New BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe - The Flagship BMW
The BMW 8 Series is BMW's flagship model. It's luxurious and elegant, yet unassuming and unreserved. It's a lovely looking premium executive coupe, with understated looks but rampant power and performance.
The 8 Series is available as a 2-door 2+2 Coupe, a two-door convertible or a four-door Gran Coupe. There will also be a performance M8 version coming soon with even more power, somewhere around 600hp. The 8 Series is competing against some stiff competition, such as the Porsche Panamera, Audi A7 and Mercedes CLS, so will need to be on top of its game.
I will be focusing on the new 8 Series Gran Coupe for this blog. The Gran Coupe is very much the same as the two-door Coupe and convertible, with just a few minor tweaks inside and out. To start with, BMW had to extend the wheelbase of the 8 Series by some 20cm to accommodate the two rear doors. The Gran Coupe is, longer, wider and taller than the two-door Coupe.
I was able to test drive the new Gran Coupe recently, thanks to the guys at Sytner BMW in Nottingham. I tried the 840i, fitted with the M Sport technic package, panoramic glass sunroof, the Premium Package and the Technology Package. The first thing I noticed, on arrival, was the stunning new paint colour, Frozen Bluestone Metallic. I commented on how amazing it looked and how it's the sort of colour which will make people stop and stare, rather than just walk on by.
The 8 Series uses BMW's new Carbon Core Technology as part of its chassis construction. Using the latest Carbon Core technology integrates carbon fibre into the structural body/chassis, which reduces weight, increases rigidity and improves handling.
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Engines, Power and Performance
All models share the same range of engines, two petrol and one diesel.
The diesel option is the 840d xDrive, a 3-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine creating 320hp and 680Nm of torque. It is capable of hitting 0-62mph in 5.1secs and go on to a top speed of 155mph. The 840d is fitted as standard with BMW's excellent xDrive (AWD) system which helps improve grip, control and stability.
The entry-level petrol engine is the 840i sDrive (2-wheel drive system in this case RWD) and is the only model in the range available with RWD all others are AWD (xDrive). The 840i is a 3-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine generating 340hp and 500Nm of torque. It will hit 0-62mph in 5.2secs and go on to a top speed of 155mph.
Finally, there is the M850i xDrive (AWD), a 4.4-Litre TwinPower turbocharged eight-cylinder engine making 530hp and an impressive 750Nm of torque. All of this power enables the 8 Series to propel itself from 0-62mph in just 3.9secs and on to a limited top speed of 155mph. Each engine is mated to a revised version of BMW's superb eight-speed Steptronic transmission allowing you to choose manual or automatic gear changes. Whether you are using the gearbox in manual or automatic, the actions are fast, smooth and seamless.
As with most BMW's, the 8 Series handles like a dream, with responsive steering and various suspension set-ups. For a car as big as the 8 Series, once you climb inside and drive, it soon begins to feel smaller and nimbler than it actually is. The BMW design and engineering team have done a fantastic job in this respect.
Interior Quality and Technology
BMW always produce cars with well-made interiors using the highest quality materials and the 8 Series Gran Coupe is no different. There's an abundance of fixtures and fitting throughout the cabin, which add a little luxury to the look and feel. The usual high-quality gear shifter can be replaced by a piece of glitzy crystal artwork, which does look impressive on the centre console. This is part of the Glass Application 'CraftedClarity' option.
Each Gran Coupe comes complete with the latest BMW tech, much of which is included as standard. Every 8 Series Gran Coupe gets the latest BMW Operating System 7.0 and the new BMW Live Cockpit Professional system. This comprises of a large 10.25-inch colour touchscreen, to access the infotainment system, along with a 12.3-inch fully digital colour instrument display cluster. Both large displays are clear, crisp and responsive and combine well with the new head-up display (HUD), which again is now a standard feature across the range.
The list of standard features included with the Gran Coupe is quite extensive such as; the Connected Package Professional which comprises of Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth connectivity along with Connected Navigation and Remote Services, to name just a few. The Gran Coupe also benefits from having heated seats front and rear as standard and multi-functional leather sports seats for front-seat occupants.
As well as all these standard features, there's a generous selection of optional features. Some of which are standard, depending on the spec level chosen. Some of the optional packages include; the Premium Package, M-Sport Package and the Technology Package. All of which offer their own individual features. Other optional extras include a high-end Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system and Panoramic sunroof or a Carbon Fibre roof.
There are optional packages and features for everyone so you can customise the 8 Series Gran Coupe to suit your every want and need.
Space Practicality and Safety
The 8 Series Gran Coupe is slightly more spacious than the smaller 2-Door Coupe and Convertible. This is due to the larger body and longer wheelbase, to accommodate the extra two doors. In the front, there is ample space for driver and passenger to spread out with ease, even the really tall. The front seats are superb, soft and comfortable, and come with a wide range of adjustment to make finding a great driving position a breeze.
In the back, there are two main seats either side of a small middle area. This could be used as a third seat, but only for very short journeys due to limited space, especially around legs and feet due to the large central tunnel. The two main seats are incredibly comfortable, and there is plenty of legroom for tall passengers. The 8 Series Gran Coupe does have a sloping roofline which reduces the amount of headroom rear passengers get, but unless you are well over 6ft tall, this shouldn't be a problem.
There are various practical and spacious storage cubbies throughout the Gran Coupe cabin, which include large door pockets, glovebox and a roomy centre storage cubby under the armrest to name just a few. The boot of the 8 Series Gran Coupe is generous with a capacity of 420-litres.
The Euro NCAP safety specialists have not tested the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. It should score highly due to the number of safety features and assists included as standard, along with various optional safety packages available. Some of the standard safety assists include; cruise control with brake function, a rearview camera, park distance control (PDC) front and rear, multiple airbags and park assist.
The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is not only a fantastic car to drive and own, but in my opinion, it's one of the best looking new cars of 2019 - especially when styled in the Frozen Bluestone Metallic paint scheme. If you haven't seen one of these gorgeous cars in person, then you need to make a date at your local BMW dealership and find out what makes this such an impressive car.