It’s not what I’d do if I had a BMW M850, but the interpretation is appreciated

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It’s well established that I count the first-generation BMW 8 Series as one of my grail cars. It still ranks as one of the most beautiful cars I’ve ever seen, and two decades after BMW ended production of the E31 8 Series, I’m still smitten by it every time I see it. This, then, leads me to the Instagram page of Khyzyl Saleem, a rendering artist who has earned followers for his incredible creations. Saleem recently rendered a BMW 850CSi in what he described as his “perfect spec,” and the results are, well, intriguing, to say the least.

The BMW 8 series, mainly the 850CSi has always been a favourite of mine, here's a little rendition of what I personally...

Posted by Khyzyl Saleem on Monday, December 7, 2020

I don’t know how to feel about this. I really don’t. I’ve seen a lot of Kyzyl Saleem’s works on his Instagram page and I am a fan of a lot of them, but I don’t know what to make of his rendering of the E31 BMW M850. One of the reasons why I love the M850 is that, as a grand tourer, it didn’t just perform like one, but it also looked like a car that would command attention and desire from those who saw it in the flesh.

It’s true that the E31 8 Series didn’t sell as well as BMW hoped, but it remains one of the best-looking Bimmers of all time.

From the long hood to the era-prevalent pop-up headlights and horizontally leaning design, everything about the M850 spoke to my taste and sensibilities as a young car fan.

A Rendering Artist Has Tweaked An Original BMW M850 In Unimaginable Ways
- image 958115

I say that because, in my head, Saleem didn’t do justice to the M850’s identity with his rendering. From the jump, you’ll notice that it comes with a widebody kit that stretches the front more than it should. The bulge on the rear fenders messes the aesthetic balance of the grand tourer, and those wheels, well, they don’t look appealing at all. That said, you can tell that the M850’s suspension is lowered to an extent that its underbody is already kissing the asphalt floor. Now I get the urge to create a lowrider look — another fad from the 1990s that probably should’ve stayed there — but I don’t think it works on a car as naturally big as a BMW M850.

For the most part, though, Saleem kept some of the M850’s best features. The front fascia is unchanged, and that’s a great thing. The pop-up headlamps are still there, too, and the headlight setup — one of the 8 Series’ most underrated design qualities — is in its proper place.

A Rendering Artist Has Tweaked An Original BMW M850 In Unimaginable Ways
- image 958116

I just can’t get behind adding a wide body kit on a grand tourer that’s wide enough on its own, lowering the ride height, and fitting absurd-looking wheels just to make it look like an era-specific tuning job. Saleem says that this setup is his perfect “spec” for the M850, and that’s great. To each his own.

I just don’t like it as much as I’d want to.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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