Sheetmetal love at first sight
Having owned a 12 cylinder 1991 BMW 850i a few years ago, and regretting that I sold it, I began a search for an 8 cylinder 840ci. The car I loved, but repairs to the V12 - not so much. Spotted a beauty in Florida at a private used car dealership and drove it home directly to NJ through a hurricane that followed me the entire route along I95.
Common issues with this model are the water pump (replaced) headlight adjusters (under a 15 year warranty from BMW) the electric seat gears;
The seatback latches and the occasional erroneous HAL9000-type onboard computer fault predictions that are in error; these are usually solved by turning off the engine and restarting or from a lightbulb that got moist from a wash. Cosmetic parts are becoming difficult to get, especially the console gear shift surround black plastic panel.
I cannot overstate the attention this car gets, especially from those who have heard about them but never seen one in the sheetmetal. People will chase to catch you on freeway for a look, or get whiplash as they pass in the opposite direction.
Approx 7000 total 8 series were imported to North America between 1991 and 1997; 1100 are known to be still registered. BMW spent $1 Billion (yes with B) developing this car intending to sell 300,000 worldwide; they achieved only 30,000 total sales - meaning each car cost them $35,000 before the first screw. In an effort to expand appeal of the $90k car; they introduced a V8 version for about $70k for model years 1994 and 1995; A total of only 1600 were sold so these are even rarer than the V12.
The horsepower is about 300, nearly identical to the V12; the exhaust is a little more robust and the costs of mechanical repair is half!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd May, 2009