Is The BMW 8-Series Gran Coupe A Sportier Substitute For The 7-Series Flagship?

By replacing the old 6-Series Gran Coupe with a new generation and changing the name to the 8-Series, BMW has stepped up the game.

At 5,074mm (199.7 in.) long, the latest model is a full 23 cm (9 in) longer than the two-door Coupe and just 46mm (1.8-in.) shorter than the 7-Series. The elegant exterior design makes it more handsome than the flagship sedan and it offers plenty of room on the back seat for passengers. However, the sloping roofline does eat into the headroom, but hey, you can’t have it all, can you?

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BMW calls the 8-Series Gran Coupe a 4+1 car, which means that the rear middle seat can be used on short journeys. It’s not comfortable at all, but it’s nice to know that it’s there. Up front, the build quality and design are on par with the best in the segment. Even the entry-level 840i gets things like leather on the seats, door cards and dashboard, complemented by digital dials, a 10.25-inch infotainment system that’s one of the best in the segment, voice control and a personal assistant to give orders to.

Once you set off, you will find a good balance between a GT and a sports car. Don’t go berserk, though, because this is still a hefty car with not enough steering feel, but once you get the hang of it, you will start attacking corners more brutally. You certainly have the grunt to do so, as pushing the pedal to the metal unleashes 340 PS (335 HP / 250 kW) and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque. The 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six petrol engine is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard rear-wheel drive, pushing the car to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.2 seconds, or 4.9 seconds with the optional xDrive all-wheel drive system, and up to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

Other engine options include the 3.0-liter diesel in the 840d xDrive, rated at 320 PS (316 HP / 235 kW) and 680 Nm (501 lb-ft), and the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 petrol in the M850i xDrive that produces 530 PS (523 HP / 390 kW) and 750 Nm (553 lb-ft). The M8 and M8 Competition Gran Coupe come with 600 PS (592 HP / 441 kW) and 625 PS (616 HP / 460 kW) respectively, and 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) in both cases.