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A Rally-Ready BMW E65 7-Series Is Off-Roading Done Cool

Because what else can be cooler than a massive BMW limousine charging across some rough roads?

When it comes to large luxury limousines, the natural habitat for these types of cars tends to either being parked outside a fancy building or charging down the outside lane of a highway. Either way, the ground beneath its four tyres will typically be nothing rougher than the smoothest of tarmac.

And said smooth tarmac is likely what this particular E65 iteration of 7-Series started out life experiencing as well, with probably a Czech executive or similar on board conducting important business in its rear quarters. A decade and a bit down the line though, its second owner (@e65overland on Instagram) has instead now planned a much more exciting life for the golden years of this large German limousine, and that is by turning it into an uber-cool rally car. 

Resplendent in a retro Rothmans livery and featuring with the 18-inch white Rota wheels shod with chunky Yokohama Geolanders, this large mid-2000s limousine looks like it has all but shed its sharp business suit and is ready to hit the rough stuff. Of course, no self-respecting rally car can be called complete too without the obligatory quad Hella spot lamps up front and massive mud flaps behind each wheel, while the Arcta tent atop its roof rack brings a bit of an overland flavour to its rally aesthetic. 

Moving under the hood now, this rally-spec 7-Series comes packing a BMW M57 3.0-litre straight six turbodiesel that designates it a 730d. Thanks to a modified exhaust system and cheeky remap however, this oil-burner now pushes a more-than-reasonable 282 horsepower to the rear wheels, which its social media posts can attest to being more than sufficient in having some off-road fun with this luxobarge. 

Other modifications performed to get this executive transporter into a rough-road slayer includes poly bushings in the front and a rear limited-slip differential, while a subtle 2-inch suspension lift all round performs double duty in both practically raising this 7-er’s ground clearance, in addition to also giving this rally car the proper jacked-up stance it should have. Mated to the souped up oil-burner meanwhile is a freshly rebuilt automatic transmission, which was incidentally how this particular 7-er found its way to its current custodian in the first place.

Funnily enough, in spite of all these cool mods done to this rally-ready 7-Series, the thing that will most probably earn the admiration from BMW owners is be the knowledge that this German luxury sedan is a certified high-milage hero, with it having recently having ticked over 555,555 km.

Now as for future plans with this rally-spec luxury limousine, long-travel coilovers are apparently to be finding themselves on it over the summer, which should give the luxobarge more off-road prowess. Till then however, its current custodians look to be having fun with it just hooning around the forests of Europe. 

Though at risk of planting ideas into people’s heads now, it would be remissed to not have mentioned the Paris-Dakar Rolls-Royce Corniche when discussing rally-fied luxury limousines. And with BMW now the parent company of the aforementioned British luxury marque, no one will likely complain much at the chance to see a 7-Series retrace its spiritual forefather’s footsteps

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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