Facebook Feud: 1994 Porsche 928GTS v. 1994 BMW 850CSi

Recently on our Facebook page I posted a poll to see what our fans would like us to write-up. The choice in that poll was between two different generations of Grand Tourer; cars with the same purpose but very different execution. The Porsche 928GTS was at the end of its illustrious production run, the ultimate evolution of the V8 transaxle design. On the other hand, the fairly recently introduced 850CSi wasn’t quite the ‘M8’ BMW had teased, but in a post-Recession economy it was still pretty special. The 928GTS clocked in to work with a slightly revised exterior, 17″ Cup wheels, giant Brembo brakes and a stonking 5.4 liter 4-cam V8 capable of 345 horsepower. The 850CSi was, of course, also naturally aspirated, but a 5.6 liter V12 lay under its computer-designed angular bodywork. The E31 was heavily breathed upon by BMW’s Motorsport division, the S70 laughed at Porsche’s V8 by channeling 372 horsepower to the rear wheels solely through a 6-speed manual gearbox. Like the 928, bodywork revisions, M-System II forged wheels and mega brakes along with suspension updates helped justify the lofty price.

In their days, both of these cars could eclipse $100,000 easily with options. The thing is, they’ve never really come down in price. Both were quite limited production; a total of 1,510 850CSis were made with only 225 sent to the U.S., while 2,877 928GTSs were made, with I believe 451 landing in North America.

The Facebook poll came down to a dead heat between the two, each with 44 votes. So, I did my best to come up with two worthy examples priced closely to consider today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 850CSi on Hemmings.com

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1994 BMW 850CSi Colorline

Considering just how rare they are, it’s quite special that we get to look at a second Colorline 850CSi in such short order. And this one is quite a bit more rare to find than the prior Tobago Blue example. Only 13 were ordered in the rarest combination – Calypso Red Metallic with Trinidad Red and Black Nappa leather. This is really about as rare as an E31 gets.

Since I didn’t cover the differences between the EG91/2 (Euro) and EG93 (US) 850CSis, it’s worth taking a look at that. Euro-spec 850CSis got additional oil cooling for the differential and engine, along with 13.6″ floating rotors and different side mirrors. The front end also got special smoked lenses. I covered a bit more about what made all 850CSis special in the last post:

1994 BMW 850CSi Colorline

There are a few reasons to really prefer today’s CSi over the Tobago Blue. Beyond the increased rarity, this one has far fewer miles and the presentation is much better. There’s a lot more information provided, too. And, it’s already on this side of the Atlantic, though you’ll need to wait a few more months until it’s ready to roll into the U.S.. Of course, there is one drawback…and it’s a big one:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 850CSi Colorline on eBay

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1994 BMW 850CSi Colorline

Continuing on the theme of defacto M cars started with the South African 745i, today let’s look at the much more famous example of the 850CSi. I came of driving age during the reign of the E31, and I still remember magazines taunting that the ‘M8’ would soon be with us. Of course, it never came – at least, not until today. But we still did get an E31 breathed upon by the Motorsports division in the spectacular 850CSi.

Like the SA 745i, the heart of the CSi was a special “S” motor. In this case, BMW Motorsport GmbH took the M70 and beefed it up seriously. Bored out to 5.6 liters and with compression bumped up and revised electronic programing, the resulting S70 took BMW’s V12 from 296 horsepower to 372 with 420 lb.ft of torque on tap. Macht schnell, indeed! But there were a host of other changes; offered only with a manual 6-speed gearbox, the CSi also got a quicker steering rack, Euro M5 brakes, shorter and stiffer springs, and M System II ‘Throwing Star’ 17″ staggered wheels. A new body kit made the elegant E31 look much more menacing, too. Europeans even had the option of 18″ M Parallels and, amazingly, 4-wheel steering.

