I’m sure this has happened to a lot of you; you go to school with someone you really don’t like and then, several years after you’ve graduated, you run into them again and you’re suddenly really attracted to them. It’s not uncommon at all to find new appreciation for someone or something after years of separation. Well, that very thing has just happened to me with the E65 7 Series and, honestly, it’s making me a bit uncomfortable.
Full transparency: it happened to me about five minutes ago, when I finished up a little blog about Jay Emm and his dodgy maths. In that video, he compares the fuel economy of buying either a Nissan Leaf or a V12-powered BMW 760i. The specific 760i in the video was of the E65-generation and it was painted in black and in very good condition. There, in the video, it sat and I thought to myself “that’s a great looking 7 Series. Thank god he didn’t buy the E65”. But then it dawned on me. It was an E65.
My eyes opened wider, my stomach turned sour and I immediately made sure there was no one else in the room to notice my sudden discomfort and embarrassment. “I hope I didn’t say that out loud” I thought to myself. I couldn’t bare the thought of anyone knowing what had just happened. I actually just admitted to loving one of the most maligned BMWs in recent history, a car that I, myself, have criticized over the years. What’s happening to me? It’s as if I just fell in love with the girl who mocked me in high-school.
I still remember when the E65 7 Series first came out. I hated its design then and I remembered that hatred throughout the years, leaning on it every time it came up in conversation. I joined in the mockery of its designer, the familiar punching bag Chris Bangle (who actually didn’t design the E65 but led the design team at the time and took the criticism to shield said team — stand-up guy). Maybe I never truly gave it a second look, maybe I never gave it another chance. Though just moments ago, without any pre-conceived notion of its merit, and actually forgetting all about it for a moment, I realized how much I liked it.
Maybe it’s maturity, maybe it’s how obscene and vulgar modern car design has become or maybe it was never a bad looking car to begin with. Either way, I’m finding myself wanting an E65 7 Series and that’s a very new feeling. Admittedly, I’d still never buy one because the E65 is an electronic nightmare, something even BMW execs have admitted to me in private. Having said that, if I could get one without its reliability issues, I think I would.
Of course, the E38 7 Series is still better looking. Though, now that I’ve looked at both cars with my new-found love, I’ve realized that they’re not as far apart as I remember. The E65 actually reminds me a lot of the near-perfect E38. It has similar proportions and a familial shape, along with the same sort of understated elegance that made The Transporter’s 7 Series so widely beloved.
To be honest, there are still things I don’t like about it. I still don’t love the pre-LCI taillights, its interior is too fussy and its iDrive is a mess. But the most of its body work, especially in a dark color, has me swooning and it’s actually making me uncomfortable.