The BMW 8 Series is a two-door luxury coupe that was manufactured between 1989 and 1999. Compared with the 6 Series that preceded it, the 8 Series is especially high-performing. It also has a much higher selling price. BMW spent nearly $1 billion to design the car's revolutionary body, ultimately yielding a drag coefficient of just .29. However, sales of this gas-hungry series dropped as fuel prices spiked. Ultimately, only about 31,000 of the pricey vehicles were produced.
Assembled in Germany, the 8 Series was built to exacting standards with premium components. However, the initial V12 engine that the series was known for proved to turn away customers concerned about fuel efficiency. A V8 model was soon introduced as a replacement. The vehicle featured horsepower ratings ranging from 215 to 375 and had towing capacities that slightly exceed 3,500 pounds.
The 8 Series was first designed and constructed in 1986. The car debuted at a Frankfurt, Germany, car show in the fall of 1989. The first model was the 850i, which paired a V12 engine with a 6-speed manual gearbox. It proved to be pricier than the market demanded, so BMW quickly introduced the 830i with a V8 as a more practical option. In 1993, the 840Ci was introduced as an automatic car in the U.S. and with a manual option in Europe. Next up were the 850Ci and the 850CSi coupes in the mid-1990s. BMW also developed, but did not release, an M8 as part of the 8 Series. Showing off BMW's capabilities, the prototype boasted 550 hp. Not surprisingly, there was little market demand for the gas guzzler and it was not introduced to the market.
The BMW 8 Series cars are all four-seaters with automatic transmissions, but they can be differentiated by their engines. For example, the 840Ci trim comes with a 4.4-liter V8 engine block, while the 850Ci comes with a 5.4-liter V12 engine. The dozens of sporty exterior finishes cover the color spectrum from black and white to red, yellow, green, blue and purple. Some top of the line options include a sporty leather steering wheel, a burglar alarm and an extra-comfort suspension package.
The BMW 8 Series is a durable vehicle that retains its value well. It was awarded the Detroit Auto Show's 2011 Best Resale Value Award. It's a prized coupe with luxury appointments, even in the earlier model years. The car's only fault may be its low fuel economy; nowadays, fuel-hungry autos like the 8 Series can be especially expensive to operate
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