In 1994, this car cost almost $110,000. Today that’s nothing, as you can spec a special-order M3 up to that amount. But back then? That was nearly the price of three M3s. These super coupes have never really come down in price, as like their contemporary the 928GTS, they have maintained an aura of unobtainium and sacredness to a generation of motoring enthusiasts. With only 225 brought stateside, perhaps it’s worth considering importing this one?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 850CSi on eBay

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1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL

When I see the word “concours” being thrown out there when describing a used car, my eyes usually roll over pretty hard. It’s becoming the buzzword for any car that is generally above average in condition, but no where near the level of pulling it on a golf course and having a group of men in floppy hats inspect for dirt under the fuse box lid. Every once in a blue moon, of those cars does actually pop up for sale and it carries an outrageous price. But this 1986 560SEL for sale in Florida not only looks outstanding, but won’t cost you the price of a new S-Class either.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL on Hemmings

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1994 BMW 850CSi

I have a romantic vision that there will be some day that I’m able to go for a cruise on the weekend with my family in the fast GT car. Part of that stems from a childhood dream; my grandfather was lucky enough to own a Ferrari 250GT/L Lusso back in the 1960s and 1970s; it was long gone before I was any age to appreciate it, but I’ve always had a thought that I could buy one some day. Well, recent market changes have moved the Lusso from a $100,000 Ferrari to a $1,000,000 Ferrari – the chances of me ever buying one have gone from slim to none. Even the replacement models like the 365GTC/4 are also firmly out of reach too. So my dream of the classic Ferrari has moved on to more recent, affordable models. The 456GT is a great example – classic looks, perfect layout, and most reasonable examples can be had between $50,000 and $60,000. Great! The problem? Well, it’s still a Ferrari; frequent belt services seem to run between $6,000 and $10,000, the windows apparently fall out of place and are $1,000 to fix (if you can find and independent who can be trusted), even the brakes are multi-thousand dollars. What’s a reasonable option then? Well, I think the 850CSi is probably one of the best reasonable Ferrari replacements:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 850CSi on eBay

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10K Friday: The ones everyone wanted! S8 v. 740i Sport v. 560 SEL

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Two weeks ago I wrote up executive showdown which featured an A8L against a 745i and S500. The general consensus was that while most wanted the Audi, the Mercedes-Benz (though maybe not that particular one) was the better long-term purchase. Personally, I think Audis of this generation sometimes get an unwarranted reputation, but regardless few people really wanted any of these cars as almost all found some earlier generation more appealing. So, run the tape again, this time with the “Greatest Hits”! Let’s start with the Audi:

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Year: 2002
Model: S8
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 108,572 mi
Price: $9,950

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S8 on Web2Carz.com

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2002 Audi S8
4dr All-wheel Drive Quattro Sedan 4.2L
(full specs)

Engine:

Type: Premium unleaded..Cylinders: 8..Horse Power: 360..Variable Valve Timing..Max RPM: 7,000..Torque: 317..Max Torque RPM: 3,400..Compression Ratio: 11.00 : 1..Size: 4.2..Valve Gear: DOHC..Total Valves: 40..Engine Configuration: V..Displacement: 255..Vehicle Emissions: Federal
Transmission:

Number of speeds: 5..Manual / automatic: Automatic..Automatic type: Automatic
Fuel Econ:

15/21
Seating:

5
Safety:

Head airbags: Curtain 1st and 2nd row..Passenger Airbag: Yes..Traction control: ABS and driveline..Stability control: Yes..Child safety locks: Yes..Rear center seatbelt: 3-point belt..Seatbelt pretensioners: Front and rear
Convenience:

Cruise control..Power steering: Speed-proportional power steering..Steering wheel: Tilt and telescopic..Audio controls on steering wheel: Audio controls..Cupholders: Front and rear..Remote trunk release: Power..Door pockets: Driver, passenger and rear..Seatback storage: 2..Cargo net..12V DC power outlet: 2..Retained accessory power..Universal remote transmitter

