In the 1950s, BMW faced many financial problems. It struggled with a completely incoherent model range. That included the Isetta and the V8 models (BMW 501 / 502). There was a gap between these model generations. While BMW made every effort in 1959 to keep Daimler-Benz out of doors, it was surprising with the arrival of the BMW 700. The model became an extremely important car in the history of BMW.
The BMW 700 was technically partly based on the BMW 600. In a cosmetic sense, however, it was a completely different car. Giovanni Michelotti created a design that fitted perfectly into the fashion of the late fifties and early sixties. The BMW - the first of the brand with a self-supporting body - made entirely of steel - had the classic configuration. The engine found its way into the stern of the small BMW. The trunk space was at the front. Michelotti's signature was clearly recognizable from the subtle drawing of the 700 lines.
Two-cylinder boxer engine
The BMW 700 Coupé was launched first, followed by the BMW 700 (Limousine), the BMW 700 Sport (later BMW 700 CS), the BMW LS Luxus (1962 to 1965) and the BMW LS Coupé (1964 and 1965). All models were based on the air-cooled two-cylinder boxer engine with a light-alloy crankshaft housing (crankcase). The basis for the power source was derived from a motorcycle engine. The first version from 1959 had 22 kW (30 HP) at 5000 rpm. The sportier versions later got 40 HP. The BMW 700 also had a chassis with shock absorbers all around and wheels hung along arms.
Important in the history of BMW
The BMW 700 is considered the most important car in BMW history. He ensured that BMW set a recognizable course. He was an alternative to the novice luxury motorists, who formed an important target group in an era of growing prosperity. The 700 ensured financial peace in Bavaria and thus a good basis for BMW to properly develop the Neue Klasse - with which BMW finally broke through. A total of 700 units of the 1959 and LS models were built from August 1965 to September 181.411.