The BMW E12, introduced as the first-generation of the 5 Series in 1972, significantly influenced the design and reputation of BMW as a maker of sporty, driver-focused sedans. As the series developed, the 1977 model year brought several updates and improvements to the E12 lineup.
Model Variants and Performance
The 1977 E12 lineup included several variants, from the entry-level 518 to the top-of-the-line 528i. The 528i, introduced in the previous year, featured fuel injection technology, an improvement that increased power output and fuel efficiency. This car embodied BMW’s commitment to technological innovation and performance.
Additionally, 1977 saw the introduction of the 525 model, which was intended as a mid-range option between the four-cylinder 520 and the six-cylinder 528i. It came equipped with a 2.5L engine that produced 145 horsepower, which balanced performance and efficiency.
Design and Interiors
The 1977 BMW E12 models stayed true to the series’s established design language. This included the ‘shark nose’ front-end, a term coined due to its sharply raked kidney grille and slim, rounded headlights. Inside, the cockpit was driver-focused, with all controls oriented towards the driver.
The interior, like other BMW models, was known for its use of high-quality materials and attention to detail. Seats were comfortable and supportive, the dashboard was intuitive and well-organized, and the overall layout contributed to a pleasant and engaging driving experience.
Technology and Safety
The 1977 E12 continued to employ BMW’s Check Control system, a pioneering onboard diagnostic technology. This system monitored various aspects of the car’s operation and alerted the driver to potential issues, including low fluid levels or a burnt-out light.
Safety-wise, the 1977 E12 models benefitted from improvements in braking systems, tire technology, and advancements in seatbelt designs. These features enhanced the E12’s safety credentials and added to BMW’s reputation for building safe vehicles.
The 1977 BMW E12 is a critical part of the 5 Series history. It continued to combine sportiness, comfort, and cutting-edge technology in a single package, effectively setting the tone for future generations of the 5 Series.