When was the last time you saw these three words in the same sentence? BMW. V12. 6-Speed. Now that’s a recipe for the “Ultimate Driving Machine”.
When BMW introduced the 8-series I thought they nailed the perfect balance of masculinity and beauty. It’s the Great White Shark of the road; long, sleek, powerful and precise.
This 2+2 was BMW’s flagship car and was aimed to compete with MB’s SL-Class and S-Class Coupe. The seller of this particular 850i has tried his best to transform it into the fire-breathing 850CSi. Visually he’s done a great job; black paint shines beautifully, custom exhaust, 18” M-Parallel wheels, the list goes on.
List of specs from the listing:
The front and rear bumper pieces are obvious and are factory BMW parts…This car is of course 100% original flawless paint on all metal surfaces and the CSI bumpers were painted off the car and have all correct mounting hardware and related parts, air deflectors, etc. The suspension of this 91 has the rare (EDC) or “electronic dampening control” option, giving it a sort of active suspension with two switchable setting, and is another very rare option. The springs on this car were upgraded to a lower and stiffer aftermarket spring that is a very good improvement over all factory E31s CSI or not, and the front sway bar is a larger model in this car too. The rear differential was changed out to a 3:15 ratio and a Limited Slip unit. This is a BIG improvement on the 850 6 speed, giving the car a better acceleration and no effect on top speed or drivability. It is the ratio the factory should have used in the first place and is recommended to all 6 speed cars. This is also roughly the same ratio as the factory 850CSI uses. The front brakes were changed from the ATE to the the rare and expensive Factory 4 piston Brembo Calipers. These are not aftermarket, they are a factory BMW part with the BMW logo and about as rare their selves as this car in this condition. The front projector lenses have real 8K HID/Xenon lamps and ballasts on them. This is a very nice touch on the front of these cars. The lenses are of course glass, not plastic and all the headlight adjusters that are problematic are perfect in the car. Also, all the headlamps come on when the bright lights are pulled. This was a disabled feature on the 8 series in the US. The wheels and tires are an upgrade and are later model 18×8.5 and 18×9.5 wheels with Michelin Pilot tires sharing the same sizes as the new M5 BMW.
To make this car have more power without altering the originality or integrity a few basic things were done. First, all 3 computer chips were changed. The V12 cars use two “DME” computers on one “EML” computer. The DMEs each run one side of the twin 6 cylinder engine. The EML is more the throttles, and other aspects and is kind of linking the DMEs together. The DME chips are the popular Conforti chips, giving the car about 30HP over its 300HP rating. The EML, removed the top speed limiter and raises the rev limiter. This is a separate chip from another company and is roughly the same chip used on an Alpina B12. The combo of the 3 allow the car to achieve a near 180MPH speed and give it a bit more acceleration. The last upgrade is the exhaust. This exhaust transforms this already “over attention” getting car, to a musical tune not played by any other car on the road. The exhaust was custom built on a chassis dyne by one of Dallas’ best. Although it took extensive work and only gives the car 16 actual HP, the looks and sound are so impressive that you just want to listen to it all day. If you did not see the car, you will look when you hear is as there is no other sound like it…With all of the performance mods, this particular 850 has 286HP to the wheels. That is roughly about 345 HP at the flywheel, still 35HP short of the real 850CSI, but it is as close as you can get without altering the engine, and that is not an option on this particular car in its condition and rarity.
At $54,200 this 8’er certainly isn’t cheap but if you’re a Bimmer connoisseur and you’re looking for a low-mileage E31 with all the right trimmings, this may be your car. I know I love it!
Quick Fun Fact – When you are cruising on the autobahn and you dip into triple digits the windows automatically roll up to reduce wind drag. How cool is that!?