BMW E65/E66

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Description E65 is the internal model designation for the 7 Series full-size luxury sedan produced by BMW from 2001 to 2008. Development started in early 1996 and was finalised in mid-2001. The car was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2001, and was launched in Europe on November 17, 2001. It first appeared in the USA and other markets in the spring of 2002, succeeding the replaced BMW E38. Although previous generations of the 7 Series had long-wheelbase and protection variants, the E65 was the first iteration to use specific chassis codes for each version. E65 was the designation of the short-wheelbase version of the automobile, E66 of the long-wheelbase version, E67 of the bulletproof version and E68 of the hydrogen version.The E65 generated much controversy, due to its radical styling and iDrive user difficulties, so customers rushed to purchase its predecessor, the E38, before new E38s ran out of stock. Nonetheless, the E65 broke records to become the best-selling 7-series iteration ever, especially after its 2005 facelift.OverviewThe arrival of E65 7-Series heralded a new styling era for BMW with the work of chief designer Chris Bangle, as its sheetmetal contrasted drastically with the BMW's previous conservative styling. In particular, the E65's two-level rear end styling that features separate rear fenders with a "bustle-back" boot lid was derisively known as the "Bangle Butt" by critics. However, the "Bangle Butt" styling was actually designed by Adrian van Hooydonk, who had worked closely with Bangle on the E65. In fact, van Hooydonk's original 1998 sketch for the E65 was much more radical sleek fastback, but the final E65 profile was toned down considerably to a more conventional three-box sedan. The final design was approved in January 1999, being later revised in the second half of 1999, with the German patent being filed on November 16, 2000. After controversy surrounding its exterior design following its introduction in July 2001 and throughout 2002, external updates were developed up to 2003 and introduced to the market in January 2005, going on sale that March.

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