REVIEW: Solido BMW 850 CSi •

REVIEW: Solido BMW 850 CSi

Here is something I have been waiting for a very long time – a BMW 850 CSi with pop-up lights. Yes, we had an opening model by Revell a long time ago, however, it did not have pop-up lights and to be honest, it looks like a toy by today’s standards. Then, we had a very nice example made by Ottomobile, but that one was sealed without any opening parts. Finally, Solido did the honours and gave us this one – a die-cast version with opening doors and pop-up lights…  and that got me very excited!

Before I begin the review, here is some background information about the real car. BMW 850 CSI (E31) was the most powerful version of the 850 series available exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission. The naturally aspirated S10 5.6 litre V12 engine was developed and enhanced by BMW Motorsport with more power over the regular BMW 850i. And according to the numbers, it was definitely no slouch with a 0-100 km/h time of 6 seconds (that’s 27 years ago). Let us not forget that this engine was further modified and used on the iconic McLaren F1. With a small production of only 1510 pieces worldwide, BMW 850 CSI is definitely a rare sight on the roads today. Owning a die-cast model of the icon which I could look at every day is definitely a treat without expensive maintenance bills.

Solido included a calendar with the Lada Niva, however, it is not included with this BMW 850 CSi. Instead, they included an opening tool, which does come in handy when opening the pop-up lights (more on that later on). Looking at the model out of the box, my first expression is a big smile. Most likely because I do like this timeless design and because I just can’t wait to see it with the lights opened up (which is the first thing I did). Currently, Solido is offering a red and this blue example. This makes a decision of which colour to get definitely not easy. Today, I have the blue one for you. The blue metallic paint looks impressive on all the die-cast parts. The pop-up lights are plastic pieces and even though the paint is smooth, it is not exactly the same shade. On my example, the driver’s side pop-up light is lighter in colour than the passenger side. I think my pictures make it worse than what it really is. Looking at it in person, it is not as noticeable. For the best result, I highly recommend displaying this model with lights in the up position.

At the front, the model looks good. Perforated grilles are not present but the solid plastic pieces show depth and look clean. The two openings in the bumper under the daytime running lights are present and indeed not sealed. This is accurate to the original. Silver outline of the “BMW kidneys”, BMW badge, daytime lights, orange turn signals, headlight washers and 850 CSi license plate completes the handsome package. And now the best part – the pop-up lights! They look super cool in the open-up position and that is how I will display the model. This is where the supplied opening tool comes in very handy as there is no open switch on the bottom of the model. To open the lights, you use the tool to lift them up one at a time – this process does not bother me at all. If I have to be picky and look for faults, both are not equally levelled to the hood of the car, but it is not something to deter me from getting this wonderful model.

Moving on to the side, again everything looks right in place including the orange plastic turning signal, black door handle, silver key lock, and the horizontal black line that runs through the side of the car. I absolutely love the frameless windows which give the car a clean undisturbed look just like on the real one. The “//M” style mirrors complete the look – those mirrors were a popular copied custom modification on non-BMW cars back in the day. They were definitely one of the most beautiful mirrors fitted on a production car back in the 90s. Door shut lines are quite decent and the closed window creates a tight seal.

Moving onto the rims and tires, the rim design is accurate with black bolts and the BMW logo present, silver rotors and black calipers are visible. The tires are labelled Pirelli P-Zero. Overall, I think everything looks fine, although it would be nice to have valve stems present. This being a budget model, I am ok to live without them.

The back of the model looks just as good as the front. Everything is tidy including the rear lights, although the orange turning signal on the real car was not as orange as it is on the model – it was more of orange-red. Exhaust pipes have depth, with the inside painted black which is a nice touch. I do however feel they are slightly larger compared to the real one.

Inside, the execution of black and blue is accurate. Blue floor, blue inserts on the doors, and black with the blue front and back seats make it a home sweet home. The contrasting colours work together very well. The centre console greets us with multiple buttons which are highlighted in white, a reminder of the button happy 1990s. Power seat buttons have white position arrows present too – this is a welcomed addition to the overall interior look.

