The E31-generation BMW 8 Series was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1989, and despite being the replacement for the outgoing E24 6 Series, it was worlds apart from its predecessor. The product of almost ten years of research and development at a cost of over 1.5 billion DM, the 8 Series was aimed at a different market and priced accordingly, introducing BMW buyers to a level of performance and luxury that had previously been the reserve of Mercedes, Bentley, Ferrari, and Lamborghini.
At the very pinnacle of the range stood the 850 CSi. Launched in 1992, it was far more than just a tuned version of the 850i on which it was based. Its bored-out 5.6-litre V-12 engine was revised so significantly that BMW gave it a new engine code entirely: S70B56. Power leapt from 296bhp to a far more interesting 375bhp, and torque climbed from 450 Nm to 550 Nm, resulting in a 0–60mph benchmark of 5.7 seconds, rather than 7 seconds with the 850i. It also featured a revised suspension setup to harness the extra power, featuring a lower stance and stiffer springs and dampers. The steering was modified with a quicker ratio, and reassuringly, the brakes were uprated with floating ventilated discs. Even the wing mirrors were re-sculpted to improve aerodynamics, alongside reshaped front and rear bumpers. Naturally, it was only offered with a manual six-speed gearbox so as not to dilute the driving experience. Never officially releasing an M8, the CSi was nevertheless BMW’s top-of the range model and a very competitive machine.
This impressive UK delivered example has been in the ownership of an enthusiast since 2016, during which it has been maintained and improved by our vendor over the recent years.
Finished in Oxford Green metallic with a grey leather interior, the 850 shows a very sensible 86,000 miles from new, supported by a total of 15 stamped services, including the running in service. Notably the CSi has benefitted from a cosmetic refresh and also servicing work, brake discs/pads, clutch assembly, wheel bearings, new front and rear windscreens, a refurbishment of the wheels and new tyres on each corner, amongst other works..
With a sensible mileage, unmodified and finished in a very stylish colour scheme, this is an enticing proposition for those seeking one of the ultimate BMW’s of the 1990’s.