11 April 2013

What Do You Get When You Cross An E30 with an 8-Series? Er...

After the subtly sublime E30 the other day, a slightly bonkers one to test your sanity.
As any keen follower of new car news will know, BMW will be releasing a 4-Series in 2014. It's basically the replacement for the E92 3-series coupé (ergo no more two-door 3er, an end of an era), and while it's the kissing cousin of the latest F30 range, but is now being pushed as a model in it's own right. It's probably something BMW should have done years ago, after all, the 5er has the 6er, the 7er the 8er. Well one German owner decided to make a little 'phantom' model of his own; he took a 1989 325i convertible and fused the front end of an 850i coupé onto it..
Now, it may seem that he's one Schottenhamel short of an Oktoberfest for performing such an act but read on; it does make a tad more sense the deeper you delve...
While there's only a single digit gap between the E30 and E31 models, in reality, these two BMW models of course couldn't be more different from each other. There was a slight problem as the 8-series is a fair bit wider than the E30, which was solved by... removing one of the BMW kidney grilles. Not the best nor wisest way to narrow the nose, as the result is... well, have you seen a serial cocaine abuser with a collapsed septum? Go on, Google it, we'll wait. See what we mean?Ouch.
Aside from the wild front end, it gets a lot milder further back; flared wheel arches cover 8x15 Shaper Camp 2000 wheels and Pirelli rubber, a different rear bumper of unknown origin and a Momo steering wheel.
Engine-wise, it's a bit more mundane; the familiar M20 2.5 six is standard, which means 170 gee-gees, but as anyone who has experienced these engines, thats not a bad thing. We'd slot an M52 to bring it into line with the front end though; the M20 is so 1970's, dahling.
Even if do you find the... um, er, 825i's looks alluring, the €6,990 price tag on Autohaus Bryjak seems less than tempting as it is a bit too close for comfort to the lower-end prices (€10k or thereabouts) for a real, early 1990s 8-Series model in Germany. It still sold though, so someone found the oddball looks appealing.
Having said that, we think the idea was sound, just based on the wrong 3-series; imagine this front end treatment on an E36 coupé. Now THAT would have made sense as a production model and a car fitting of a 4-series moniker.

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