Autocar re-reviews the E31 BMW 8 SeriesJuly 17, 2017
When word came that BMW would be developing a new 8 Series Coupe, cheers from Bavarian enthusiasts could seemingly be heard world-wide. While the original 8 Series wasn’t a perfect car, or even a great one, it was incredibly charming and is still loved by fans today. In fact, the O.G. 8 Series is becoming a bit of a cult classic and that enthusiasm is hyping the new 8 Series even further. So Autocar decided to go back and drive the original 8 Series to see what we might look forward to.
Back in the day, the 8 Series was actually heavily criticized. It was big, heavy, cumbersome and complicated. But BMW stuck with it and continued to develop it over the course of 10 years. One of the vehicles to come from BMW’s constant development was the BMW 840Ci.
That’s the car that’s been reviewed by Autocar recently, a BMW 840Ci Sport with its 4.4 liter V8, that made 282 hp, and a five-speed automatic gearbox. That power was sent to just the rear wheels, which were widened to add better grip. The suspension was also stiffened, which reduced body roll and sharper handling. The penalty was ride comfort, which became less GT-like, but it certainly handled better.
Its engine also makes a lovely burble and still sounds wonderful. It’s not the fastest car in the world, mostly thanks to its weight, but it’s still a decently quick car. It’s also just lovely to drive and has tons of charm and character.
Plus, just look at it. The original BMW 8 Series is still a real looker and its design will continue to age very well. Its cabin isn’t much different, either, with one of the more unique interiors BMW ever designed. It was the most different from its Bavarian siblings during its time and that makes it quite special.
The original BMW 8 Series was a car that was very flawed, though very loved. Hopefully, the new 8 Series will keep the original car’s charm but reduce some of its flaws. Being that BMW has more of a roadmap of what to do and better lightweight technology, it’s certainly possible that BMW could deliver on this. Let’s hope so, at least.