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The BMW 8 Series stands out as a landmark model in a BMW Coupe lineage that dates back to the 1930s. A clean-sheet design, the car tagged “E31” by its maker launched its challenge to the world’s finest sports coupes with a design oozing avant-garde elegance, arresting performance attributes, an exceptional wealth of innovations and a sprinkling of exclusive luxury. The BMW 850i presented at the 1989 International Motor Show in Frankfurt represented a demonstration of the Munich-based carmaker’s development expertise, revealing not only a cutting-edge new design line but also an unparalleled array of technological details making their automotive debuts. The design of the wedge-shaped body – headlined most strikingly by a long, swooping bonnet, smooth lines, the absence of B-pillars and a steeply cut rear end.
The BMW 850i, moreover, followed the BMW 750i luxury Sedan introduced two years earlier as the second post-war German car to be powered by a 12-cylinder engine. The 5.0-litre unit developed 220 kW/300 hp and peak torque of 450 Newton metres (332 lb-ft) to propel the 1,790 kg 2+2-seater from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.8 seconds.
Channelling the engine’s power to the rear wheels was either a six-speed manual gearbox specially developed for the BMW 850i or a four-speed automatic, while its pioneering integral rear axle with five-link suspension was celebrating its premiere in the luxury Coupe. Automatic Stability Control plus Traction (ASC+T), speed-sensitive power steering and the Electronic Damper Control (EDC) system introduced as an option in spring 1990 were among the other details that helped give the BMW 8 Series its distinctive identity as a driving machine.
Source: BMW Press Release