BMW 850

The BMW 850 was a pricey car that was not made for just any driver. In fact, the 850i was at least 50% more expensive than the 6 series. It was worth the price adjustment though, given that it had a 5.0 V12 instead of the 3.5 inline six used by the cars in the 6 series. This car was certainly not light either; it weighed almost two tons. The 850i was BMW's challenger in the top end of the luxury coupe market, and specifically was intended to compete with the Mercedes 500SL which was launched in 1989. Mercedes had brought some tough competition to the segment, as this car was a much improved version over the last. BMW did run into a few problems with the 850. Specifically, the price tag was extremely high, and the owners of the 6 series could not afford to make the jump into the 8 series. That left BMW looking for customers for this newly released car. Not to mention, this car was quite a gas hog, and that just added to the cost of owning one of these beasts. BMW tried respond by making the eight cheaper by using the new all alloy V8 but this never produced with regards to sales. The 850i was introduced in 1990 and was phased out eight years later in 1998. The 840 was also dropped one year later in 1999. However, the 840 was home to some firsts for BMW. For one, it was the first BMW to have the Z axle rear suspension, Multi-Information Display (MID), traction control, dynamic stability control or electrically adjustable shock absorbers. Most of the eights that hit the market were automatics but a six speed manual option isn't that hard to find if you are willing to look around. There were several sport packages available with bigger wheels and a stiffer suspension, but it was also had to get customers into. A convertible version never appeared, although, rumors of one were surely abound.