1975 BMW 5-Series

1975 BMW 5-Series

About the Car

1975 BMW 5-Series

In 1972, the New Class was replaced by the first BMW 5-Series (E12). The designation of the BMW model series still used today was introduced here and this model also launched a new stylistic era for BMW. This was to give the BMW brand its unmistakable countenance. The BMW 528 was presented as the provisional model to top the range of the 5-Series in January 1975. This carburettor version of the 2.8 litre engine was replaced from 1977 by the injector 528i but remained in the range for the South African market until 1981. You can find more visual details of the 1975 BMW 5-Series gallery by scrolling up.

At the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, BMW unveiled the 2200ti Garmisch concept car, a 2-door saloon which was developed in conjunction with Bertone. The 2200ti Garmisch concept car was shown as a potential replacement for the New Class saloons and the eventual E12 production model utilized many design elements from the Garmisch.

Development of the E12-series had begun by the end of the 1960s, when wind tunnel tests were conducted. Eberhard von Kuenheim, then chairman of BMW’s supervisory board, hired French designer Paul Bracq in 1970 to work as the E12’s Chief of design, with Marcello Gandini of Bertone as co-designers of the exterior. 

In 1971, a road-legal E12 prototype, which looked similar to a Fiat 132, was made. Also in 1971, Paul Bracq had finalised the E12’s design, however, compared with the later series production E12, Bracq’s design car had a more stretched, and dynamic appearance. Computers were used in BMW development for the first time to calculate front and rear crumple zones; the roof was designed with a rollover protection structure. The body has a drag coefficient of 0.44. BMW had previously located turn signal stalks on the right hand side of the steering wheels, and the E12 was their first model to have the stalk on the left side.

You can find more visual details of the 1975 BMW 5-Series gallery by scrolling up.

1975 BMW 5-Series Front View 3/4

1975 BMW 5-Series

Before the E12 had been introduced, there were rumours that it would be available with both a 2.2 litre four-cylinder engine, and a small six-cylinder engine. Instead, BMW carried over the 2-litre four-cylinder M10 engines from the New Class saloons, but modified the cylinder heads in order to improve combustion. With the introduction of the E12-series in 1972, BMW offered two models, the carburetted 520, which had a Stromberg constant pressure carburettor, and the manifold injected 520i, which came with a Kugelfischer PL 04 injection pump. A small six-cylinder model called “523” had been developed, but was never put into series production. Eventually, the small six-cylinder model “520” was put into production in 1977, but in a 2 litre version rather than a 2.3 litre version.

Originally, four-cylinder cars have a bonnet with a sunken central portion whereas on six-cylinder cars this section is raised. The leading edge of the bonnet was flat. After the August 1976 facelift all models featured the same bonnet, with a narrow raised central section reaching all the way forward and wrapping around the “kidneys”. M30-engined cars can be identified by the grille having a chrome surround.

To meet Sweden’s unique and stringent emissions standards, a fuel injected version of the 528 was developed and entered production in June 1977. Called the 528i, this was successful enough that it replaced the 528 in most markets.

The data above are manufacturer claims. Power and torque data is measured according to the German Standard DIN 70020.

The 518, 520 and 520i models were fitted with the 1.8 L and 2.0 L M10 inline-four engines, as per the previous New Class saloons. The 525, 528, 530, 530i and 533i models were fitted with M30 straight-six engines, as used in the New Six large saloons and E9 coupés. The 520, and 523 (the latter was developed, but never put into series production), use the M20 straight-six engine.

The 518 had its fuel supplied by a Solex 32/32 DIDTA carburetor, while the initial 520 model (powered by the M10 inline-four engine) used twin Stromberg 175CDET carburettors. The straight-six engine 525 and 528 models used dual Zenith INAT two-barrel carburettors up until the 1976 facelift. The straight-six 520 used a Solex 4A1 carburettor.

Fuel-injected models have the letter i at the end of their model designation. The 520i used the Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection system from the 2000tii and 2002tii until 1975. From 1975, it was fitted with a mechanical continuous Bosch K-Jetronic port injection. The 518i (only sold in Sweden and Japan), 528i, and 530i (only sold in the US and Japan) have a Bosch L-Jetronic port injection.

You can find more visual details of the 1975 BMW 5-Series gallery by scrolling up.