Naturally, I got extraordinarily excited to share this video with you egmCarTech’ers, simply because the original BMW 8-Series is by far my all-time favorite car…period. It’s rare, timeless, and beautiful while being built during the last years when BMW truly over engineered their vehicles. That said, when BMW recently released a feature video on the original “E31” grand tourer, which debuted in 1989 and endured a full decade’s worth of production, I had to take the time to explain exactly what makes the BMW 8-Series so great.
In the video, author of the book “BMW 8er: Power & Hightech,” Neils Hamann, shares his passion about the original 8-Series, and I have to say, I am equally on the same page for this passion (not to mention, I’m still drooling over the cleanliness of the 840Ci featured in the video).
The 8-Series at the time was BMW’s end-all-be-all flagship coupe that was designed and built to tough it out with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe (a.k.a. the CL-Class). This is obvious from the large proportions, attention to detail and the 8-Series overall feeling of being “over-engineered.” Another key details is the lack of a B-Pillar, something Mercedes-Benz has done for quite some time on their luxurious coupes.
Resultantly, the 8-Series was not only a flagship for BMW, but at trendsetter as well. For instance, it was the first BMW ever offered with BMW’s patented Dynamic Stability Control. And when BMW introduced the M-bred version, known as the 850CSI (my dream car), donning a bored and stroked version of the standard 850i/Ci’s 5.0L V12 sourced from the 750iL displacing 5.6L and producing 380hp mated to a six-speed manual only, BMW nearly stepped up their game into supercar territory. For example, Euro-spec 850CSI’s often came with AHK or Aktive Hinterachs-Kinematik (AHK), which is German for active rear-wheel steering (you can check out the full details on this via E31Wiki).
Unlike other “four-wheel steering systems” at the time, which were passive and adjusted the angle of the rear wheels depending on the forces acted upon them, BMW’s system was 100% active and adjusted the rear-wheel angles depending on the speed and steering position of the vehicle. This allowed the 850CSI to achieve a quicker lane-change maneuver than the equivalent Porsche 911 Turbo at the time. And let’s not forget, the 850CSI did break the two-ton mark.
But why the feature? Well, we’ve been continuously receiving tips about BMW’s interest in reintroducing the 8-Series Coupe for the modern day, especially after BMW seemed to have confirmed its return in the press release of the 2014 4-Series Coupe. Conclusively, this video feature further hints that BMW may be building hype about the 8-Series. All I can say is my fingers are crossed.
– By: Chris Chin
Source: BMW’s YouTube