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The BMW L6 and L7: The Opposite of M

If you’re any sort of car enthusiast, you undoubtedly know about BMW’s M cars. M stands for “motorsport,” and BMW’s sporty M models offer better performance than traditional, non-M BMWs. But did you know that BMW once offered… L cars?

It’s true. In the mid-1980s, just as the whole M thing was getting started, BMW rolled out two L models: the L6 and the L7. No, they weren’t slightly toned-down versions of upcoming M cars, since L comes before M in the alphabet. Instead, L stood for “luxury” — these were intended to be luxurious special models, just as the M cars were intended to be high-performance special models. Find a BMW L6 for sale or Find a BMW L7 for sale

Here’s how it went down: BMW debuted the U.S.-market 7 Series sometime in the early 1980s. Debuting soon after that was the luxurious L7, which featured all the standard 7 Series model’s luxuries as standard equipment, including an automatic transmission, a driver airbag and leather upholstery. L7 models even had extra leather upholstery on the dashboard and door panels. The L6 was the same thing, just for the 6 Series: a high-end model with additional luxury trim and a standard automatic transmission.

Given that this all occurred 30 years ago, I’m not quite sure what happened next, but I do know the L6 and L7 didn’t survive to see another generation. The 6 Series in general was axed in favor of the larger 8 Series, which debuted for the 1991 model year. Meanwhile, the 7 Series simply got more luxurious, which probably made the L7 redundant.

Interestingly, Mercedes-Benz recently revived the L7 concept with the latest version of its Maybach — essentially an ultra-high-end luxury version of the S-Class sedan rather than an entirely new model like the earlier Maybach.

As for BMW, the M cars are flourishing, but the L models are now exclusively relics from another era. Wouldn’t it be funny if things had gone the other way? Find a BMW L6 for sale or Find a BMW L7 for sale

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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