Just curious- are you at all familiar with the BMW 850csi from the mid nineties? Also I find your endorsement of the subaru forester intriguing. I do a good deal of skiing/downhill racing up in Vermont during the winter months where a high percentage of roads (at least by U.S. standards) are still unpaved. I am always shocked to see that the most common form of transportation up there is the subaru- interesting to here your endorsement.
I've never sat in a BMW 8-series or known anyone who spoke of one, but it's on my list of the most attractive cars of its day, along with the Mercedes 500SL that was released at about the same time. Long, sleek, elegant, echoing the M1 in the nose, they still turn my head. I do know from a diplomatic corps that ran a fleet of 750iL's that the BMW V12 is much more trouble-prone than the Jaguar HE or Mercedes 12-pots, and BMW electrics have never been particularly long-lived, so I would be scared of running one, though. About the Forester, it's the real deal. When I last visited my father, we imported a few cars and trucks in order to gauge their suitability to West African roads and fuel quality. Of those, the Forester and Baja 2.5 were by far the most impressive. (The Impreza was hampered in comparison by its lower ground clearance.) But Subaru puzzles me to a large extent. Fuji Heavy Industries designs the best-suited cars for the developing world since the Land Rover and Toyota "FJ" Land Cruiser, yet does not bother to get them there. A Forester-like vehicle (i.e. a medium-sized wagon with a very stiff chassis, compliant suspension, decent ground clearance, and an engine that's reasonably forgiving of fuel quality) would be the ultimate developing world machine. But it has taken them until very recently to even consider developing markets. For example, sales of the Forester (badged as a Chevrolet, General Motors owning a share of FHI) only recently started in India. If a car and a country were ever more suited for each other than a Subaru and India, I've never seen the match. Peace, JG