The BMW 740iL is one of the variants of the E38 model, which was actually the origin of the BMW 7 Series vehicles from 1995 to 2001. The E-38 models were available in five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission, but they are sold in different variants per country. Regarded as the superstar of the E38 models, the BMW 740iL is part of the E38 selection that was offered in the United States. Other options include the 740i and the 750iL.
The 3 Ps
The BMW 740iL spells POSH, POWER, and PROTECTION. Apart from its world-class style and elegance, which is expected from all BMW vehicles, the 740iL also boasts of its 4.4-liter V8 engine that ensures superior performance in all driving conditions. A limited edition Protection Line was also produced from 2000 to 2001 based on the 740iL and the 750iL platforms, which again proved the excellent safety and protection features of the 740iL variant. The existing safety specs of the 740iL were even more improved by the Protection Line's run-flat tires, body armor, and bullet-proof glass. The limousine version of the 740iL variant proved the vehicle's posh nature. This very rare European long-wheelbase model was known as the BMW L7.
The BMW 740iL over the years (1995-2001)
The production of the BMW 740iL started in 1995. Originally, the 740iL had an M60 4.0-liter engine. When 1996 came, this standard engine was dropped and replaced with the all-new 4.4-liter V8 engine. During the same year, the 740iL, together with E38 variants, received the traction control as well as the Steptronic as its standard features. The Dynamic Stability Control or the DSC III feature became available for the BMW 740iL in 1997.
The next engine upgrade after 1996 came in 1999 when all the 740 variants shifted to the VANOS-equipped M62TU V* engine. The horsepower stayed at 282, but the torque significantly increased to 324 lb·ft. The millennium gave the 740iL some new standard features. These include the enhanced audio entertainment system with DSP and 6-disc changer, Xenon HID headlights, GPS navigation, sensor-controlled windshield wipers, and headlamp washers. In the same year, the 740iL had a sport package, which had the same physical attributes as the 740i. BMW decided to stop the production of E38 models, including the 740iL and the 740i, in 2001. It was then replaced by the E65.
The 740iL's rise to fame
Although its superb specs are enough to make it reach its superstar or celebrity status, the BMW 740iL still owes much of its popularity to the Hollywood films that featured its prowess. Some of these films were Fun with Dick and Jane, Invictus, and Enemy of the State. The most talked-about cameo of the 740iL is probably on the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies. Although the label was 750iL, the vehicle that was used was actually a re-badged 740iL. The sixteen BMW vehicles used in the film were customized so that driving from the backseat is possible. Most of these cars were gone, but the sole survivor stands at the Museum Industriekultur in Nuremberg as part of the "Top Secret" exhibition.