BMW 760Li Yachtline 2002

The BMW E65 is the chassis designation for the fourth generation 7 Series full-size luxury sedan produced by BMW. The E65 was the first BMW chassis series to use different chassis numbers for its several different variants such as the E66/E67/E68, which formed the Long-Wheelbase, BMW High Security and the BMW Hydrogen 7 models respectively.
Introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2001 alongside the BMW E53 X5 4.6is, the BMW E65 7 Series replaced the BMW 7 Series (E38) after production of that model ended in July 2001. In order to produce the E65 7 Series and other future models the BMW plant at Dingolfing was retooled at a cost of approximately €500,000,000.
Upon release the new 7 Series was met with sharp criticism for its controversial looks as well as the steep learning curve presented by the new iDrive system. So unimpressed was the market with the new car that sales of remaining E38 stock increased markedly after the launch. Despite the initial quality problems and customer gripes the E65 7 Series became the best-selling generation of this full-size luxury sedan, further enhanced by a facelift in 2006.

After a 7 year production run the BMW E65 was replaced by the BMW 7 Series (F01) in late 2008.
Initial release
Development for the BMW E65 7 Series began in early 1996, and production specifications were frozen in January 1999. The design of the BMW E65 7 Series was patented 16 November 2000; development ended in mid-2001. The car was first launched in Europe 17 November 2001 and then appeared in US and other markets in the (northern) spring of 2002. Early BMW E65 7 Series models had many problems mainly due to the functionality of the iDrive system and the associated electronics systems. Thus, BMW repurchased a substantial amount of 2002-03 7 Series cars in the U.S., and BMW of North America also extended the factory warranty on 2002-03 BMW E65 7 Series models from the 4-Year/50,000-Mile (80,000 km) coverage to the 6-Year/100,000-Mile (160,000 km) factory warranty. However, UK models were still protected by their original 3-Year/Unlimited-Miles warranty.

Under the direction of Chris Bangle, BMW's Design Chief at the time, the arrival of the BMW E65 7 Series heralded a new styling era for BMW. The design of the new car contrasted dramatically with the styling on the BMW E38 7 Series. The BMW E65 7 Series' two-level rear end styling with separate rear fenders for a "bustle-back" boot lid was derisively known as the "Bangle Butt" by critics. In fact, van Hooydonk's original sketch in 1998 for the BMW E65 was much more of a radical sleek fastback, but the final E65 profile was toned down considerably to a more conventional three-box sedan. Bangle was widely criticised for the radical departure of the styling from the BMW E38 7 Series. He was however supported by the BMW board of directors, who wanted to move BMW's image into the future. Dan Neil of The Los Angeles Times named the new 7-series one of the '50 Worst Cars of All Time', but Bangle argued that BMW's established design language was exhausted. Despite the initially poor public reception of the two-level rear end, the design was later incorporated by Mercedes-Benz into the design of the W221 generation S-Class in 2006 and also by Hyundai in the fourth-generation Azera.
Dimensionally the E65 7 Series 45mm longer, 38mm wider and 60mm taller than the E38. The wheelbase was increased by 60mm over the outgoing model. Despite these increased dimensions the E65 7 Series is only 15 kg heavier than the E38.
Interior design
The interior of the BMW E65 7 Series features a generous amount of genuine wood trim & was redesigned to address both the driver and passenger, unlike the traditional driver-focussed instrument panel in the BMW E38 7 Series. BMW removed the traditional console mounted gear selector replacing it with a steering-column mounted stalk, in favour of two cup holders. The seats adjustment controls were moved from their traditional place on the side of the seat base to the inside of the raised central console, which several reviewers complained about the unnecessarily complicated nature of the controls. Peeling paint and textured materials are a well documented problem, so BMW addressed this issue by using still higher quality paint in the LCI model.
Compared to the outgoing E38 model, the E65 7 Series has more shoulder room in the front and the rear, while headroom in the rear has been increased for greater comfort.
Technology





