BMW 8 Series Engine
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BMW 8 Series engine overview over the years
The E31 8 series was introduced in 1989. It was available as 2 door coupe. There was one model available: the 850i which had a twelve cylinder engine with 300 HP and a top speed of 250 km/h. In 1993 the 850Ci replaced the 850i. There were also two new models available: the 840Ci and the 850CSi. The 840Ci had an eight cylinder engine with 286 HP. The 850 CSi had a twelve cylinder that had 380 HP. The 850CSi had a special M package which included M style wheels and mirrors. In 1994 the 850Ci received more power. It now had 326 HP. In 1996 the 840 Ci received a new engine but there were no changes in power or top speed. The 850CSi went out of production in 1997 and worldwide production ceased on May 12, 1999, with 30,621 built.
The 8 Series supercar offered the first V12 engine mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox on a road car. While CAD modelling allowed the car’s body to be 8 lb lighter than that of its predecessor, the car was significantly heavier when completed due to the large engine and added luxury items, a source of criticism from those who wanted BMW to concentrate on the driving experience.
The 830i sales were good in the first year. This was to use the 3 litre V8 with 218 PS from the 530i and 730i.
The 840Ci exists with two different engine packages. The first used the 4 litre engine with 286 PS and was produced from mid 1993 to late 1995. From middle of 1995, production phased in the newer 4.4 litre engine, which had better fuel economy and more torque, though power output remained unchanged. The 840Ci stayed in production until middle of 1999.
The 850i was the first model launched in 1991 with the 5 litre V12 engine producing 300 PS. There is some confusion over why and when the 850i became the 850Ci. The change happened around the introduction of the 850CSi and it is believed that BMW decided to include the “C” in the model name to create more of a distinction between the 8 Series and BMW’s sedans. The confusion starts when BMW installed the new M73B54 engine in the car. This was not an immediate changeover, and indeed both the M70 and M73 engine cars rolled off the production lines side-by-side for about nine months in 1994, both named 850Ci. As the capacity of the M73 increased to 5.4 litres and the compression ratio went up, the power output rose to 326 PS.
As a top-of-the-range sports tourer, the 850CSi took over from the prototype M8. The 850CSi used the same engine as the 850i, which was tuned so significantly that BMW assigned it a new engine code: S70B56. The modifications included a capacity increase to 5.6 litres and power increase to 380 PS. Production ended in late 1996 because the S70 engine could not be modified to comply with new emission regulations without substantial re-engineering.
The M8’s were originally envisioned as a Ferrari competitor, only a single prototype BMW M8 was ever produced, equipped with a special 550 bhp version of the S70 engine, essentially a bored out version of the M70 with experimental multi valve cylinder heads. A completely new BMW engine was designed which has a closer resemblance to the later Euro S50B30 BMW M3 engine. The project was eventually scrapped because BMW decided that there was no market for an M8. A world exclusive feature in the February 2010 issue of BMW Car Magazine, however, revealed that the M8 prototype still exists in its entirety, though at the time of writing a malfunctioning engine management module still required attention before the S70/1 V12 could be declared in proper running order.
Alpina B12 produced a special version of the 8 Series dubbed the B12. Two versions were produced, both taken from the standard production line. The B12 5.0 Coupe was based on the 850i, powered by the 5 litre M70 engine producing 350 bhp. The larger B12 5.7 Coupe was based on the 850CSi, with the 5.7 litre S70 engine producing 416 bhp.
The 8 Series joining the Motorsport
The 8 Series is a very rare car to see in any form of motorsport. However, one of the best examples was built by Wagenstetter Motorsport and, until recently, was raced in the Nurburgring VLN endurance championship. It’s based on an 840i, but now has an E39 M5 5 litre V8, which has 555 bhp and 472 lb•ft torque.
BMW 8 Series, The New Flagship 2010
BMW’s M performance division has been commissioned to build a new 4 door luxury GT flagship that is set to become the German car maker’s new 8 Series. The M division is responsible for creating high-performance versions of regular BMWs, including the iconic 3 Series based M3, though the new GT, called CS internally will be the first non M-badged car produced by the subsidiary. Aluminium and carbon fibre are likely to be used for the CS’s structure and body panels to reduce weight for increased performance. A 6 litre V12 formed by adding two cylinders to the M5’s V10 is rumoured to be one of the CS’s engine options, though a smaller, twin turbocharged engine could also be in the running. The M division is set to introduce turbocharged and downsized engines on future M cars. The next generation M5 due about the same time as the CS is rumoured to be switching from its naturally aspirated V10 to a twin turbocharged V8. The original 8 Series 2 door coupe launched in 1991 with a 5 litre V12, with the 850i followed by a 4 litre V8 variant called the 840i.
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