The BMW E38 model was the basis for the 1994 through 2001 BMW 7 Series automobiles. It replaced the BMW E32 in 1995 and itself was replaced by the BMW E65/E66 for the 2002 model year.
The E38 models were offered with either a five-speed automatic or manual transmission; 730d, 740d, 740i/iL, and 750i/iL had a 5-speed ZF automatic standard.
The engine variants in Europe were 725tds, 728i,
730i, 730d, 735i,
740i (4.0 and 4.4 L), 740d and
In the Americas, the models were sold as the 740i, 740iL and 750iL.
The 740i/iL were powered by a 4.4 L V8 engine. The base prices in 2001 were US$62,900 for the 740i, US$66,900 for the 740iL and US$92,100 for the 750iL.
The considerably rarer 5.4 L V12 was BMW's flagship vehicle, with a 5.4 L 322 bhp (240 kW) engine, also shared by the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph.
V8 and V12 cars had long-wheelbase variants, with the "L" added to the designation.
A rare European executive long-wheelbase limousine model was also produced, called the BMW L7, available as both 740iL (4.4 L V8) and 750iL (5.4 L V12) variants.
Protection Line light-armored vehicles were built from 2000–2001, again utilizing the 740iL and 750iL platforms, and cost US$99,100 and US$124,400, respectively.
These models included body armor, bullet-resistant glass and run-flat tires.