luxury sports sedan with itís driver oriented interior and amazing handling mixed with perfect luxury.

BMW offered two versions the i - short wheel base and the 6Ē longer il versions. The il is easily recognizable of itís long passenger window. For the US market two engine variants were offered the 4.4 liter V8 in the 740i and 740il and the 5.4 V12 engine in the 750il, the V12 was never offered to US customers with the short wheel base version.

The 4.4 liter engine of the 740 is probably one of the longest produced engine without major modifications or Code# change in BMW's recent history. Making it's way from the early nineties all the way through 2006 in the BMW X5 4.4i

BMW introduced several new options offered for the first time in BMW, the Onboard Navigation system was one of these, in earlier models the Navigation screen is 4:3 up until the last model year where the 16:9 widescreen navigation was introduced.

The E38 7 series was even offered with a so called protection package for BMW's high profile customers with personal security in mind, these vehicles featured multi layer impact-resistant windows with patented glass-steel composite window surrounds able to withstand bullet impacts up to 44 Magnum calibers. For the body and passenger cabins protection BMW used "Aramide"- plates a lightweight fiber that is able to resist penetration by bullets or sharp objects. These vehicles are extremely rare on the used market, as unlike other armored cars, BMW was able to create these with a considerable minor weight gain and similar performance ability to it's regular models.

bmw e38 750il bmw e38 750il bmw e38 750il V12 engine

Model #

  • Engine
  • Horse Power
  • Torque
  • 0-60mph
  • Top Speed
  • Compression
  • Weight A/MAN
  • Gear ratios 1/2/3
  • 4/5/R
  • Final Drive
  • Gas mileage C/H


  • 4.4L V8
  • 282hp@5400rpm
  • 324lb-ft@3700rpm
  • 6.9sec [6.8 sport]
  • 128mph [155mph sport]
  • 10.0:1
  • 4255lbs
  • 3.57/2.20/1.51 :1
  • 1.00/0.80/4.10 :1
  • 2.93 :1 [3.15 SPORT]
  • 17/23mpg[15/21SPORT]


  • 4.4L V8
  • 282hp@5400rpm
  • 324lb-ft@3700rpm
  • 6.9sec
  • 128mph
  • 10.0:1
  • 4288lbs
  • 3.57/2.20/1.51 :1
  • 1.00/0.80/4.10 :1
  • 2.93 :1
  • 17/23mpg


  • 5.4L V12
  • 326hp@5000rpm
  • 361ft-lbs@3900rpm
  • 6.6sec
  • 128mph
  • 10.0:1
  • 4597lbs
  • 3.55/2.24/1.54 :1
  • 1.00/0.79/3.68 :1
  • 2.93 :1
  • 13/20mpg

protection pkg

  • same as reg. model
  • same as reg. model
  • same as reg. model
  • 7.2 / 7.1 sec
  • 128mph
  • 10.0:1
  • 4630/4905lbs
  • same as reg. model
  • same as reg. model
  • same as reg. model
  • same as reg. model


Even though the E38 seven cannot be considered a new model anymore, this particular version is still very sought after, it was offered in all configurations, however the only true sport package model is the short wheel based 740i as this particular model is the only one that has the specific features it was named after.

The 740i sport kept all it's luxury features, but received an array of upgrades enhancing it's true BMW heritage, making it an agile and capable performer.

• M sport suspension
• taller final drive ratio of 3.15:1
• Contour sport seats
• three spoke sport multifunction steering wheel
• shadowline exterior trim
• body colored side skirts 2001
• steptronic auto transmission
• M parallel 18Ē staggered sport wheels first seen on the E34 M5 BMW 18x8" Front and 18x8.5" Rear wheel diamter with 235/50/ZR18 and 255/45/ZR18 tires.

bmw e38 7 series 740i sportbmw e38 sport package


• Good service history
• Leaking power steering hoses
• Weak transmissions
• Electronic prolems are common on earlier model 750's
• 750 - consider buying from colder climates as the heat generated by the engine dryes out every single plastic piece to the extent where it literally stays in your hand
• 750 - throttle bodies tend to give up and unable to work in sync with each other and the drive by wire system

bmw e38 sport package interior bmw e38 widescreen 16:9 NAV bmw e38 740i sport

Above: 740i sport package.

Below: 740li sport, pre face lift, interior without sport package

bmw e38 740il sport bmw e38 pre face lift bmw e38 no sport package steering wheel

The E38 Seven series went trough a model refreshment - facelift a couple of times:
•first with the head and tail light change with from 09/1998 models.
•DVD based wide screen navigation 09/2000
•In 2001 before the mighty successful seven series phased out received clear turn signals front and back, color matched side skirts and bumper facias