Some things just can't be done over one weekend. In 1984, BMW designer Klaus Kapitza drew his first sketches of the BMW 8 Series E31 – and it prevailed against four competitors. His version became the designated E24 successor. The first deliveries of the 8 Series finally took place at the beginning of 1992. However, buyers, fans and experts still had to wait a while for the big bang. Even though it was already clear that there would be no official M8, BMW M GmbH brought tangible expertise to the development of the E31 top model under the body’s timeless design.
From late summer 1992, the production vehicle, named BMW 850 CSi, had an output of 280 kW (380 hp) and initially cost 180,000 D-Mark. The trade press of the time unanimously agreed that the stretched coupé was more understated than eye-catching. But it only underwent a few exterior changes compared to the more civilian version of the car. What’s more, numerous innovations from BMW M took place under the bonnet, making the model – at least unofficially – a small M8. The character was uncompromisingly sporty yet comfortable, more reality than appearance.