1994 BMW 850CSi

Rounding out 2019, I’d like to take a look at one of my favorite cars. 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. 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. Just 225 made it to the U.S., and this is one of 14 Orient Blue Metallic (317) examples. I think I’m in love…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 850CSi on eBay

Continue reading

1995 BMW 850CSi – REVISIT

The 1995 BMW 850CSi we featured two summers ago is back up for sale on Bimmer Forums. The car has covered just under 1,000 miles in that time, but besides that fact, this has to be one of the best higher mileage E31s I’ve seen in some time. Along with its contemporary, the Porsche 928GTS, these big cruisers are bringing strong money these days. Will this one meet the ask this time around?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 850CSi on Bimmer Forums

The below post originally appeared on our site July 31, 2014:

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

1994 BMW 850CSi

The 850CSi is one of those cars that both suffered from enthusiasts’ massive expectations; I have to admit, I’m one of the guilty. Why? I remember well the launch of this car – I studied the development and eagerly awaited the arrival of the M-powered coupe. I even remember my excitement the first time I saw one; Fall, 1994 at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut at a BMW event. I had passed by all of the E30 M3s, E28 and E34 M5s and countless other neat BMWs to stare at a midnight blue over tan leather 6-speed coupe. Then I ran towards the tower as the CSi went out on track; I even had a small video camera to document the event. Those were the days that you could get all the way out to the flagging station at start finish. With the CSi visible in the downhill, I clicked “record” and waited for the impending rush of noise and wind, for my mind to be blown by the vigorous display of speed. Instead, what I witnessed was a subtle BMW rolling near-silent by at highway speed. I was massively deflated.

Fast forward two decades, and it makes much more sense to me now. The CSi wasn’t a track monster and still isn’t. This car was aimed at executives who wanted a big, V12 coupe that could take on the 928 GTS, Aston Martins and even the odd Ferrari. They wanted to insert effortless speed into big luxury. Their owners were never going to be the folks doing smokey burnouts, sliding the car up mountain passes. And as a result, today we get to see these come up for sale in near perfect condition, such as today’s example:

Year: 1994
Model: 850CSi
Engine: 5.6 liter V12
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 70,000 mi
Price: $59,950 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 850CSi on eBay

1 of 255 units ever produced for the US market!

ONE OF 1510 UNITS EVER PRODUCED!

6-speed manual!
Final drive ratio 2.93:1
Stiffer suspension!
Chassis lowered 15mm
Servotronic, motorsport specific
Limited slip differential
Automatic Stability Control + Traction (ASC+T)
Aluminium wheels with brake ventilation
Electric steering wheel adjustment
Stronger brakes
Upgraded front and rear spoiler
Dashboard with red pointers and different looks
850CSi-badge
Folding rear seat backs and ski bag
Leather seats
‘BMW Motorsport’ written on doorhandles
///M emblem embossed in lower door frame
CARFAX CERTIFIED!
ALL BOOKS, MANUALS AND RECEIPTS!
As a top-of-the-range sports tourer, the 850CSi took over from the prototype M8. The 850CSi used the same engine as the 850i, which was tuned so significantly that BMW assigned it a new engine code: S70B56. The modifications included a capacity increase to 5.6 liters and power increase to 380 PS (279 kW; 375 hp).

The 850CSi’s modified suspension included stiffer springs and dampers and reduced the car’s ride height. The recirculating ball steering ratio was dropped 15% over the stock E31 setup. The model also sported wider wheels, with the option of forged alloys. The front and rear bumpers were reshaped for improved aerodynamic performance. Four round stainless steel exhaust tips replaced the square tips found on other models. The 6-speed manual gearbox was the only transmission option.

As expected, the 850CSi makes no exception in having several names. In this case, the term M8 is mentionned on and on again. And it’s correct. The 850CSi is a real M-car. It does not only have an M-bred engine (type S70, the S indicates M-origin) but has been manufactured by BMW M as well, according to the VIN which starts with WBS (BMW Motorsport) instead of WBA (BMW AG). This is mentionned in the papers as well. But although the papers say that the correct model name is BMW M8, the car has been enhanced only moderately by the M-Division, compared to the real M8, which remained a prototype only.

THIS VIHICLE HAS SPENT ITS WHOLE LIFE IN SOUTHERN STATES!
It has been serviced by bmw dealers and it is in great shape.

The condition this car appears in is certainly impressive, and points towards my earlier disappointment that these cars weren’t abused but pampered by their well-to-do owners. Were I not to know better, these photos could easily be passed off as press-release photos from the original launch. I struggle to find anything wrong with this car. And yet, that incredible motor attached to this wicked grand tourer is available just below $60,000. If that seems like a lot of money, in my mind it’s not. Compare that price to a 928GTS – there are currently three nice examples of Ebay, all asking a still $80,000 plus. How about 911s? This money wouldn’t get you into much of a 964 chassis 911 Turbo, either – most are at or above this asking price. To me, honestly, the natural competition for this model is really the Ferrari 550 Maranello – and while you can get one of those close to the asking price of this car the reality is that you don’t want to buy a cheap Ferrari. I’d love to have the means to pick up one of these very special cars, but my dream is no longer to take it to the track to beat up on all of the lesser BMW models. No, in that capacity it would fail miserably. Instead, I’d rather have it as a car that would make me feel very special driving the family to some secluded vacation spot and parking the car within eyeshot so I could take a peek every once in a while and remind myself what a very neat car this is.

