Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

BMW 8-Series (1989 - 1999)

Last updated 27 November 2014

Distinctive super coupe with strong performance
Bore liners can degrade on original 4.0-litre V8, V12 heavy on fuel


The BMW 850i was launched at the end of the 1980s, promising a high-technology and super-efficient push into the 1990s. It was powered by the new V12 that had first seen the light of day in the 7-Series, helping establish BMW at the top of the automotive tree. It was considerably more expensive - more gandiose - than the 6-Series, and was clearly aimed at a more well-heeled customer. In short, it was the ultimate continent coverer. If you could afford the petrol.

It was quick and effortless, and its sleek styling was a big departure from its last coupé, the 6-Series - in some ways echoing the Vauxhall Calibra's overt aerodynamics. However, sales were slow during the recession of the early-‘90s so BMW introduced lower-priced V8 versions under the Ci banner. However, when production ended in 1999, the company chose not to replace the 8-Series, deciding instead to abandon that sector of the market, and choosing to re-introduce the 6-Series three years down the line.

Next: Buying Guide