90’s icon is reborn: 8 series BMW lives!
Mysterious diplomats get new wheels
My mother had this terribly mysterious friend back in the 90’s. He was always very well dressed and had an equally mysterious job. He did something vague in the Brazilian foreign office. This vague something or other took him around the globe on various important postings, and clearly carried with it a healthy relocation budget, as his continuous companion on these continent-hopping assignments was a very beautiful dark blue BMW 850, its miles on the clock being mostly of the air variety. It was made all the cooler by the invincible diplomatic plates, rendering (back then, anyway) parking attendants angrily impotent. Parking outside the Dorchester? No problem. Double yellows in Hyde Park? Sem problema. It was the first car I ever saw that I vowed I would one day own. The V12, naturally. Because – well, V12. Yes, yes, climate change, I KNOW. But I’m about to plant over 100 trees on my farm, so I reckon I’ll have offset enough Co2 to drive it at least to the South of France. When I buy one. Assuming it doesn’t have an electrical tantrum, for which the previous incarnation is sadly known…
New 8 BMW series
The new one, however, doesn’t have electrical tantrums. Although it will turn the stereo on full blast if you tell anecdotes too enthusiastically and wave your arms about, causing your passenger (me, at that moment) to emit a loud shriek. When not employing guerrilla stereo attacks, this is a very fine machine. Clever four wheel steering (and x drive, so the drive to Verbier won’t be an issue), loads of power, and a funky mouse-shaped key that does cool sh*t like remote starting and how much fuel is in it and stuff. It also has a super luxe interior, leather dash as standard (vegans: this is not the car for you) and the nicest leather seats I’ve sat in for a long time (vegans: definitely look elsewhere). I drove both the petrol and the diesel. The diesel is fast. It will do 62mph in 4.9 seconds. That is what Audi RS4s used to do it in, back in the day. It’s got 320 horses (fortunately it’s cheaper to run than 320 actual horses) and will do 49mpg. Maybe. Probably not. But still. Not bad.
It was lovely to drive; the nose went where you pointed it, stopped when you asked, and was effortlessly straightforward the rest of the time. Twisty Andalusian mountain roads were a blast in it – and even more of a blast in the petrol one, which has much more of a sense of urgency about it, as if it were in a desperate rush to BE somewhere, because there’s fun to be had and we’ve got to have it. We duly rushed back to Finca Cortesin in it, a place I had been to once for dinner, but was a bit pissed and it was dark. So going there again was like going for the first time because I couldn’t remember much from the dinner incident…
The car, yes, sorry- the petrol one is the funnest. Because it really is mega fast (0-62mph in 3.7 seconds and 530bhp). That’s even faster than the chipped Evo I had a few years ago, and that frightened a lot of brave grown up men.
So there you have it. Shame there’s no V12 though….
840d: £76,250 OTR
M850i: £99,525 OTR