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Happy 25th Birthday BMW 8-Series

120 8-Series Models Gather At BMW's Headquarters

William Maley
by William Maley
June 16, 2014

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.


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