Just as the new 8 Series is hitting the market, BMW has announced another special version of the range-topping performance coupe, commemorating its reintroduction with the M850i xDrive coupe First Edition. If you think you might be experiencing a bit of déjà vu, that’s because roughly a month ago, the automaker issued a press release for the 8 Series Individual Night Sky, which actually uses meteoric rock harvested from extraterrestrial objects that have fallen to Earth for control surfaces and trim.
The M850i First Edition is a bit different. Production is assured to be limited, with only 400 units promised, a figure that will be reflected on the center console of every single one in special lettering. Otherwise, changes are exclusively aesthetic, and come in the form of paint, upholstery, and trim that are unique the edition, while output is unchanged from the stock figure of 523 horsepower. The sum of the changes makes for a nicely crafted take on an already impressive personal luxury coupe, especially on the interior, which comes standard with glass controls and yards of Night Blue leather and Alcantara.
The M850i First Edition is enhanced by the use of specific BMW Individual design features throughout. The exterior finish is Frozen Barcelona Blue by BMW Individual, a new edition to the color palette that has not been applied to any other model. Trim, including side-glass surrounds, is BMW Individual High-Gloss Shadow Line, a finish that is extended to the kidney grille, vent surrounds, air-breather entrances, and tailpipe trims. Twenty-inch M light-alloy Y-spoke wheels come in Jet Black to extend the theme. Available exterior options like the M Carbon roof and M Carbon exterior package are also offered to enhance things even further.
The cabin has been graced with a select array of surfaces and tones which also come courtesy of BMW Individual. Full Merino leather in Individual Ivory White and Night Blue makes us wonder why we ever put up with the tacky two-tone designs of yesteryear, while the rich blue shade is continued on the Individual Alcantara headliner and M leather-wrapped steering wheel. Piano Black trim is further continued inside, most noticeably on the center console, which displays the series production number out of 400.
In the same frame, a few examples of the Crafted Clarity Glass controls can be seen, in the form of the shifter, iDrive controller, volume knob, and start-stop button. Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound is also standard, for a complete immersion of the senses.
Underpinnings, including the drivetrain, remain unchanged. This means that the M850i xDrive First Edition is powered by the N63B44T3 V8, which develops 523 horses and earth-moving torque of 550 pound-feet, forces that are transferred to the pavement through the latest versions of the ZF eight-speed automatic and BMW’s xDrive.
First editions of special cars like the 8 Series typically sell out quickly and retain their value nicely if the model upon which they are based goes on to be successful, although commemorative editions that celebrate anniversaries, like the 30 Jahre M5, have actually proven to be a better investment. Potentialities aside, the only question that remains unanswered is your preference; would you pick the truly spectacular Night Sky, or the aesthetically pleasing First Edition?—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]