The top-of-the-line offering of the first-generation E31 BMW 8-Series, the 850 CSi offered numerous healthy and sporting upgrades over the 850 Ci. Developed initially to be a product of BMW’s M division, the engine was based on that of the 850, but so substantially modified that BMW internally assigned it its own designation. Dubbed the S70B56, this 5.6-liter V-12 engine produced 375 bhp, 200 ccs larger and 50 bhp more powerful than that of the 850 Ci. Other upgrades included a stiffer suspension with reduced ride height, distinctive aluminum star-shaped wheels, upgraded brakes, and a revised front and rear spoiler. While other 8-Series were fitted with an automatic transmission, the 850 CSi could only be had with a six-speed manual. Adding to its desirability is its relatively low production, with only 1,510 examples produced.
An early example built in November 1993 and delivered new to Florida, this 850 CSi spent much of its life in the Sunshine State. Early stamps in its service book note services at Germain BMW of Naples, and its accompanying CARFAX suggests that this car resided on the state’s Gulf Coast. Finished in Bright Red over a Black Nappa leather interior, this example has travelled less than 11,000 miles from new. Purchased by the current owner in 2016 and subsequently exported to Switzerland, this would undoubtedly be a thrilling addition to any collection of modern BMWs.
The 8-Series coupe has always been a desirable model in the BMW family and has developed a keen following thanks to its wonderful performance and stately good looks. The 850 CSi is without doubt the most exciting and desirable model of the E31 family, and with the introduction of G15 generation 8-Series, the 850 CSi will only become more desirable.