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I can’t deny that I have a serious love affair with the S8. It just looks sooooooo right. This particular example looks splendid in the quite rare Irish Green Pearl and has the preferred look 18″ Avus wheels in good condition from the look of the photos. Interior also looks great, and mileage is low to average for the market. Timing belt service should have been performed so look for that to have been done, and also it appears there is front bumper damage (not uncommon on the low-slung S8), but at below $10,000, this car looks like the best bang for the buck in this group. Older Audis not your thing? How about a classicly styled BMW E38 740i Sport:

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Year: 2001
Model: 740i Sport
Engine: 4.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 111,513 mi
Price: $8,000 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 740i Sport on eBay

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VERY NICE 740I M SERIES

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Not much info, but this car looks splendid in classic black with equally classic M-Parallels. I love the look of these cars, they’re well proportioned and hide their weight cleverly. With around the same mileage of the Audi, this car is a little less complicated overall but consequently also offers less performance. But maybe performance isn’t your thing, and you’d like something a little more “classic” than the BMW? How about the dictator car of choice, a W126 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL?

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Year: 1990
Model: 560 SEL
Engine: 5.6 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 66,897 mi
Price: $7,999 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL on eBay

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This is a very clean 1990 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL sedan with 66890 miles. This Mercedes has been very well treated and maintained. This is a fully original Mercedes including the Becker stereo system. This 560 has front and rear seat heaters, and reclining rear seats, which are working properly.

We performed a road test as well as a safety and maintenance service on this vehicle in preparation for sale. The engine runs well and the automatic transmission shifts very nicely. All of the brake pads are in great shape as well. The oil and filters were just changed. I checked the equipment in this car for proper operation. I can verify that all of the following power equipment is working properly: All power windows, power door-locks, power seats, power sunroof, power mirror and antenna. The air conditioning and heat are working. All of the gauges and instrumentation are functioning properly. There aren’t any service or warning lights on.

The pearl grey paint is glossy and brilliant over the entire body. The exterior of this Mercedes is in very nice condition with only minor imperfections. There are some bumpers rub marks, a few bumps and some small scratches, but this car still looks really great. All of the trim is intact and in excellent condition, and the alloy wheels are clean, look great.

The interior has been very well maintained and is in terrific condition. All of the leather surfaces are soft and supple with very little wear, even on the driver side. The carpeting is clean and fluffy throughout this car. There aren’t any rips, holes or damage on the seats or carpeting in this Mercedes. The dash and door panels are in excellent condition without any cracks,fading or other damage. This was a non-smoker owned vehicle and there aren’t any smoke odors or burn marks inside this car.

The title is clear without any liens or encumbrances and is mileage are original. This is a beautiful 560 SEL in excellent condition. I would feel comfortable getting in and driving this Mercedes anywhere.

This Car has pass california smog inspection with no problem.

This vehicle is offer for sale by Econo Automotive Center Inc. We are a California licensed and bonded dealer. All California buyers must pay sales tax (varies), documentation fee ($60) , and DMV Registration Fee (varies) as well as SMOG check ($60)

All vehicles sold outside of California are exempt from all of the above fees. The buyer is responsible for registering the vehicle in their own state and paying the fees associated with doing so.

Buyers are to pay a $500 deposit within 24 hours of the ending of the auction and full payment due within 7 days.

PLEASE COME SEE THE CAR BEFORE BUYING OR CALL US FOR MOR INFO AT 714-697-6562 THIS CAR IS IN OUR PASADENA LOCATION.

BUYER PAYS FOR SHIPPING AND CARS HAVE TO BE PICKED UP WITH IN 21 DAYS

THIS CAR CAN BE SEEN IN PASADENA CA.

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This 560 looks to be in great shape, and while it’s probably the least exciting of the three there is something that is evergreen about the Mercedes-Benz models from this time period. They still exude luxury and opulence even though many of the features are found on base model Kias now. Truth be told, these cars all are bathed in luxury, and although I’m partial to the Audi, I think all three of these cars are winners and offer their own version of classic German motoring with a healthy dose of luxury on a shoe-string budget.

Which would you prefer?

-Carter