It's fair to say that the world wasn't quite ready when the BMW 8 series entered the market in the 1990's. At that time, a worldwide oil crisis was just beginning to bite and an expensive, 5 litre V8 engine seemed out of place with the climate.
It's therefore a true luxury car but the beauty and performance of the vehicles in the eight series range make this one of the most sought after brand of cars in the world today.
Early plans for the BWM 8 series, which began in 1986 were met with caution and this air of indifference held after the very first model rolled off the production line in late 1989. Early models were fine but as the flagship supercar in the company's range, the BMW 8 series was never going to threaten the likes of Porsche who were seen as main rivals.
The company listened however and in 1993 an upgraded and uprated set of cars was produced with the 850 csi at the top of the range. The 's' stood for sports and backed up by a mighty 5.6 litre engine, it comfortably outstripped the Ford Cosworth and similar challengers in terms of response and performance.
Further tinkering with the range followed in the mid 1990's. BMW halted imports of the 5.6 litre 850 while a 4.0 litre 840 was upgraded to include a 4.4 litre engine. Finally, a sport version of the 840Ci was introduced in 1997 before the range ceased in 1999.
By the end or production, over 30,000 BMW 8 series models had been made and the brand was effectively replaced by the smaller, Z3 Coupe.
What you get for your money
The BMW 8 series delivers on power and on luxury and the ride is simply thrilling. As far as equipment is concerned, this was at the summit of car technology in the 1990's so expect all the electronic accessories you need along with an impressive, state of the 90's art, sound system.
Along with that power comes an expensive set of fuel bills however so keep all running costs in mind before you buy.
What you can expect to pay
With more than 31,000 models being produced, there are plenty of BWM 8 series cars still on the road and the price varies dramatically. The good news is that you can pick up an older, early nineties version for as little as £5,000.
For newer, lower mileage models, expect to pay anything up to £20,000 depending on age and condition.
What to look out for
There are some common faults on the 8 series that must be checked. Failure of the electronics can be expensive while faults with the pop up headlights, door locks and air conditioning are not uncommon. An independent inspection is therefore advisable.
Replacements are easy to come by and most are relatively cheap, with the exception of electronic components. In addition, a full exhaust system could set you back £1400 although the catalytic converter is included in that price.
How it drives
It's a responsive ride and the power is evident throughout. The one aspect to be wary of with the BMW 8 series is that the power steering can feel exceptionally light leading to an unnerving ride at higher speeds.