To sum things up, this Solido 1/18th BMW 850 CSi budget model is well done. I really like the blue exterior and two-tone interior. The pop-up lights are a huge bonus, not common at all on other budget models (even more premium models) and I think Solido excelled here. The model displays so well with them in the open position – it is a reminder of the cool 90s exotic feature which is now nonexistent. I think this is another win from Solido, and I highly recommend it. Happy collecting everyone!

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10 Responses to "REVIEW: Solido BMW 850 CSi"

  1. DS Team says:

    Hey Luk, thanks again for tackling another budget release from Solido.

    This particular car brings back many memories as a kid, one fascinated by cars. These were rare on the streets where I live at the time, so seeing one in the flesh in my youth was the most exciting thing ever! I nicknamed is shark at the time :)

  2. Kostas says:

    I adore the 850 CSi. It’s an ageless beauty that it is gorgeous inside out, elegant, luxurius and sporty at the same time. It has a V12 engine and if you also add the rarity in the entire equation, then you have an all time classic.

    I have all the 1/18 850’s available. The 3 from Otto, the black one, the red one and the blue Alpina version. Moreover I have also a Revell 850 CSi, but not the crappy original, my Revell 850 it is a gorgeously upgraded and modified one, made by Herbert Messing, a fellow collector and also a highly skilled model car designer, who very sadly passed away a few years ago.

    He repainted the model car in Diamond Schwarz metallic and also repainted the whole interior, based on the original specs of the real car. On the inside, the seats were repainted grey on the front and black on the backside, he painted the classic wood panel on the dashbord, transmission tunnel and doors and the central console was painted meticulously so the buttons of the climate controls, radio, air vents, etc could be highlighted in order for them to be clearly visible. He also added cloth seatbelts and car mats. Moreover, a three spoke M sport stering wheel was also added. On the outside he repainted the front grille, also the headlights and rear lights were taken out and were repainted, in order to be more accurate in both colour and lens depth. M8 badges were also added on the back and on the side of the front grille. Moreover original tires and rims were replaced with new wider tires with realistic sport treads, with the addition of shinny M3 CSL rims with perforated brake discs and black calipers. Last but not least 2 more exterior additions, new exhaust pipes with more depth and a new set of EU personalized licence plates.

    The Revell 850 CSi has been transformed into a different model car, a gorgeous model car that now has almost the overall quality of an Autoart one, inside and outside. I like my 3 Otto 850’s as they are very well made and have a very nice shelf presence, but my upgraded and modified Revell 850 CSi is by far my favourite one, as it is on a different level. On the downside no opening parts, but I can live with it, as the interior is very visible from the outside in this specific model car.

    As for this Solido 850, I think that it is a very solid effort, taking always in mind the price range and kudos for the pop up headlights! They are certainly a very nice treat!

  3. InTheFastLane says:

    Kostas, I would love to see some pictures of yours – it’s a beautiful car.

  4. spikyone says:

    It does look like a nice model for the most part, but… those wheelarches are all kinds of wrong. Their shape is off, front and rear, and it really spoils an otherwynice model. It’s still almost certainly the best 8 series you can buy, I just can’t unsee that error.

  5. Ben says:

    Great model and good entry point for a lot of beginners but also enthusiasts who don’t want to break the bank. I am personally not so fussed about anything opening (doors, bonnets etc.) so the Otto would also be amazing to own albeit at about double the price. All in all it’s great to see models for every budget.
    On another note it would be great if Solido actually upped their quality and entered Norev territory. They could do a Solido signature range like Bburago for example. Besides the extra cost, I know this would come close to Otto territory and they wouldn’t want to compete on that level.

    • DS Team says:

      They are or were supposed to launch a “premiere” series. Not sure if this is happening anymore or if it was delayed until 2023 or beyond. The models would include full 360 access and updated interiors. Check the news link for more!

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