RM Sotheby’s will offer a 1993 BMW 850 CSi for sale at their Amelia Island event on March 5. Not only is this a very clean example of the legendary 8 Series, this is the very first 850 CSi produced. Completed in June of 1993 the Brilliant Red car was selected for exhibition purposes by BMW in the US. Because of that, this car underwent some extra quality checks at the factory which are documented on its build sheet.
Powered by a V12 paired to a six-speed manual transmission the 850 CSi delivers 380 HP through its rear wheels. A step up from the base-level 850, the CSi features a specially tuned intake and exhaust along with a forged crankshaft and unique engine management software that changes the engine mapping based on which gear the car is in.
This 1993 BMW 850 CSi is the only example – out of 225 total that were built for the US market – finished in Brilliant Red with black kappa leather. It was delivered to BMW of Manhattan in March 1994 and used by BMW of North America for display and exhibition purposes until November of that year. At that point each of the 225 examples imported to the US were already sold.
Owned by the seller since 1998, at which point it showed 13,340 miles on its odometer, this car has been driven, but not too much. The odometer now shows under 36,000 miles. This will mark the car’s second visit to Amelia Island since 2018, at which point BMW of North America once again used it as a display car at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
One thing to keep in mind about this car is that the 850 CSi was, in everything but name, the M8. As such, this is the perfect car to celebrate the 50th anniversary of BMW’s M cars throughout the year. And it’s not too shabby on the road either!
RM Sotheby’s expects $175,000 – $225,000 when this hits the auction block which is a great deal more than the median value of $85,500, but it’s also not out of line considering the historical significance of this car and the comparatively low mileage. Keeping in mind the way we’ve seen the collector car market exceed expectations thus far this year, we won’t be surprised to see this bid well within the estimate. The upcoming unveiling of the new 8 Series certainly won’t hurt the price either!
It’s rare enough to find a BMW 850 CSi for sale with such relatively low mileage, but to find the very first one built for the US market? This is literally a one-of-one car and possibly a one-time-only chance to buy this significant example of the ultimate touring car BMW had to offer in the 90s.