BMW 8 Series was once the pinnacle of the BMW brand and to this date, it remains one of the most exclusive bimmers you can see on the road. Today, we came across a 1995 BMW 850 CSI which was listed for sale on eBay. At the time of publishing – around midnight EST – the bidding was around $39,000.
The ad says that this 1995 BMW 850CSI has 73,000 miles on the odometer and it is car number 220 out of 225 ever made for US market. The MSRP back in 1995 was $104,650, so it is still amazing to see that prices on those classics hold up better than some of the latest and greatest BMWs. Over the years, the owner says that he spent over $42,000 on servicing the vehicle, but he doesn’t go into details.
So the question: what’s an 8 Series worth to you?
But before you answer that, here are some known facts about the BMW 8 Series.
The E31 8 Series began life in the mid-1980s as a vehicle not to succeed the E24 6 Series but more to surpass it as a more expensive, faster, technology-laden vehicle, namely BMW’s future flagship model. With this newer, larger coupe, BMW intended to take direct aim at the tankish Mercedes Benz S-class coupes of the day and they only knew how to do that through sheer horsepower, displacement and, of course, as we left the Wallstreet Era of the 1980′s – price.
Debuting in September of 1989 at the International Autoshow in Frankfurt, the E31 850i came in at a price of roughly $100,000 USD, immediately making it one of the most expensive BMW ‘s ever produced at that point in time. Keeping in mind that was in 1989 – today $100,000 can net you a fully-loaded M5 or well-specced Porsche 911, but I digress. The 850i came equipped with the 5.0 liter M70 V12 mated to either a 4-speed auto box or a 6-speed manual putting out approximately 300HP – so it was definitely quick despite it’s curb weight of just over 4,000 pounds.
In terms of the new technologies introduced on the 8 Series, the car was equipped with everything. Electric sunroof, power memory seats, onboard data computers, but most importantly, especially in terms of today’s technologies, European models of the top-tier E31- the 850CSi version(don’t worry I’m getting to that next) came with an interesting little performance feature known as Active Rear-Axle Kinematics(AHK). AHK was a system that provided hydraulically assisted steering to the rear wheels as a means of better handling for a car sporting the kind of girth the E31′s possessed. What’s interesting is that this was a one-of-a-kind system in the days of the early to mid-1990′s and now; after a 14-year absence, we see the reintroduction of a very similar system through the new F01 7 Series’ Integral Active Steering system that also allows active control of the steering angle of the rear wheels.
While most of the technologies, aside from AHK, were standard on the 8 Series, buyers did have a variety of engines, namely the M70 V12 along with a 4.0 liter V8 option from the M62 block. BMW toyed with the idea of an 830i with a 3.0 liter engine but the prototypes were scuttled before ever reaching production. However, despite overall poor sales in the United States – mostly due to pricing and fuel costs, the 850i was handed off to M Division and they got to work on what would become the 850CSi.