BMW 8 Series: Overview

At its launch at the 1989 International Motor Show (IAA) in Germany, the effective successor to the BMW 6 series (E24) is so well received that 5,000 have been pre-ordered before the first BMW 850i has even been delivered. The wedge-shaped body with the long hood and the steep rear is designed by Klaus Kapitza. Its flat front is reminiscent of the BMW M1. The flowing, exceptionally elegant lines promise a performance that is easily delivered by the V12-cylinder engine with its five liter displacement and an output of 220 kW.


Its many technical innovations also make this car the most modern vehicle built by BMW at the end of the 80s. Updates include the optional self-steering rear axle and new assistance systems, such as the DSC stability system, variable-speed power steering and the Electronic Damper Control (EDC) available on the BMW 850i. The 8 series is the first BMW to have a Cd value of less than 0.3 and a multiplex system for networking the various control systems.


1992 sees the launch of an even more powerful version – the 850Csi – generating 380 kW of output with a 5.6 liter displacement. A year later, a 4.0 liter 8-cylinder engine with a power output of 210 kW completes the range of engines. Another version of the 12-cylinder unit, the BMW 850Ci, is available in 1994 and produces 240 kW with a 5.4 liter displacement. The BMW 840 is also available in a Ci version in 1995. The BMW 8 series combines the best of technology, aerodynamics and design. Avant-garde elegance and exclusive luxury unite with outstanding performance – features that are revived by the 2018 BMW 8 series (G14, G15, G16). By the end of production in 1999, more than 30,000 units of the luxury coupé have rolled off the assembly line.


Production period: 1989–1999

Engines: 4.0–5.6 liters (160–280 kW), 8- & 12-cylinder

Length/width/height: 4,780 mm/1,885 mm/1,340 mm.