27 May 2017

More than an old car #5: BMW 850i

Many of you would be familiar with BMW's trademark 'kidney grille' design, otherwise known as the '2 round holes below the logo' in layman's terms. Yet, you would have taken a second look to make sure that what you are seeing in this picture is indeed a BMW car--the streamlined grille shape accentuates the beauty of this modern classic.

This is an E31 BMW 850i, which is part of the BMW 8-series manufactured from 1989-1999. E31 refers to the chassis code or the car's 'generation'. Only 30,621 8-series were made and even though the 850i was the most common, they are still highly sought after by collectors. It only came in a 2+2 seater coupe [2-seater car with 2 additional smaller seats at the back]. It was powered by a V12 engine [engine with 12 cylinders], able to hit a top speed of 250 km/h and accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6 seconds. This specimen here was equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission, but it was also available with a 6-speed manual transmission.

The 850i weighed 1975 kg and it was some 4.78 m long. It may not look like much, but it was an icon of the 1990s due to its sleekness. Clearly it did not come cheap when its starting price was around $80,000 at that time. However, with the release of the new 8-series concept, there has been renewed attention back to the good old days. You could be forgiven if you miss it among our cars today--it is really not easy to spot them but hopefully with this knowledge, your eyes will be sharpened!

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