The Most Exclusive Of BMW 7-Series, the E23 BMW 745I

With turbocharging the latest trend, BMW was using the technology over 40 years ago

While just about every vehicle manufacturers are now using turbochargers in their lineup, including BMW, it is not the automakers first foray into the technology. In fact, BMW was using turbocharging technologies over 40 years ago.

In 1979, BMW produced as very special high performance car for the European market. Based on the BMW e23 7-Series, the 745I had a specially built 3.2-liter version of the M30 six cylinder engine and a KKK K27 turbocharger producing 252 horsepower at 9 psi of boost. In 1982, the engine displacement increased to 3.4-liters and a Motronic engine management system was used in place of the Jetronic system. Named the M106, it produced the same output as the older engine, the M102 with only 6 psi of boost.

The BMW 745i was available with only an automatic transmission and could be ordered with a wide variety of custom options including front and rear reclining seats, leather covered car phones, rear armrest radio controls, water buffalo hide upholstery and burl wood trim. It was offered with luxury options that were not offered in any other BMW.

Despite having a 3.2-liter turbocharged engine, it was called the 745i because of the theoretical assumptions that turbocharged engines have 1.4 times more power than naturally aspirated motors. As a result, the 3.2-liter turbocharged motor has equivalent power to a 4.5-liter normally aspirated motor.

While never sold through official channels in the United States, American importers would make your car compliant with US- regulations. One such well-known company was Dietel Enterprises in California. While no longer in business, they brought the car you see here into compliance.

There is a beautiful e23 BMW 745i up for auction on  With the current bid at the time of this writing at $8,500, the three piece Hartge wheels alone are worth $3,000. While the 745i has not yet attracted the attention of collectors, it is a special car. In its time, it was very fast and for that matter, an important piece of BMW history. For that matter alone, this vehicle would make a very compelling purchase. For one thing, I think the likelihood of a cleaner example of the 745i coming up for sale again is increasingly unlikely.

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