Registration date: 1996
Transmission type: Manual
Vehicle colour: Oxford green
Interior: Two tone grey leather
Unique 850 csi
Finding an 850csi for a sensible price nowadays is a tough challenge. Rightly taking its place in the classic BMW hall of fame, the 850csi has gradually built a strong following amongst connoisseurs and aficionados of the marque, and today looks and feels exactly like the serious GT that BMW always meant it to be. In right hand drive BMW produced only 160 of these incredible machines, making it one of the rarest and most sought-after BMWs.
The 850csi was an expensive car when new, but as the car aged, many owners did not feel motivated to keep up the expense required to slow down the ageing process and keep their cars in collectable condition. As a consequence, when prices began to rise and the 850csi started to become desirable as a modern classic, many of the original 160 cars where in a sorry state, with bills and issues that contributed towards the 850csi’s reputation for being a potential money pit.
This particular 850csi has luckily avoided falling into the wrong category, but still affords a future custodian the scope to continue on a path of improvement – entirely dependent, of course, on the desired type of ownership experience. The overall condition mechanically and physically makes it an easy car to buy, own and drive, but the price leaves more than enough budget available to take the car to the next level and beyond.
The E31 850csi is one of the most interesting BMWs ever made. Taking the standard 8 series, it was developed by BMW Motorsport (later rebadged BMW M) who, having decided not to proceed with the M8 project, turned their intentions to the 850csi instead. Thus, the 850csi became the defacto M car for the 8 series range and was heavily breathed on by the engineers at M, the chassis, steering, breaks, suspension, and of course the engine itself were all specifically developed by BMW Motorsport. The 850csi is powered by the famous S70 unit (or S70B56 to give it its proper name), which began life effectively as the bog standard 5.0 litre V12 M70, and via the 1510 units developed as a 5.6 litre V12 for the worldwide sales of the 850csi (the shortest engine production run ever by BMW), ended up as the V12 powerplant for the Maclaren F1, as the 6 litre S70/2.
The engine modifications to develop the S70 for the 850csi were extensive, hence BMW allocating a new engine identity;
-Increased bore (from 84mm to 86mm) and stroke (from 75mm to 80mm) for a new total displacement of 5,576cc (from 4,988cc)
-Increased compression (from 8.8:1 to 9.8:1)
-More aggressive valve timing for increased high-rpm power
-Larger diameter exhaust pipes
-Variable rpm limit (6,400 in 1st+2nd, 6,200 in 3rd, 6,100 in 4th. 6,000 in 5th+6th)
-Adjustable throttle sensitivity via dual mode (Sport or Komfort) console-mounted switch
-Engine oil cooler
The 850csi also boasts a host of first-gen technology that makes it stand out from the crowd, such as AHK or four-wheel steering, and advanced aerodynamics. We probably don’t need to draw your attention to the sheer classic beauty of the lines, with its pillarless windows (now forever consigned to history, alas) and pop up double headlights.
For an almost unique opportunity to own a well kept 850csi at an accessible price, this particular example couldn’t be better. The paintwork is of a very high standard, the interior complete and in remarkably sound order, and mechanically the few issues that exist are on our hitlist of works to be completed during prep, prior to the new owner taking delivery (within the asking price, of course).
For more details on the results of our inspection, and the hitlist, to arrange a viewing (by appointment only), or for any further questions on this remarkable car, please contact our showroom team on the details below.
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