BMW is taking a trip down to memory lane by revisiting the first generation of its flagship model, the 7-Series.

BMW is taking a trip down to memory lane by revisiting the first generation of its flagship model, the 7-Series.

Produced between 1977 and 1987, the E23 was the first BMW to receive the 7-Series nameplate and the most luxurious model made by the Bavarian marque until then. Equipment list included heated and powered reclining seats, rear-armrest radio control, leather-covered cellular telephone, water buffalo hide upholstery and burl wood trim.

The 745i represented the range-topping model offered in Europe between 1979 and 1986. Originally, it had a six-cylinder, 3.2-liter turbocharged engine but from 1984 the engine grew to 3.4 liters with an output of 252 HP (185 kW) at 4,900 rpm and 374 Nm (276 lb-ft) at 2,200 rpm.

Looking into the future, BMW plans the sixth-gen 7-Series (aka G11) for a 2015 or 2016 release. Benefiting from several weight-saving techniques, the base 740i is expected to weigh less than the current entry-level 5-Series which tips the scales at 3,681 lbs (1,670 kg). As far as dimensions are concerned, the new 7-Series will reportedly be 5010mm long, 1815mm wide and 1425mm tall.

Two wheelbase lengths will be offered, along with a wide variety of six-cylinder, V8 and V12 engines. A plug-in hybrid gasoline-electric model and a standard nine-speed ZF automatic transmission are also in the works. Rear- and all-wheel drive versions will be available, as well as a range-topping 760 xDrive M Performance model with an uprated twin-turbo V8 4.4-liter engine.

The new BMW 7-Series could be unveiled in 2015 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

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