BMW 8 Series

Pros - Great bargains if you can find one as a second hand purchase. Brilliant engines and build quality. Great smooth drive. Highly sought after.

Cons - Earlier models guzzled petrol. Some owners report cylinder rust on V8 models. Not as smooth to ride at high speeds as BMW sports coupes.

BMW 8 Series

  • Overview

    BMWs biggest coupe, The BMW 8 Series is a V8 or V12 engine 2 door 2+2 coupe built from 1989 to 1999. An electronically limited maximum speed of 155 mph and 5 litre V12 engine producing around 300bhp meant it was a fairly powerful coupe but not that economical. The 1993 mid series models BMW introduced, were a cheaper, more economical 8 series alternative with improved transmission, suspension, steering and aerodynamics. These are some of the best buys.


    High quality electronic gadgets for the time including, air-conditioning, on-board computer, traction control and computer-controlled suspension were standard as were impressive build and interior comfort throughout. 8 Series offered ABS and tremendous braking power.

  • Sales

    Sales were not good however, affected partly by the global recession of the early 1990s, made worse by the Gulf War and a series of energy price hikes, as well as, as mentioned above, the fact that mpg was not that good particularly on earlier models. BMW stopped producing the 850 in 1996, although the 840 remained available until 1999. In late 1996 production stopped completely as the 8 Series S70 engine could not be made to comply with new emissions regulations without substantial re-design. This was something that was not worth the trouble due to the low sales. Amazingly, and some might say sadly because it was not a bad car, only 30,621 BMW 8 Series were built during its production period. BMW is now rumored to be re-launching the 8 Series name as a four door coupe similar to the Mercedes-Benz CLS.

    BMW 8 Series - Typical Petrol Consumption

    • 840 - V8
    • Urban -15 mpg
    • Motorway - 20 mpg
    • Combined - 17 mpg
    • 850 - V12
    • Urban - 14 mpg
    • Motorway - 20 mpg
    • Combined - 16 mpg
  • BMW 8 Series - Model Comparison Chart

    Model - Production - Engine - Power -Torque

    • 830Ci 1992 V8 215hp 290Nm
    • 840Ci 1992-96 V8 282 hp 400
    • 840Ci 1995-99 V8 282 hp 420
    • 850i/Ci 1989-94 V12 295 hp 450
    • 850Ci1994-99 V12 322 hp 490
    • 850CSi 1992-96 v12 375 hp 550
  • Recommended - The BMW 8 Series 850CSi

    With a capacity of 5.6 litres and power up to 380 bhp this top of the range sports tourer was probably the best of the 8 Series range. It was known as the M8 and it was in fact a similar set up to the specialist high performance model with modified suspension, stiffer springs and dampers and wider wheels, and further aerodynamic motorsport stylings/performance benefits. The 6 speed manual gearbox was the only transmission option ensuring it was kept safe for the purists.

    BMW 850 CSi - Main Specification[B] [B]

    • Engine Size: V12
    • Engine Capacity: 5576cc
    • Power: 380bhp
    • Transmission: Six speed manual
    • Acceleration: 0-62mph, 6 sec
    • Top speed: 155mph (limited)
    • Insurance: Group 20
  • BMW 8 Series - Key Dates

    • 1989 - The 850 was the fist model launched with the 5 litre M70B50 engine producing 300 . Possibly the most advanced car on sale at its launch. It was available with either a 4 speed automatic or a 6-speed manual gearbox.
    • 1993 - BMW renamed its 2+2 coupe the 850Ci, emphasizing its coupe body style. A passenger side airbag joined the driver airbag, and the cabin gained the luxury of maple trim. Rear seatbacks now split away and folded. Either a 6 speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission could be had. Cars now came with electronically controlled suspension
    • 1994 - The new V8 model, 840Ci, was a nice improvement. It used the same 282-horsepower, 4.0-litre engine. Also new was a limited edition 12 cylinder 8 Series, called 850CSi, fitted with a 372-horsepower, 5.6-litre V12. That one came with a 6-speed gearbox, sport suspension, lower ride height, and 17-inch tires. Nice looking the 850Ci coupe also had plenty of other improved features such as antitheft alarm and 250-watt stereo system.
    • The regular V12 engine for the 850Ci grew in size, to 5.4 litres and 322-horsepower.
    • The high performance 850CSi coupe was abandoned leaving only the 840Ci and 850Ci with new 4.4-litre V8 engine, improved interior, Servotronic variable-assist power steering, Electronic Damping Control, etc, etc but it was not enough to stop the rot.
    • Last of the 850CSi went out of production in 1997. Latest versions went on sale in the summer but the end was nigh.
    • Final 8 Series were sold. Goodnight Vienna for the BMW 8 Series or more accurately Goodnight Munich.