First, it turned heads at summer’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, then again at the Paris Motor Show in the autumn, so what is all the fuss about when it comes to the new BMW 8 Series 2018?
After a 19-year hiatus from the old BMW 8 Series, this time around we have the new luxury Gran Coupé, which will now replace the former 6 Series coupé. BMW has called it the “biggest model offensive in the company’s history”, with the 8 Series and M Model running in parallel.
You’ll have to wait until summer 2019 to see the new M8, with an eye-watering 650BHP V8 engine. Likewise, the BMW 8 Series Convertible release date is touted to be somewhere in the middle of 2019, but we’re sure it’s worth the wait.
Nobody expects a luxury grand tourer for sale with a £76,270 price tag to be economical – so let’s get that one out of the way first. On a good day, expect the 8 Series to pump out 160g of emissions per km with 46.3 miles to the gallon. If you’re taking it out as nature intended however, you’re far more likely to make 28.8 miles and a considerably higher 224g per km.
That’s par for the course when you’re dealing with a 4.4-litre twin turbo V8 engine that spits out 523BHP with contemptuous ease. Pair this with its four-wheel drive system and a 0 to 60MPH speed of 3.6 seconds, and you’ve got yourself one impressive wannabe sports car.
Thankfully, its sleek design places it exactly where it wants to be in the luxury grand tourer bracket, but its top speed of 155MPH would definitely give supercars like the Jaguar F-Type a run for their money.
So how does it feel when you step into the latest 8 Series? Luxury is present throughout, naturally. As standard, it comes with Merino leather, brushed metal and a large infotainment touchscreen complete with sharp graphics (which are also present on the driver’s display).
If you head over to the BMW website and try out the BMW 8 Series configurator, however, you do have the choice of some very impressive upgrades indeed.
Said upgrades include the red or brown Merino leather upgrade for a very reasonable £500, “piano black” interior gloss for £250, or Bowers and Wilkins Surround Sound for just £4,000. (What’s an extra £4,000 for an 8 Series that’s got a lease price of £812.99 per month?)
Though it can rival most supercars in terms of speed and luxury, the 8 Series completely knocks them out of the park when it comes to practicality.
Back seats come as standard, which, admittedly, would probably be more comfortable for a pair of children than a pair of adults, but even the tallest motorists can get in and out of it with no trouble whatsoever.
You can fold down the back seats if you want to max out its luggage potential, but even with a couple of passengers in the back, the boot can still accommodate two large backpacks or medium-sized suitcases.
Gear shifting is a breeze in the 8 Series’ automatic eight-speed gearbox, and unlike some other models, this smooth transition is not affected by any of the driving modes.
Speaking of which, if you really want to have some fun, take it on the autobahn and knock the 8 Series into Sport Mode – particularly if you’re fortunate enough to try out the top of the range M850i model.
Go one step further with the Sport + Mode and you’ll have the additional protection of those adaptive dampers, so there’s no need to sweat it, even at top speeds.
At the time of the launch, two models will be available – the abovementioned M850i, and the 840D xDrive, which is modest by comparison, but not by anything else.
In fact, it boasts a torque of 502lb ft, 0 to 62MPH in 4.9 seconds and a top fuel economy of 46.3MPG, all of which is carried by the 3-litre six straight turbodiesel engine.
Certainly, this is the car to go for if you are looking for a more economical model, but as we mentioned before, are you really likely to take this camping?
With an updated, slick design that signals a new generation of coupés, the 8 Series has been long-awaited. We can’t wait to see what else BMW have up their sleeve.