In Reply to: Audi announces 7-killer S8!!!! posted by MikeH on October 28, 2000 at 21:39:49:
The A8 is Audi's equivalent to the 740, except that Audi also provides Quattro all wheel drive, and the car has an aluminum space frame.
I had the use of an A8 for a week, and it was not up to 740 standards. But the S8 adds a sport suspension and 360 HP motor. This is what was missing in the A8. Audi's 4050 lb curb weight is considerably under a 7, and it provides the AWD as well. According to the article, the S8 runs the 1/4 mile in 13.9 and has a top speed of 155. And at $74,000, it is reasonably priced.
Attention, please, BMW: put the M5/Z8 engine in the 740 sport and call it an M7. EVERYBODY will want one. It will be the finest luxury sedan in the world. You are being eclipsed by Audi, and there is no reason to let this happen.
Comments? Well, I've got a few!
First, let's not be silly, there will be no M7 in the E38 flavor. The E38 tombstone has already been erected; in the late spring the E65 will be introduced.
While we're at it, the M5 engine will not go into the 7er. Sorry, it's a fact. There is such a strong demand for the M5 and Z8 (despite their pricing) that BMW is having a hard time supplying these engines in the first place. Also, the M5 engine does not have enough power to properly propel the 7er (that's why the M3 and M5 have different engines). If there is an M7, it will be a V12. Displacement? I don't know. Supposedly the new V12 will displace 6 liters, so an M engine should displace more. It would seem rather 70s to have a 6.5 or 7 liter engine in a sedan, so like I said, I don't know how they're going to work that out. I personally think it's very likely that the V12 will be a 5.5, and the M engine will be 6.0.
Now there is a real hope for an M7 in the E65 variant. This is only because Audi is offering up the S8 (actually, it has been for the past 2 or so years, in Europe), and Mercedes has the S55AMG. Honestly, the 740i Sport was a band-aid solution; the cost of developing an M7 so late into the E38 life cycle is not cost effective, and 7 series sport suspensions have been around in Europe since the E32 (late 80s). So just throwing in the sport suspension and a few trinckets was easy. Let's face it, what's so sporty about the 740iS? The suspension. The powertrain is nothing new. (don't get me started on the rear diff.!)
Now my predictions (hopefully will come true):
(1) A new V12. Conventional valve train will be eliminated. Vavles will be opened electro-magnetically. I predict displacement to be 5.5 liters. Also, expect to see the a/c compressor etc electrically operated (ie. not off the crank) so as to sap less power from the engine.
(2) Pricing. If the V12 is 5.5, expect to pay less that the MB V12. About the price of an S55AMG (good plan, get a V12 for the price of a mercedes V8).
(3) Although the M62B44 is getting long in the tooth, it will power the new 740.