" Listen carefully to what the marketing people say and just do the opposite" Oliviero Toscani
Cars & Other

Seen on the web : BMW 850csi VS 335d = James Brown VS Eminem

Le 22 April 2015
Malik "Pifpaf" Bahri
BMW 850i E31 by Dylan Leff


Photo credit Dylan Leff, his beautiful Flickr account is full of Youngtimers BMW.

This video is one of the most scandalous I’ve seen those past few years. This kind of video that entertains the pro-diesel show-off-troll on automobile forums…

  • We’ll not go back on how harmful diesel is ( it is totally established, unlike the CO2, the responsibility of which for climate change is not fully demonstrated).

What do we see on this video ?

A 850csi E31, one of the most mythical BMW, a 380 hp and 1955kg nuclear submarine prepared by Motorsport, a GT in the purest sense of the term, drag racing with a 335d E92.

This car is a nth incarnation of German obsession for gas oil : M. Diesel was a German citizen who invented a pure plant oil engine (frying oil) in the early 20th century.
In some countries, such as France or Italy, diesel benefits from an advantageous tax system. As engines use less fuel per kilometre, the fuel cost for 100km is much lower. The seemingly lesser cost ( the backcosts of maintening the diesel engines blocks tend to cancel those advantages) makes that diesel fascinates a large part of European population, to the point that this utilitarian fuel (which makes sense for high-mileage drivers on highways) is being stupidly idolised.

The 335d is equipped with a twin-turbo, 3 litre packing 286 ponnies, weighing 1645kg ; according to the video, the 335d’s engine benefited from a reprogramming that optimised the mapping and boost pressure ; with the extra power obtained (by means of a premature wear of the transmission and turbochargers), the 335d presumably has around 350 horsepower.

As for the 850csi, it is fitted with a 5.6litre S70 atmospheric V12 32-valve with 380 hp ; numerous videos on the web show that the engine is so audibly restrained that a coin balances on the slice set on the cylinder head when driving off.

BMW 850i by Dylan Leff (3)

In my opinion, it’s almost a shame, I like the brutality of a V engine, which a little makes the vehicle oscillate laterally during the starting up. This block is of a rare machanical nobility. As a matter of fact, it is fitted to the legendary Mac Laren F1 in a vastly improved version (S70/2) developing 627 hp. Between the CSI and the Mac Laren, this engine completes the myth of the absolute GT (I will return to this in a later review) . Ultra high-tech racing car (still relevant) presented in the early 90’s, at a time when we were still believing in the large unlimited speed portions of highway, when the fascistic road safety wasn’t yet striking with its current virulence, blessed time when oil appeared to be an infinite resource…

What do we see on this scandalous video ? The 335d manages to keep up with the 850csi. Here is the proof that a tweaked twin-turbo diesel L6 can push as much as an atmospheric V12 old generetion.

I’m not going to insult you by comparing the aesthetic of the 850csi, pinnacle of BMW’s design, at the boundary between the brand’s past and future, with the nth Chris Bangle’s filth (athough the E92 is’nt the worst). It’s like comparing Romy Schneider with Nikki Minaj…

Nor to tell you in detail about the comfort… however, you should be aware that in terms of suspensions filtering, it’s like comparing a flying carpet with a soap box.

Let us focus on engines and performances. Indeed, by throwing loads of tricks, the L6 keeps the head up in front of the V12. But can we consider that a synthetiser is equivalent to a Stradivarius on the grounds that it produces more sound volume ?
More that 250 ponnies, it’s largely unusable on open road without falling into penally repressed speeds. The question of performance is therefore very theoretical.

  • And eventually, to go further into abstraction, what’s better than the purity of an atmospheric V12 ?

Atmospherically yours.

BMW 850i by Dylan Leff (2)