Performance and the Sheer Experience of It Are Reasons to Buy BMW’s M850i
BMW names its cars according to the position they occupy in the range, from the perspective of both size and level of luxury. BMW introduced its first 8-series coupe in 20 years, followed by a convertible version which we had the pleasure of testing.
Press the push-button start and shift the glass gear selector into drive, and you’ll immediately sense BMW’s years of motorsport heritage underscored by the M850i’s 4.4-liter V8 engine. With a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers, it punches out 523hp, accelerating to 60mph in just 3.6 seconds–even with its 4,478 lb. curb weight. You’re forced back into unusually comfortable leather seats as you hear the roar of the engine note that’s assisted by the audio speakers. Shift into Sport Plus mode, and a barrage of pops lend to the experience, and make sure it’s shared with others around you, too.
The M850i is built off the G30 5-series platform with wishbone front suspension and all-wheel drive, but it rides on a six-inch shorter wheelbase. Standard Integral Active Steering, Adaptive M Suspension and an M Sport Differential, and the new generation of xDrive four-wheel drive keep the 8 Series in perfect sync with your every move. xDrive turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels at lower speeds then in parallel at higher speeds. While it moves like an unstoppable force, the fixed-caliper M Sport Brakes provide supreme confidence in coming to smooth and sure stop.
A digital instrument cluster and Head-Up display provide every bit of information you could possibly need. The cabin shines even brighter at night, as the ambient lighting turns everything into a proper spectacle. Albeit a little tight in the rear, it’s nice that there’s room for four bodies inside so you can share the thrills with the kids or another couple. The optional Bowers & Wilkins audio system added $3,400 to the total price, which topped just over $130K, but is truly a necessity so that the cool tunes we cranked out of it were only accented by the roar and pops of the engine.
Truly, the M850I xDrive is the BMW for “one-percenters” — those who can afford the best things in life. They will buy the big convertible Bimmer not only for the performance, but also the sheer experience.