BMW 8 Series E31 Coupe: A Munich Masterpiece

bmw 8 series e31 coupe

With the second generation BMW 8 Series being launched in late 2018, it seems like the perfect time to look where this Bavarian coupe inherited its stunning, swooping lines from. Of course, it doesn't take a Harvard alumnus to work out that they came from the first generation 8 Series; the captivating E31. Best of all, we have one of these glorious 'modern classics' in our inventory. More on that later, but for now, let us discover what makes the 8 Series so special. 

bmw 8 series e31 coupe
At a time where electric cars and SUVs continue to grow in popularity on our roads, you have to ask yourself when was the last time you saw an iconic old BMW on your daily commute, or Sunday drive? Old 5 Series and 3 Series are rare, but the E31 8 Series in on another level, turning heads for fun, and it's easy to see why.

The exotic looks weren't just for show either, as the 8 Series has a super low drag co-efficient which is more effective than some of  today's latest supercars. The stunning silhouette given by the 8 Series is complemented by the car having no conventional B-pillars, resulting in a clean streak of glass on either side, meaning the overall shape was even more alluring. Put the windows down and it gives the 8 Series a really unique look which is simply not seen in modern day equivalents. It also has pop-up headlights, and who doesn't love those; a must on any '80s or '90s sports or GT car.
bmw 8 series e31 coupe rear

Unveiled at the 1989 Frankfurt International Motorshow, and costing upwards of £60,000 (£100,000 approximately in today's money) the 8 Series was the new flagship BMW model. Launched as an 850i model to begin with, featuring the higher capacity V12 engine which produced just under 300hp. Today, 300hp can be found in a more conventional, everyday hot hatchback, but a modern day hot hatch simply hasn't got the road presence or solidness that oozes from the classic 8 Series.

Built between '89 and '99, just over 30,000 'E31' 8 Series Coupes were built. The original V12 engines were later joined by a 282 hp V8 840 CI version, but the most powerful version was a 375 horsepower V12 850 CSI, which came later on in the 8 Series life cycle - which dropped the previous 0-60 mph times - in which both cars completed in around 7 seconds, to just 5.8.

After driving an 8 Series, it's clear to see how these cars were built more for munching miles on the autobahn in complete comfort and style, rather than hustling down a tight and twisty B-road. This is more than likely why the M8 version was never offered for sale (despite a prototype being made). The sheer solidness of the car is quite the experience, a trait of German build quality, particularly from an era that some say was over engineered.


bmw 8 series e31 coupe side
Our stunning example is the later 840 CI model, which was first registered new in 1997 on a P plate. It is finished in one of the most iconic BMW colours - Estoril Blue and has covered just under 50,000 miles, meaning it has averaged just over 2,200 miles a year, and puts it as one of the lowest mileage E31 8 Series models for sale. It also comes with genuine 17-inch Alpina wheels, which set the car off perfectly.

Step inside and the cream leather has worn remarkably well for a car which is over twenty years old. This is complemented by luxury grey carpeting which ties the interior quality up perfectly. What's more, the car has only had 3 owners, comes with a comprehensive service file and will even come complete with a BMW approved used car warranty.
bmw 8 series e31 coupe wheel
With such a unique car like the 8 Series, prices will almost certainly stay strong, keeping in line with sought after, classic BMW models. It is amazing how BMW waited almost twenty years before introducing the second generation 8 Series, which is in showrooms now. We can only assume BMW wanted to make sure that the second generation was just as good as the first, as it is a strong act to follow.


Interested in this vehicle?

To find out more about this stunning vehicle, to view or test drive the car yourself, contact Stratstone BMW Derby today.