BMW 8 series automotive engineering makes this the drivers choice.
Although a major fan of BMW, I will freely admit it has as a marque been through some less than ideal times with design faults appearing as regularly as any of the other car makers.
BMW have made some spectacular cars often ahead of the rest and mostly with style that is both sophisticated and practical with a look of class that is not just skin deep.
There have been a few less than beautiful BMW's but it would be unkind to make an issue of them as there have only been a few ugly ducklings from the BMW stable in my view.
When the 8 series arrived in Australia it created quite a bit of excitement from the motoring press and enthusiasts but the general motoring public never went for it long term.
It's beautiful lines and slippery shape did not take off here, they only sold a few in Australia.
With decent brakes and enough horsepower to please the keenest driver the 8 series was a beautiful driver's car and a used one that has been well serviced is a very desirable vehicle that can now be owned for a fraction of new price.
The new price at least in Australia was way too high at $220,000 for the V12 850.
Like all other BMWs the 8 series handles fast cornering very well under normal conditions, but this is a touring car, and feels like one. The front suspension on the 8 series included an adjustable sway bar to stiffen up the suspension if you feel the need for speed.
For a car nudging 2 ton it is quite nimble to drive even on twisting mountain roads. The V12 engine gets a lot of the credit for this. The v8 is not far away in performance figures, but the V12 motor is spectacular to use through the gearbox and a joy on twisting fast roads.
The car is too big and heavy to be considered a sports car in feel, but it shines on the open road despite not being as fast off the line as it could be if it was not dragging around all that weight. Comfort levels and sound proofing are first class as you would expect with a car of this price.
I like the low tune state of the big motor, as it should last forever, seldom working at all hard..
The motor is able to pull away very quickly when needed but it is on the road at traffic speed that it is at it's best.
Acceleration from a standing start is not as good as you would expect. Where it shines for pulling power is where you need it most. In the mid range and at passing speeds
Top speed is limited electronically at 250klm, (155mph) but the 8 series motor will drag the coupe up to 186 mph.
To sum up the 8 series, it is extremely comfortable for two people, with a too small back seat, it is not a sports car in any way, and as a large Grand tourer has few equals.
I love the 8 series....... almost as much as the 6 series!
You can buy a mint low kilometre 8 series V12 or V8 in Australia for under $45,000.
For that price you can get a 540I with all the options, low mileage and almost showroom condition, and if you drive one on a trip you may never want to part with it.
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