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BMW's centenary edition 7 Series

By raccars Published

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2016 marks 100 years of BMW and there's a special edition 7 Series on the way to celebrate.

The next 100 years

The somewhat cumbersomely named [BMW 7 Series](http://www.raccars.co.uk/used-bmw/7 Series/) THE NEXT 100 YEARS will be a limited edition model released to mark the firm's centenary year. Only 100 units will be made and there will be three choices of engine based upon local markets. Initially there will be a petrol powered 4.4 litre V8 in the 750Li, which with 448bhp will take it to 62mph in 4.7 seconds.

Later on there will be two other engine choices, a sensible 740Le iPerformance and a barnstorming BMW Individual M760Li xDrive Model V12 Excellence THE NEXT 100 YEARS. Before you've even finished saying its name it will have hit 60mph, with a 6.6 litre V12 under the bonnet producing upwards of 600bhp for a 3.7 second sprint to 60mph.

In true BMW style, the limited edition model will be as luxurious as it is rapid, finished in an exclusive metallic paint called 'Centennial Blue' and with lightweight 20 inch 'Individual' alloys in two tone silver and grey. There's plenty of quilted white leather, accented with black seams and in a particularly fine grain, splashed all over the seats, fascia, door panels, armrests, centre console and even the door pulls. The headliner, seatbelts and carpets benefit from Alcantara trim.

Each THE NEXT 100 YEARS model comes with a hand crafted fountain pen created exclusively for BMW by Montblanc but pricing and other details are yet to be confirmed. A release date hasn't yet been announced but the centenary models will be on sale this year to commemorate the founding of the company in 1916.

The early years of BMW

BMW was formed as an offshoot of German aircraft manufacturing company Rapp Motorenwerke. The 1919 Versailles Armistice Treaty prevented the company from manufacturing aircraft engines so it moved on to motorcycles and automobiles instead. BMW's first road car was the Austin 7-inspired Dixi in 1927, licensed by the Austin Motor Company. In the 1930s, with production restrictions lifted, BMW contributed to German rearmament by providing the Luftwaffe with engines.

By the late Fifties, BMW's automotive division was struggling financially, but a deal allowing it to manufacture an Italian bubble car, the Iso Isetta, provided some stability and kept the company in business. Its 'New Class' series of cars in the Sixties brought the company international success. As the decades passed, BMW made a habit of absorbing third party companies in order to acquire useful components, such as the skilled workforce of car maker Han Glas.

One of these acquisitions was the Rover Group in 1994, including the brands Rover, MG and Land Rover plus the rights to the Morris and Austin brands. While the majority of this was sold off a few years later, BMW was shrewd enough to not only keep the rights to the iconic Mini brand but, against all odds, re-invented one of Britain's most popular cars in modern form. The BMW Mini has been a huge success for the German brand.

BMW today

These days BMW is one of the largest luxury car manufacturers in the world. Apart from Mini it also owns Rolls-Royce and produces electric cars with its sub-brand 'I', plus motorcycles and high end bicycles. Altogether it makes more than two million vehicles annually and has experienced significant motorsports success.

BMW's current line-up includes the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 Series plus Gran Turismo and X badged SUV versions of these and high performance M-branded variations. There is also the sleek Z4 sports roadster.

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