This year marks an important birthday for one of the iconic BMW vehicles ever built. 2014 is the 25th anniversary of the BMW 8-Series coupe, a model that showcased the company's attention to design and technology.
When the 8-Series debuted at the 1989 Frankfurt Motor Show, it was known as the E31 and came with a V12 engine from the 750i. The 850i produced 300 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque, and was the second post-war German car to be equipped with a 12-cylinder engine. This would be joined by the 850 CSi a few years later on. This came with a 5.6L V12 making 381 horsepower and 406 pound-feet. It could reach 60 MPH in less than six seconds. Finishing off the powertrain lineup was the introduction of the 840 Ci in 1994 which used a 4.4L V8 engine with 295 horsepower.
The 8-Series introduced a number of technological advances for BMW such as a seat-belt system integrated into the seats, dimming rear-view mirror, and a active rear axle kinematics system which turned the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels.
When BMW ended production of the 8-Series in 1999, the company built around 30,621 models. Around a third of those models were equipped with the V8 engine.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 8-Series, several BMW clubs organized a meet at BMW's headquarters in Munich with a group of 120 8-Series models. During the celebration BMW revealed a very special 8-Series prototype. The prototype featured a V12 engine tuned by BMW Motorsport which produced 550 horsepower and a body with revised aero. The prototype was used as a test bed for new improvements and technology. An example is the V12 engine that would go on and power one of the iconic supercars of the nineties: the McLaren F1.