The BMW E65 7 Series was the most technically advanced production vehicle BMW had ever produced at the time. As the flagship model, it introduced a large number of new technologies that were eventually carried over to the next generation of BMW's. The E65 7 Series introduced a number of new technologies such as:
  • Valvetronic engine control (Variable valve lift replaced throttle butterflies for normal running conditions for added response, efficiency and power).
  • World introduction of Active Roll Stabilization (ARS) active Anti-roll bars on a sedan (alternative designations: Dynamic Drive, Adaptive Drive). ARS is a revolutionary system that almost completely eliminates body roll when cornering. It employs active anti-roll bars which use a hydraulic servo in the middle to actively counteract body roll. This results in increased comfort for passengers, and when coupled with Electronic Damper Control-Continuous (EDC-C) it raises comfort levels to new heights.
  • Self levelling air suspension on rear axle for increased comfort (optional)
  • Electronic Damper Control-Continuous (EDC-C)
  • Introduction of two fibre optic bus systems, MOST Bus (Media Orientated System Transport) and "Byteflight" (safety systems bus). These busses operate at 22.5Mbps and 10Mbps respectively.
  • The first introduction of the dedicated 'Body-Controller Area Network' K-CAN bus system operating at 100kbps, This replaced the slower (9.6kbps) I,K and P-Busses used on previous vehicles.
  • The first introduction of BMW's revolutionary iDrive system, the first fully integrated series production vehicle systems controller.
  • World's first infinitely variable intake manifold.
  • World introduction of electronic adaptive headlight technology.
  • World's first 6-speed automatic transmission in a sedan.
  • Optional Automatic Soft Close system minimized the force required to close the doors, and would completely close them if improperly closed. This system also extended to the trunk lid, but unlike the door system was standard on all models.
  • Electromechanical parking brake. Not only could this system apply the parking brake in stop-and-go traffic situations to reduce tedium, but it could also automatically apply the parking brake after the ignition was switched off.
  • First BMW with DVD-based GPS Automotive navigation system.
  • First BMW to feature Bi-Xenon (HID) headlights.
  • First BMW to feature 'Push-Button-Start'. The rectangular key-fob was inserted into a slot next to the steering wheel and the driver would push a button to start the engine. This method of starting the car would be the precursor for all future BMW models.
  • Radar based Active Cruise Control (ACC).
iDrive
The BMW E65 7 Series introduced the iDrive control concept. The system was built on hardware similar to the MKIV system used by BMW in the late 90's but featured a brand new interface and central control knob. Many of the functions such as climate, navigation, seat heating, telephony and car settings were incorporated into a single system allowing centralised control of those functions. iDrive was nicknamed "I Don't Know Drive" because of the steep learning curve and complicated menu structures, with some sources claiming that it would take several hours to become familiar with the system. Complaints ranged from the number of steps required to complete simple tasks such as selecting a radio frequency to getting "lost" in the deep menu system. iDrive saw several updates during the production run to address complaints raised by owners. The first generation of the system relied on CD media for map data. In 2003 BMW updated the hardware to read DVD media, added a substantially faster processor and the ability to display maps in birds-eye view. Also added in 2003 were a 'Menu' and 'Customisable' button below the control knob. This was done to address the complaints of 'getting lost' in the menus. The last major update to the system came with the LCI model in 2005 which added buttons to the radio (ASK unit) that enabled skipping tracks or radio stations as well as a mode button to change operating modes. A larger, brighter display was added and faster, more advanced navigation hardware was introduced. The system also gained the capability to control a MP3 capable CD Changer. The interface was streamlined to resemble the iDrive CCC system. Although it may appear similar in function to the CCC iDrive (introduced in the BMW E60 5 Series and BMW E63/64 6 Series), the iDrive system in the E65/66 is unique to only that model. The system started a trend and today most car manufacturers offer in-car systems built around a central control knob (Audi Multi Media Interface, Mercedes-Benz Comand APS etc), an idea first brought to consumers by BMW in the E65 7 Series.
Equipment
Depending on the country of sale the E65 7 Series came with a variety of Standard Equipment. All markets had iDrive as standard, although Navigation was optional in certain markets. Climate control was standard, although dual zone climate control was offered as an option. Seating options ranged between basic, sport and comfort seats. The basic seats include 14-way electric adjustment (12-way for passenger) and 4-way lumbar adjustment. Comfort seats include 20-way electric adjustment, 4-way lumbar adjustment, two piece articulated back-rests, adjustable neck support, electric headrests and memory options available on both driver and passenger sides. The different seat variations together with options for heating, cooling and massaging made for a bewildering number of configurable options.
Other optional equipment included TV reception (digital TV in facelift models), Dynamic Xenon headlamps, Vertical side and rear electric sun blinds, Front and rear heated or ventilated seats, Comfort electric rear seats with memory (featuring 18-way adjustment as apposed to 20-way at the front), Rear telephone, Refrigerated cool box, Separate rear air conditioning, Rear seat entertainment with separate LCD and iDrive controller, this gave rear passengers the control of the following entertainment features: 6 disc DVD multi-changer, 6 disc CD multi-changer (or iPod in facelift models), TV, DAB Tuner, Bluetooth Telephony and Satellite Navigation. Other options included, Electric front and rear soft-close doors, Automatic tailgate, Keyless access and go (Comfort Access), Adaptive damper control (EDC), Dynamic anti-roll bars (ARS), Glass sunroof, Premium LOGIC 7 sound system.
Some European models in colder climates had the option of a Webasto parking heater, which allows the vehicle to be warmed up and pre-heated by means of the remote control before the vehicle is started, this has the advantage of de-icing the vehicle and making the interior more bearable in cold weather. Likewise in hotter climates it is possible to remotely start the engine for the purpose of activating the air conditioning to cool the interior of the vehicle before the vehicle is entered.
Long-Wheelbase 7 Series (E66)
Long-Wheelbase versions of the BMW E65 7 Series were introduced in the end of 2002. Long-Wheelbase models only featured a longer body which meant extra legroom in the rear seats. The height, width and bootspace of the car is the same. In 2002, early Long-Wheelbase models included the 730Li, 735Li, 745Li, and the 760Li and 740Li was later introduced in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Long-Wheelbase models were 140mm (5.5 in) longer compared to the normal E65 7 Series models.
2005 Facelift (Life-Cycle-Impulse)

BMW started work on a facelift for the E65 7 Series in 2003, and was introduced on all BMW E65 7 Series models in 2005. Going on sale in March of that year, the facelift included several new engines, new exterior styling and interior upholstery colours as well as some new optional extras. The majority of changes to the car were technical in nature. Exterior styling changes included a restyled front and rear bumper and a slightly larger and a more curved grill which was in line with the new BMW design language. The headlights were also completely restyled, while the rear lights featured changes to the trunk-lid-mounted section which was redesigned to create the appearance of a single light unit as (opposed to the outgoing two part light design). Overall the restyled front end served to give the car a more sporty appearance. In the rear, the trunk lid styling was subtly enhanced with the trunk release button being moved out of sight and a thinner, more elegant looking chrome strip flowing into the re-designed lights. Interior changes included improved material and paint quality as well as a restyled steering wheel. The climate control panel was revised slightly. Overall the changes to the interior were minor and served mostly to address quality concerns.

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