The BMW E65 is the chassis designation for the fourth generation 7 Series full-size luxury sedan produced by BMW. The E65 was the first BMW chassis series to use different chassis numbers for its several different variants such as the E66/E67/E68, which formed the Long-Wheelbase, BMW High Security and the BMW Hydrogen 7 models respectively. Introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2001 alongside the BMW E53 X5 4.6is, the BMW E65 7 Series replaced the BMW 7 Series (E38) after production of that model ended in July 2001. In order to produce the E65 7 Series and other future models the BMW plant at Dingolfing was retooled at a cost of approximately €500,000,000.
The interior of the BMW E65 7 Series features a generous amount of genuine wood trim & was redesigned to address both the driver and passenger, unlike the traditional driver-focussed instrument panel in the BMW E38 7 Series. BMW removed the traditional console mounted gear selector replacing it with a steering-column mounted stalk, in favour of two cup holders. The seats adjustment controls were moved from their traditional place on the side of the seat base to the inside of the raised central console, which several reviewers complained about the unnecessarily complicated nature of the controls. Peeling paint and textured materials are a well documented problem, so BMW addressed this issue by using still higher quality paint in the LCI model.