no, the V16 was not invented by Bugatti!

no, the V16 was not invented by Bugatti!

In the 1980s, when BMW and Mercedes were fighting a merciless battle to impose their dominance on the luxury sedan market, every excuse was good to hit the enemy where it hurts: right in the ego. In this small game, the BMW was so close to a hit that the Mercedes would almost certainly be outdone for a few years. The Bavarian brand was a hair’s breadth away from announcing the 7 Series with a 400-horsepower V16, known today by the codename Goldfish.

The rivalry between BMW and Mercedes is not new. It was also more intense a few decades ago, especially in the 1980s, when the two brands responded to each other with bigger engines and technological innovations. In 1987, the Bavarian brand already sold a 7-series with a V12 engine, the 750i. The problem is, Mercedes quickly decided to do something similar with its S-Class, so it was necessary to find a way to do it more powerfully. After racking its brains, BMW found a solution…

That same year, the Goldfish project was officially launched, in great secrecy, with Adolf Fisher at the helm. The engineering team is working on a 16 V cylinder, created from a 5.0 V12 to which 4 additional cylinders have been added. When it arrives, the V16 has a displacement of 6.7 liters and lacks turbo and compression. Now all that remains is to fit it into Series 7. Or at least try to…

This 767iL Goldfish would be the undisputed queen of the left lane on the autobahn.

767: Boeing’s name for the craziest limousine of the 80s

To deal with a serious blow to Mercedes, BMW did not have 36 solutions: it was necessary to transplant this V16 into the 7 Series. Remember that expression “horned” not taken, as the coolant had to be moved to the back of the car. Therefore, two radiators and two fans ended up in the trunk, which involved “little” check out the rear design of the 7 Series.

BMW 767 iL Goldfish: no, the V16 was not invented by Bugatti!

Mercedes can say thanks to the oil crisis of the 80s

But before we talk about the looks of the car, let’s take a moment and look at the numbers. Now named the 767iL Goldfish, this impressive limousine boasted 405 horsepower, transmitted down through a 6-speed gearbox. Sure, this power might make you smile these days but, to give context, remember that the Ferrari F40 of the time produced 478 horsepower, just 73 more… BMW claimed a 0 to 100 km/h time of 6 seconds and a top speed of 280 km/h.

BMW 767 iL Goldfish: no, the V16 was not invented by Bugatti!

Bugatti is proud to have developed a V16… This engine design is almost 40 years old, man!

Seen from the front, this 767iL Goldfish is very difficult to distinguish from the standard 750i. As we told you, the changes are especially noticeable at the back, due to the adaptation of elements connected to the engine cooling. Two large vents were placed on top of the wings, while an impressive ventilation grille was added to the center of the trunk, cutting off the two headlights in the process. The car is finished in a color that BMW describes as black gold, which in part gives it its internal code name: “golden” by color, “fish” with lateral air inlets like gills.

BMW 767 iL Goldfish: no, the V16 was not invented by Bugatti!

A sincere thought for all the midges who could end their lives in the depths of this air intake…

Unfortunately, this beast has never seen the light of day. As with all crazy projects of the time, a fuel crisis occurred and shut down the 767iL Goldfish. But, even if it remains only in the prototype stage, it is further proof that BMW is one of the best engine manufacturers in the automotive industry.