With the BMW 750i from 1987, BMW raced to the top of the luxury class. The first German 12-cylinder engine since the Second World War was an international success and achieved outstanding sales. But it also set off warning bells among competitors, who immediately began developing 12-cylinder units of their own. This prompted a measured response from the BMW engine developers, and a small group of them looked into options for mounting a 16-cylinder unit in the BMW 7 Series. Preliminary test rig measurements returned over 400 hp for a displacement of almost seven litres. However, it required a certain amount of wizardry to fit eight cylinders in line under the bonnet. So for the initial test drives, the resourceful developers moved the radiators to the boot, rerouted ducts and vents through the whole vehicle and brought fresh air in through a set of gills in the rear. Engine output and vehicle dynamics for the outrageous muscle car seemed full of promise, but the project was abandoned on the grounds of technical complexity, unconventional looks and high fuel consumption. All that remains of the project is its striking codename. During work on the bronze-coloured saloon with gill-like vents carved into the boot, one developer came up with the name “Goldfish” – an appropriate and wonderfully conspiratorial moniker for such a top-secret project.