The BMW 850CSi Was Magic

The BMW 8 Series is back. Or at least, it will be soon. This is a profoundly odd development for anyone familiar with one of BMW’s most ambitious and fascinating failed experiments, a car that was an expensive high-tech powerhouse yet never reached critical mass. The thing is, the 8 Series is magic. This video shows you why.

The latest from Petrolicious centers around a BMW 850CSi, the one with the mighty 380 horsepower V12 engine made from two inline-sixes, but the car itself is only one part of the story. The best part is owner Taylor Patterson, whose father marveled at how high-tech cars were becoming back in the early 1990s and thus fell in love with the 8 Series.


Patterson recounts how he fell in love with the car too, and shared his love with his dad when he eventually got one. And he goes into how today it remains powerful, sleek and beautiful enough to be mistaken for a 2017 or 2018 car by folks who don’t know better.

Patterson’s dad is no longer around, but at least for those two, the 8 Series was the dream car. I hope the new one can pull that off for someone too.

Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.

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Party pooper here.

The 8 Series was a pig. Sure, you could get it with a manual, but with that much torque and an engine not exactly all that rev-happy, what was the point?

Also, there is a very good reason that the M people never stuck one of their (once) hallowed letters on the ass of the 850CSi: It was far more of a GT car than a track demon. Sure, it was quick, but the steering was over boosted and not all that communicative and the car pushed more than any M car should.

Sorry, but the 8 Series was a looker and not much more, even the should-have-been-a-bad-ass CSi.

...Awaits the Jalop attack...

For the record, I have driven a CSi on the track. These conclusions don’t come completely out of my ass.