Lot 187

Amelia Island 2022

1993 BMW 850 CSi


$218,400 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida



Serial No.
Chassis No.
US Title
  • A unique and important specimen; the very first 850 CSi produced
  • Originally used by BMW of North America as a display model
  • Finished in Brilliant Red (308) over black nappa leather (0495/N4SW); the only US example ever produced with this color combination
  • Powered by a 380 hp, S70B56 V-12 engine and six-speed manual gearbox
  • Fewer than 36,000 actual miles since new; acquired by the consignor in 1998
Addendum: Please note that Carfax indicates this car was involved in a minor front-end accident in July 2001.

Initially developed to be a standalone product of BMW’s eponymous Motorsports division, the E31 850 CSi was the marque’s high-performance flagship model between 1991 and 1996. Exorbitantly priced and incredibly exclusive, just 225 examples were allotted for the US market for the 1993 and 1994 model years—although all order slots were already filled by winter of 1993.

At the heart of the 850 CSi is the S70B56 V-12, an incredibly smooth 5.6-liter engine delivering 380 horsepower. Compared to its originating blueprint found in the “standard” 850, this powerplant featured lighter pistons, a forged crankshaft, upgraded camshafts, retuned intake and exhaust, higher compression, and auxiliary engine coolers. An exclusive engine management system allowed for a gear-dependent variable rev limiter and selectable power maps. Other standout upgrades included a stiffer suspension, distinctive aluminum star-shaped wheels, upgraded brakes, a limited-slip differential, and revised aero.


This 850 CSi, serial number 00001, is the very first example produced. It was earmarked for the US market and completed on 24 June 1993, although it was retained by the factory for exhibition purposes. Its unique list of factory specifications includes “line alerts”—special codes used to activate additional quality checks on cars to be exhibited to the motoring press. This car’s build sheet notes “Special check for trade fair/photography” and “Development vehicle without conservation,” thus indicating that it was not immediately intended for shipping/export.

Further research compiled by the unofficial “E31 Registry” further illustrates that CD00001 is the only US-market 850 CSi to be provided in Brilliant Red Metallic (308) over black nappa leather (0495/N4SW). According to correspondence with BMW Classic, CD00001 was finally delivered to BMW of Manhattan in March 1994, and used for display/exhibition purposes by BMW of North America until November 1994.

The consignor acquired CD0001 in August 1998 from Isringhausen BMW of Chicago, Illinois, then indicating 13,340 miles. In March 2018, this notable 850 CSi was once again retained as a display car by BMW North America, for static use during that year’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The consignor reports that the car has always been garaged, enjoyed exclusively in fair weather, and maintained by reputable BMW specialists such as Nalley BMW and Munich Motorsport of Atlanta, Georgia. In preparation for sale, it has been treated to NOS OEM rear mufflers, two new batteries, control arm assemblies, engine oil service, a full exterior ceramic coating regimen, and a fresh set of ultra-high-performance tires.

As BMW prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their “M” cars, this notable example of the 850 CSi would no doubt be a welcome potential participant at any number of commemorative events around the world.