What an engine. Sometimes I can’t help but stare at how well BMW Engineers fit this mammoth V12 into the engine bay. Thankfully, the ’95 BMW 850CSi is still as much ‘mechanical’ as ‘electronic’ which makes working on the engine a true joy.

The E31 cockpit has always been a fine place to spend time. CD00166 has been tastefully updated to reflect modern conveniences like Bluetooth stereo and iPhone integration, Homelink/Compass/Auto dimming rear view mirror, and this fantastic //M
stitched three-spoke single stage airbag wheel.

Stopping this 4,100 lb load will never be a problem with these Euro CSi 345mm floating front and 328mm vented rears. They’ve been cross drilled and cryo treated. I even have a spare set of Euro-Spec front floaters for when the time comes to replace them.


Coupe people are different. Coupe people know rear seat passengers can ride in two-door cars as well as four-doors - and if some can't, well, coupe people recognize the inherent benefit in that. –Mike Miller - BIMMER Magazine

In the 1980s, BMW set out to design and build the world's finest coupe. Internally designated the E31, this car would get the new V12 engine waiting in Munich. A new 6-speed overdrive manual gearbox was devised, the first ever to be mounted to a 12-cylinder engine in a production car. A revolutionary new rear suspension would finally see daylight on the E31 as well. –Mike Miller - BIMMER Magazine

The Schrick cams really do their work over 4,000 rpm, and the difference is obvious when the engine reaches that speed.–Mike Miller - BIMMER Magazine

Of course the lower differential ratio also gives more accelerative grunt at the lower end than the stock differential allows, and it helps the engine rev faster than that of a stock 850CSi; the headers help there too.–Mike Miller - BIMMER Magazine

Greg Tessier needed a car to drive to 8-Fest, so he picked up this '95 850CSi in a pinch. Two years later , it has evolved into one of the finest 8s in North America.–Zachary Mayne - BIMMER Magazine

(In 2005...) The V12 motor was removed and stripped to its short block. The intake manifolds were... extrude honed, the throttle bodies bored out by 3 millimeters, and the heads ported. Freer-breathing Racing Dynamics headers were also installed before the motor was returned to the engine bay.–Greg Tessier - former owner

A Split-Second engine management system was piggy-backed onto the factory DME to add more fuel where the car needed it and to allow the car to be tuned properly after the modifications.–Greg Tessier - former owner

Though a stock 850CSi motor is no shrinking violet in the horsepower department - 380hp at the crank is stock - Tessier's V12 had now surpassed it significantly, pumping out over 430hp...–Zachary Mayne - BIMMER Magazine

I had considered a couple of the four-piston front end only [brake] upgrades that were on the market and even considered the fabrication of a six-piston front and four-piston rear setup... But when all was said and done, I relied on the homework the BMW engineers had already done.–Greg Tessier - former owner

Tessier acquired a set of Euro CSi 345mm floating front and 328mm vented rears, but he didn't leave them stock. Instead he had them cross drilled and cryo treated.–Zachary Mayne - BIMMER Magazine

It feels a thousand pounds lighter!–Greg Tessier - former owner

Twist the key and the starter whirs for a couple of seconds while enough fuel to get all 12 cylinders going is fed to the motor. The engine fires with a muted, agressive burble - it's a hollow, resonant sound that has a hint of a large-displacement V8 at idle.–Zachary Mayne - BIMMER Magazine

On an open stretch of road, the massive engine delivers a huge amount of power, hustling the coupe down the road with serious forward momentum. Power delivery is totally linear across the powerband, with no surges or sudden hikes in power. Instead, the velvety V12 provides an ever-increasing wall of torque that pushes you back in the seat as the scenery blurs.–Zachary Mayne - BIMMER Magazine

But as impressive as the engine and its seamless power may be, it's the suspension setup that truly rewards enthusiastic driving. Those 430+ hp could be quite a handful even in a 4,100-lb car, yet this 850 is surprisingly nimble. –Zachary Mayne - BIMMER Magazine

Turn-in is instantaneous and smooth, while body roll is practically non-existent, even when pressing hard.–Zachary Mayne - BIMMER Magazine