Classic Ad Watch: The 1990 BMW 850i Was 12 Cylinders Of Power, Strangeness And Pretension

As you may have heard, BMW recently celebrated 25 years of building V12 engines. Our collective hats are off to the boffins in Munich for this important accomplishment.

After all, 12-cylinder BMW engines have been generally insane since their inception in the 1987 750i. They're still at it today with cars like 760Li, which has a twin-turbocharged V12 engine good for 535 horsepower.


These 12-bangers have always been meant only for the wealthiest and most discriminating BMW buyers. They're far too sophisticated to be appreciated by members of the underclass like you and I, for example. "Let those crass philistines have their boorish M3s and M5s!" these owners must say. "We shall only ride around in the most unnecessarily powerful sedans and coupes."

Take this TV commercial for the 1990 BMW 850i, for example. Since I'm not a member of the 12-cylinder class, I'm not even sure what the hell I'm watching.

Now, most luxury car ads from the late 80s and early 90s were obscenely pretentious (see also Lexus and Infiniti), but this one takes the concept to an entirely new level. It doesn't even make me want to buy an 8-Series.

I guess that just means I'm not refined enough to understand it all. I'll go back to swilling Miller Lite, watching Two And A Half Men and jumping my truck over railroad tracks for fun.


What do you think of the 12-cylinder BMWs?

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