BMW 745i (1980)

The BMW E23 is an automobile platform that was the basis for the first BMW 7 Series automobile. Replacing the BMW E3 large sedan, the E23 was produced for ten years from 1977 to 1987 and was replaced by the BMW E32 7-Series in 1988.

The following models were produced in this series:
725i
728
728i
730
730i
732i
733i
735i
745i (turbo)
745i (South Africa)
L7
Design and Features
All E23 7-Series models (with the exception of the 745i) were built with the 12-valve type-M30 six-cylinder engine as used in the older E3 and E9 cars. Although most E23 engines were fuel-injected, two models (the 728 and 730) were available with a Solex four-barrel carburetor until 1979, when they were replaced by the fuel-injected 728i. Early fuel-injected models used the Bosch L-jetronic system while later models used the more advanced digital Bosch Motronic system.
The E23 7-series cars were very upscale and sophisticated for their time. They were the first BMWs fitted with service interval indicators, a 'check control' that alerted the driver to various system faults, and complex climate control systems. On-board computers and Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) were optional on early models but later became standard features. A variety of options included leather upholstery, several types of wood trim, power seats, seat heaters, and power windows and mirrors. Later models were fitted with a driver's air bag. 4-speed and 5-speed manual gearboxes were available (depending on the year) and an automatic transmission was also available.

A minor styling update in 1983 affected the 'nose' of the car (the front 'kidney' grilles, valance/spoiler, bumpers etc) as well as the dashboard and instrument panels which received updates plus (in the UK) the 735i received the Motronic 3430cc engine (replacing the 3453cc) and rear suspension modifications as well as numerous other minor changes. In the US, 1984 saw the arrival of the optional 4 speed automatic transmission (replacing the 3 speed unit previously offered), upgraded wood trim above the glove compartment and on the ashtray (previously plastic in all US models), electrically adjustable power seats and larger Michelin TRX radials with special TRX wheels (later standard on all 1985-1987 735i/L7 models) on the 5 speed manual models.
Special Models
The 745i was a special high-performance model offered in left-hand-drive European markets between 1979 and 1986. It was originally fitted with a specially-prepared 3.2L type-M30 six cylinder engine and a turbocharger. In 1984 the engine grew to 3.5 liters. These cars were all built with automatic transmissions and could be ordered with exotic options such as heated front and rear power seats, seat heaters, water buffalo hide upholstery, and special wood trim options.
A different 745i was built for the South Africa market, perhaps because the turbocharger on the European-market 745i could not be installed in right-hand-drive versions of the car. This car was fitted with the 286hp dual-camshaft 24-valve type-M88 Motorsport engine (with a Bosch ML-Jetronic fuel injection system) as used in the M1, M635i, and M5. 192 of these cars were built between 1984 and 1986, fitted with either an automatic transmission or a 5-speed 'sport' gearbox.
American-Market Models
Only the 733i, 735i, and L7 were offered in America. As usual, BMW sold only upscale versions in the American market, with leather upholstery, wood trim, power windows, power sunroof, and other options as standard. These cars were fitted with larger bumpers (to comply with Federal standards), smaller sealed beam headlights, and various forms of emissions equipment that were not found on European-market cars. American-market engines used lower-compression pistons and thus were less powerful than European-market versions. Some features such as ABS were available on European models before they were fitted on American models. Many turbocharged 745i models made their way into America during the height of the grey market in the mid-1980s.
The L7 was a more luxurious version of the 735i for the American market only. It featured special leather upholstery with leather dashboard and door padding (rather than wood trim) and a variety of optional features as standard. All L7 models were built with automatic transmissions.
The 733i appeared in the 1994 film Reality Bites, driven by Wynona Ryder.

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