BMW includes a very lengthy, storied good reputation for building large, fast coupes. A few of the more notable large coupes to unveil of Munich over BMW’s 80 year automotive history would be the pre-The Second World War 328, the funky yet classic 3. CSi, the avarice-is-good 6 number of the 1980′s, and all of the the large BMW coupes being the marvelously underrated 8 Series circa the 1990′s.
The 8 Series started existence within the mid-1980′s like a vehicle to not succeed the E24 6 Series but more to exceed it as being a far more costly, faster, technology-laden vehicle, namely BMW’s future flagship model. With this particular more recent, bigger coupe, BMW meant to take direct are designed for the tankish Mercedes Benz S-class coupes during the day plus they only understood how to achieve that through sheer horsepower, displacement and, obviously, once we left the Wallstreet Era from the 1980′s – cost.
Debuting in September of 1989 in the Worldwide Autoshow in Frankfurt, the E31 850i arrived in a cost of roughly $100,000 USD, immediately which makes it probably the most costly BMW ‘s ever created at that time over time. Bearing in mind which was in 1989 – today $100,000 can internet a fully-loaded M5 or well-specced Porsche 911, however i digress. The 850i came outfitted using the 5. liter M70 V12 mated either to a 4-speed auto box or perhaps a 6-speed manual creating roughly 300HP – therefore it was certainly quick despite it’s curb weight of approximately 4,000 pounds.
When it comes to the brand new technologies introduced around the 8 Series, the vehicle was outfitted with everything else. Electric sunroof, energy memory seats, onboard data computer systems, but many importantly, especially when it comes to today’s technologies, European types of the very best-tier E31- the 850CSi version(take it easy I’m dealing with that next) included a fascinating little performance feature referred to as Active Rear-Axle Kinematics(AHK). AHK would be a system that provided hydraulically aided steering towards the rear wheels as a way of better handling for any vehicle sporting the type of girth the E31′s possessed. What’s interesting is this fact would be a one-of-a-kind system in the era of the early to mid-1990′s and today following a 14-year absence, we have seen the reintroduction of the much the same system with the new F01 7 Series’ Integral Active Steering system which enables active charge of the steering position from the rear wheels.
While the majority of the technologies, apart from AHK, were standard around the 8 Series, purchasers did have a wide range of engines, namely the M70 V12 together with a 4. liter V8 option in the M62 block. BMW considered the thought of an 830i having a 3. liter engine however the prototypes were scuttled before ever reaching production. However, despite overall poor sales within the U . s . States – mostly because of prices and fuel costs, the 850i was presented with off and away to M Division plus they started work on which would get to be the 850CSi.
The 850CSi demonstrated to become the number topper from the E31 series for the reason that it included a updated S70 V12 engine( S denotes an M Division-built engine) great for 380HP mated to some 6-speed manual together with an M- updated suspension, steering and brakes. As a result, it was a pressure to become believed with. It’s rumored the same S70 V12 that powered the 850CSi was the foundation for the M Division-updated V12 engine provided to McLaren for that earth-breaking McLaren F1,(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mclaren_f1) however, at the moment I’m still researching this possibility.
The 850CSi would be a great vehicle, however, BMW wasn’t fully pleased with the S70 V12 or even the E31 body. BMW considered the idea of creating the best BMW with what could have been considered the M8 – a completely prepared M vehicle in line with the 8 Series. The exam mule for M Division were built with a updated version from the S70 creating near 550HP. Using the M8 BMW had meant to slowly move the supercar fight from Mercedes in Sttugart to Ferrari in Maranello. However, because of the already very high cost the E31′s, BMW wiped out from the M8 while still within the pre-production phase and also the test mule from the M8 was likely destroyed – thus ending any about the very first true M vehicle with 12 cylinders. It’s stated the 850CSi would be a somewhat detuned iteration of M8 prototype. Again, it’s rumored the M8 threw in the towel it’s 6.0L version from the S70 to become one’s heart from the McLaren F1.
Regardless of the groundbreaking technology, outright speed and luxury from the 8 Series, it never offered particularly within the U . s . States – the expected primary market. There have been numerous adding factors that
hampered sales from the 8 Series, namely the U . s . States finding itself inside a steep recession following a stock exchange crash of 1987 and also the slow economic recovery within the next couple of years didn’t help persuade purchasers to invest $100,000 on the vehicle. Bearing in mind, BMW was still being a brandname really creating itself. Around this time around, BMW had regrettably started to get the stigma to be a badge snob’s vehicle and also the brand, because it joined the ultimate decade from the twentieth century, still was without the status of quality or reliability nor the sales it did because it joined the twenty-first century – a likely hindrance to individuals looking for this type of GT vehicle. These factors, combined using the Gulf War at the end of 1990, right before the first 1991 discharge of the E31 within the U.S., that triggered a spike in gas prices designed a V12 option less attractive and therefore brought to the development of some. liter V8 models within the U . s . States.
However, the U.S.-spec 8 Series wouldn’t see it’s method to the finish from the 1990′s as BMW expected as E31′s were no more imported towards the United States market after 1997 because of lagging sales, under 8,000 models were offered in six years. BMW did still manufacture the E31 for that relaxation of it’s marketplaces through 1999 for any worldwide manufacture of approximately 30,000 models over it’s near-nine year production existence – a comparatively low number in comparison to some current BMW model.
For me, the 8 Series would be a vehicle which was largely a sales failure due mainly to bad timing and circumstance, not for poor or insufficient impressive stats. Recently, the 8′s have produced a significantly bigger group of followers with prices for that special 850CSi’s progressing off, for well-maintained automobiles, between $50,000 to $70,000. 30% to 50% depreciation on the vehicle that’s now on the decade old? It is not bad. However, be skeptical of cheaper E31′s because the V12s are recognized to be a challenge and costly to operate on when the cars haven’t been maintained correctly. Otherwise, if you are among the lucky couple of that own one or someone who has got the means to get an 850CSi then achieve this as, for me, this is a vintage BMW within the a long time.