-Carter

1993 BMW “M550CSi” – M5 with S70 V12 6-speed swap

509

In my post about last week’s 2JZ swapped M5 many questioned why you would go through the expense and difficulty of swapping in the Toyota unit, or at least that it was downright sacrilegious to do so. Perhaps I have a looser sense of how to do things the proper way, but I certainly can recognize that the 2JZ unit is capable of higher levels of power than the original S62 V8 was for less money, and that at least makes some sense to me even if I wouldn’t do it. When I first came across today’s E34 M5, I was initially struck with awe, but as I’ve sat wondering what to write up about this car, that awe has slowly turned to a bit more confusion. The reason why is fairly straightforward – some enterprising individual has taken a quite nice Euro-market E34 M5 (great start) and swapped in the equally great S70B56 V12 from a 850CSi along with a 6 speed manual transmission. Take a look for yourself at this monster:

509

Year: 1993
Model: M5
Engine: 5.6 liter V12
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 76,000 mi
Price: $20,000

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 BMW M5 S70 swap on Willz.Ca

Model: 1993 European M5 chassis
Chassis: WBSHC91090GD63011
Build Date: June 1992
Mileage: 76,000 miles
Colour: Black
Motor: 5.6L 850 CSi engine (S70B56) conversion
Interior: black leather mechanical sports seats, leather stitched center console and door skins
Transmission: new 6 speed manual
Traction Control:
Brakes Front: 2-piece, 355 (14″) rotors UUC 4 piston aluminum calipers
Brakes Rear: vented 328mm (12.9″) rotors
Wheels: 17 x 8 forged system II
Tires: 235-45 and 275-40 Dunlop Sport 5000
Features: front strut bar, HR springs, uprated sway bars, UUC short shifter, Eisenman stainless exhaust, in dash CD
Options: single air bag, ABS, rear deck wing, rear window shades, E code headlights, clear blinkers, Motorsport door handles
Comments: Hand built custom driveline by Brett Anderson from Koala Motorsport, Cleveland OH. Sold and registered as 1993. Self-leveling not removed – still functional. New EDC shocks all ’round. Quaife LSD.

As I said, initially I thought “Holy beep that is awesome!”; seeing that monster V12 in a real M car is sort of like 1995 got all sorts of better. But then I sat on it and thought about it some more, and came away confused. The S38 is a pretty strong motor and this car didn’t have many miles when it was yanked from what I can tell, so there’s that question. Then, the replacement motor is that awesome 5.6 V12. Well, at least it was awesome in 1995, but my main question comes from the result. That V12 is effectively two inline 6s, meaning you have double of nearly everything in the engine bay. On a 20 year old car, that’s not always a good thing – especially those early computers, which seem to have hiccups.

Then there is the second main question when you look at the performance. Sure, the S70 has a healthy bump of torque over the S38, but only 70 horsepower more than even the lowly 3.5 – bump up to the optional 3.8, and those numbers are closer. Then there’s the question of availability; it’s not like the S70 is a cheap motor to come by, so this was intentionally done at great expense. Further, unlike the all-aluminum M73, the M70-based S70 has a big old iron block, so you’re throwing off the balance some. While I have no doubt this car is a blast to drive and looks fantastic, I am left scratching my head a bit. Still, like the Supra-powered E39, I’m happy that someone went through the effort and created what would have been the ultimate handbuilt M-car. And it can all be yours for less than the price of most E39 Ms…

-Carter

1994 BMW 850CSi

One of my favorite grand touring coupes, the 850CSi is the rarest of the E31 8-series cars with only 225 making it to North America. The 850CSi was the top of the heap performance wise, with the 375 bhp 5.6l V12, and a 6 speed manual gearbox, these cars shot to 60mph in the mid 5 second range, these cars were essentially the failed M8 project in plain clothes.

This black beauty for sale in Lebanon, Tennessee is a well cared for example of the quintessential ’90s grand tourer.

Year: 1994
Model: 850CSi
Engine: 5.6 V12
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 54,000 mi
Price: $54,995

1994 BMW 8-Series 850CSi on eBay

passfront

I am selling my 1994 850csi BMW serial # 00021, one of the lowest serial numbered 850csi in existence. This car has been inside my commercial building and is driven maybe 2 times per month. It is in excellent condition with all services kept up to date along with a new clutch installed last year with only 200 miles on it. It is very reliable mechanically and physically in great shape. This car has been pampered and needs a person who will treat it as such. This car is all original inside and out and never been wrecked or painted on. The lowest first runs on the assembly line and the last runs are the more collectable in value. The car is soon to be in the antique category and will be highly appreciated by collectors. This car is sold as is with no warranties implied. Car will be for sale locally, therefore I reserve the right to end auction early if sold prior to eBay auction ending! This car shows extremely well for an 18 year old original car! Remember this is not a new car and does have normal age and wear on it!  Thanks and good luck on a great car!

PS. I have had many questions about the head liner in this car, it is perfect which I have provided pictures! Also for those who have asked about this car having a cassette player, the multiple disc CD player is located in the trunk from the factory which I have provided pictures, everything works fine! The tires have very little wear on them.

This is the car that myself and many others lusted over in the ’90s. Even if it was a sled, and did 0-60 in 12.8 seconds, it wouldn’t have mattered as it’s one of the most beautiful cars BMW has ever produced. I’m amazed to see an 850CSi for sale in this shape, as they are rare to begin with. Add in the fact that it only has 54K miles, and suddenly the $54,995 price tag almost seems reasonable…I said almost. Putting all of the lust aside, and the rarity aside, my judgement is clearing up, and the $54K price tag seems a little bit in the stratosphere. After looking in to prices, and what these are selling for, I believe that the right BMW geek with deep pockets will want to snatch this up, however I would love to see a price tag in the $35K to $40K range. That is still way above market value, but reasonable considering the rarity and condition of this car. As always with cars like this, it’s not like you can just go to the dealer and grab one. When the opportunity presents itself, you have to pay if you want to play.

-Brian