Spotted in China: BMW 850 CSi

Published on December 15, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Spotted in China: BMW 850 CSi

A picture perfect BMW 850 CSi, the second E31 we see in Beijing, earlier on we met a red 850i. The BMW 850 CSi was the fastest 850 of all, based on the secret BMW M8 prototype that was built in 1990. When BMW cancelled the program the M-Division used a slightly detuned version of the engine for the 850 CSi.

Spotted in China: BMW 850 CSi

And what an engine it was! A mighty 5.7 liter V12, good for 375hp and 550nm. Top speed was 275km/h and 0-100 was gone in 5.6 seconds. The engine had an M-badge on top, identifying it clearly as an M-Division power plant. The BMW 850CSi was made from 1992 until 1996, total production was 1745 examples. This black beauty from Beijing was likely originally exported to the US, the Euro-spec CSi was only available with a manual.

Spotted in China: BMW 850 CSi

Many of this kinda ‘modern classics’ are imported today, dealer-to-dealer from the US West Coast, finding eager buyers in China. The BMW 8-series was not exported to China when it was new and is therefore an extremely rare sight in the country. This Beijing example seems is perfect rust-free condition, possibly a California car. It won’t get any rust in China soon since Beijing’s climate is desert dry too.

Spotted in China: BMW 850 CSi

Original alloys, no ugly after-market plastic. A perfect example, let’s hope it lives a long.

Spotted in China: BMW 850 CSi

Spotted in China: BMW 850 CSi


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  1. schaminski- December 15, 2012 Reply


  2. Anon- December 17, 2012 Reply

    Immaculate example of a wonderful car.

  3. Perry- December 19, 2012 Reply

    That is not 850Csi. The CSi has throwing star M wheels (looks like on E34M5). All Csi comes with 6 speed manual. Quad exhaust pipe and different front and rear bumper.

  4. Nick- September 11, 2013 Reply

    Looks like a re-bagded 840Ci.

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