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BMW 850CSI – The Peak of BMW’s 90s Grand Touring

BMW 850CSI – The Peak of BMW’s 90s Grand Touring

The BMW 850CSi arrived in 1996 as the ultimate evolution of BMW’s E31 8 Series coupe. With only 1,510 units built for global markets, the 850CSi showcased BMW’s performance and luxury credentials through limited production and an elevated price point. Its blend of styling presence, refined power delivery and gran turismo capabilities cemented the 850CSi as a 1990s icon.

Aggressive BMW 850CSI Styling with Luxury Details

The 850CSi received extensive visual upgrades inside and out, setting it apart from the standard 850Ci. A deeper front air dam, extended side skirts and revised rear valance added aggression. New 17” alloy wheels filled the flared wheel arches nicely. Exclusive two-tone leather upholstery, walnut wood trim and an aluminum gear knob enhanced interior luxury. The comprehensive styling enhancements reinforced the 850CSi’s exclusive positioning.

Hand Built V12 Powerplant

Motivating the 850CSi was BMW’s remarkable 5.6-liter V12 engine, enlarged from 5.0 liters in the 850Ci and paired to a 6-speed manual transmission. Power output rose to 375hp and 410lb-ft torque, enabling 0-60mph in under 6 seconds despite the coupe’s two-ton curb weight. The all-aluminum DOHC V12 featured state-of-the-art technical highlights like Double VANOS variable valve timing. BMW’s engineers hand-assembled each motor, reflecting the 850CSi’s upscale status.

Refinement Meets Performance

While blisteringly quick in a straight line, the 850CSi delivered its speed with refinement befitting a luxury grand tourer. The compliant suspension provided a supple ride, while the massive torque of the V12 could propel the coupe effortlessly at autobahn speeds with the engine barely above idle. When driven harder through corners though, the neutral handling balance and tenacious grip revealed the 850CSi’s performance credentials. It covered ground rapidly regardless of conditions.

Exclusive BMW 850CSI Flagship Coupe

BMW intended the 850CSi to showcase the peaks of 1990s automotive technology and luxury. With the 8 Series retired after 1999, the 850CSi would be the line’s final and most aspirational variant. It represented the pinnacle of BMW’s prodigious engineering capabilities. Build quality was superb, from the meticulous paintwork to the richly finished leather cabin. The 850CSi exceeded its positioning as the 8 Series range topper and collected a passionate following.

A Statement in the 1990s Luxury Market

The 850CSi’s elevated pricing put it into contention with icons like the Acura NSX, Mercedes SL, and Porsche 911 Turbo during its production. It offered a unique alternative to these cars with its V12 grand touring focus. BMW made no compromises with the 850CSi, equipping it fully to be a technical showcase. The car radiated prestige and exclusivity in a way few rivals could match. For its limited clientele, the 850CSi was a discreet yet potent statement of success.

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