It looks like BMW wants to go after the top tier sport luxury segment with serious focus. Oh, sure they're still building crossovers like there's no tomorrow, and they've surreptitiously removed the beloved manual transmission from the new 3-Series, but the new 8-Series Gran Coupe has just been revealed. And that means they haven't totally lost their minds. Just look at this thing. It's positively gorgeous.
The 8-Series Coupe, followed by the convertible version arrived not long ago. Now BMW does two better with the addition of rear doors. The big luxury sedan gets 9 more inches of length (2.2 inches longer with 7.9 inches added to the wheelbase) and looks essentially different from the front windshield all the way back. It also has 1.2 inches of additional width, more headroom in front and back, a whopping 7.1 inches more rear legroom, and 7.7 inches more shoulder room.
In terms of looks, the Gran Coupe gives up nothing to its 2-door brother. We think the four-door actually looks better thanks to the fuller greenhouse. The version that's coming to the states will have a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 with 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque in the top tier M850i xDrive Gran Coupe. It'll mate with an 8-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission that will drive all four wheels via BMW's xDrive system.
There will also be a less powerful model known as the 840i (and 840i xDrive with AWD), and under its hood will reside a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six engine, good for 335 horses and 368 lb-ft of torque. In terms of outright performance, the M850i xDrive will hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and the 840i in rear-wheel drive configuration will do it in 4.9 seconds. Add AWD to that equation, and that time increases to 5.2 seconds, still plenty quick for most folks.
Performance will not be an issue with either the 840i or the M850i xDrive, but don't expect BMW to put a manual transmission in either car since they don't even do it with the 3-Series or 5-Series anymore. Both engines will use hee same eight-speed automatic transmission, but you can use the paddle shifters to change gears. Most customers with the kind of coin the 8-Series Gran Coupe requires don't want to inconvenience themselves with a third pedal, anyway. That's unfortunate because the first 8-Series back in the '90s could be outfitted with a manual transmission. Those days are gone.
Step inside the cabin of the 8-Series Gran Coupe, and you'll find no shortage of luxury and premium materials. Big leather seats, fine metal trim, and even an available crystal shift knob mean you won't suffer when you drive. And take a look at those back seats that look like they were modeled after a cobra's hood.
There's also a lot of tech stuffed into this luxury sedan. There's Forward-collision warning and low-speed automated emergency braking as standard equipment, a big 12.3-inch customizable digital gauge cluster, a 10.3-inch center screen, and a big color head-up display that provides tons of useful driver info like traffic sign recognition, no-passing zones, and turn-by-turn navigation.
The new Grand Coupe will be available for purchase at your local BMW showroom this September, but pricing has already been made public. The 840i starts at $84,900, $87,800 for the 840i xDrive Gran Coupe, and $109,985 for the M850i xDrive. The destination charge for all trims is $995. We're sure if you add enough packages, you can send the price considerably higher, and that's pretty much expected for a car at this level.
Will see seen a true M8? It's doubtful since BMW hasn't made a true motorsport version of anything above the M6 or X6 M. Instead, they've chosen to give Motorsport components and some tuning to their other vehicles, which were already fast, to begin with. We can't wait to drive the new 8-Series in two- and four-door trim when they become available in our test fleet.