BMW spared no expense when it came to creating the first 8 Series coupe, spending the present-day equivalent of nearly one billion dollars in development. Though it was the spiritual successor to the 6 Series, this was a clean-sheet car with a host of innovations. Significant time was spent with computers in design work, which was not nearly as common at the time as it is today. Then there was the wind-tunnel work that resulted in a slippery 0.29 coefficient of drag and that unmistakable profile.
Speaking of profile, the E31 8 series is one of the few modern-era vehicles with a pillarless hardtop design that was more prolific in the 50s and 60s. It plays a key role in the uniquely awesome style of this car that you cannot help but stare at. There was also the M1-esque front end and burly V8 or V12 power plants to set the 8 Series apart. It is a car you won’t see very often – thanks to low production volume – but any enthusiast will know those sleek, muscular lines at first glance.