One of the German automaker's most high-profile models during its time in production, the BMW 8-Series first rolled off the line and onto the street at the tail-end of the 1980s. It strutted its stuff for a decade, showing off a sporty image with plenty of performance to back it up. Originally, the BMW 8-Series was rumored to have been designed to take over for the E24 6-Series but instead, the 8-Series was marketed to an altogether different demographic. It went head-to-head with the Mercedes SL-Class and S-Class. When it first debuted, the two primary variants of the vehicle were the 850i (equipped with a stout V12 engine good for up to 295 horsepower) and the 830Ci (which showed off a V8 engine capable of pumping out up to 215 horsepower mated to a six-speed manual transmission or eventually, an automatic). For its second year, the base engine was boosted considerably, as the 840Ci entered the lineup showing off 282 horsepower along with 300 pounds-per-foot of torque. From this point forwards, all variants with the 840 prefix would signify a V8 engine, while 850 would mean a V12 configuration.
In 1992, an 850Csi hit the highway, brandishing a V12 engine and 375 horsepower. It would stay in production until 1996. After a couple of years on the road, the BMW 8-Series was gaining a reputation as a luxury-bred vehicle with high-quality parts and elite sports car performance. That did little else but elevate the model's upscale status and its price tag reflected as much, with the car's retail price varying between the high five figures and the low six figures. Thanks to a sloping, low-slung angular body shape, the 8-Series boasted an aggressive exterior-styling that helped the car get attention for its looks and accessories as much as for its power. The 840Ci was produced until after the 1995 model year. Around the same time, the 850Ci was released, armed with a V12 powerplant capable of 322 hp and 360 pounds-per-foot of torque.
The price of the BMW 8-Series did not come down, as it grew in acclaim throughout most of the 1990s. However, competition from other automakers in conjunction with the market beginning to lean towards SUVs more and more led to the average number of units sold per year to drop. The last configuration of the BMW 8-Series to be produced was the 840Ci. The BMW 840Ci went back to a V8 engine (282 horsepower with 310 pounds-per-foot of torque), though came with the slight upgrade and addition of the power-enhancing parts. The model sold almost 1,700 units in North America, but that was nothing compared to the 4,194 units of the 850i that left dealer lots years before. Following the 1999 model year, the BMW 8-Series was discontinued. Although no longer in assembly, the BMW 8-Series was a staunch representative of the brand's penchant for performance and luxury. The model also remains a visible presence on roads throughout the US.
One of BMW's most recognized faces lay with the 8-Series. BMW has always devoted an exceptional amount of resources to deliver the kind of quality and luxury that make the 8-Series such an important piece in their history. Traditionally, every model under the umbrella has the sheer force and drivability that constitute a sporting style. And that is one of the notations that make the BMW 8-Series as great as it has become. Fashionable and powerful, the BMW 8 Series is a legend that keeps growing stronger.
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