Following on from last year’s concept car, BMW’s made minimal changes bringing the new 8 Series Coupe to production with a 530 horsepower range-topper
When he was still just dreaming of becoming a car designer as a kid, BMW designer John Buckingham had a scale model of the timeless E31 8 Series.
Klaus Kapitza’s 1989 design looks like it belongs wherever you park it even 30 years later, but instead of emulating his boyhood hero Buckingham chose to look to the future with BMW’s revived 8 Series.
Now that the production version has been revealed looking very close to the concept we first saw last year at Villa d’Este, BMW says we can all look at Buckingham’s 8 Series to gauge every upcoming car from the Bavarians.
Is it an instant classic like Kapitza’s E31? BMW kept things surprisingly restrained, so we’d almost call the new 8 Series conservative considering how much it looks like a pancaked BMW SUV. Case in point? Look what happens when you squeeze the new 8 Series – you get the new X4…
That was the goal anyway, brand identity, and BMW’s new coupe flagship certainly has size on its side measuring in at 4,843 mm long, which means it’s shorter than, say, a Mercedes S-Class Coupe, but it’s significantly longer than a Mercedes-AMG GT. A highlight? You won’t miss the huge kidney grille placed low down coming at you in the fast lane.
BMW will launch the 8 Series with the M850i xDrive Coupe (note the Germans specify Coupe, suggesting there’s other derivatives coming, at the very least a soft-top and a four-door) powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 and driving all four wheels. Compared to the outgoing engine the new V8 makes 68 horsepower extra, now developing 530 horsepower at 5,500rpm and 750Nm of torque from 1,500rpm.
This means the M850 is properly rapid: zero to 100kph takes 3.7 seconds which means it can dice with something as extreme as a Mercedes-AMG GT R that does the sprint in 3.6 seconds.
Besides a huge range of assistance and safety systems, and a nifty new interior, the new code-named G15 8 Series gets special bits like M Sport brakes and 20-inch wheels, plus available M equipment like spoilers, and performance enhancements like an electronic rear differential.
A first is the carbon fibre reinforced roof which is a first on a series-production BMW, and optionally you can also have the intake bars, exterior mirrors, spoiler and diffuser all made out of lightweight composites.
The new G15 BMW 8 Series will go on sale by the end of the year with prices announced closer to our regional launch but expect to get started with perhaps AED500,000 ($135,000).