This is the end-all super-GT, they say.
It must’ve been a fun weekend at Le Mans for BMW. Not only was the company participating in a brand-new racer, but they could finally bring to an end the drawn-out teaser campaign for their new flagship coupe by debuting the damned thing after an interminably long wait. Say hello to the new 8-Series, which despite having been basically shown in the flesh multiple times before, is still as breathtaking as ever.
Prepare a bucket. Drooling will ensue.
The BMW 8-Series actually replaces the smaller 6-Series in the lineup, so its proportions aren’t all that different. However, a push upmarket means that it benefits from a lot of the knowhow and engineering trickery that was previously reserved for the 7-Series limousine. That includes things like the Carbon Core chassis, aiding rigidity and the pursuit of lightness.
The 8-Series is a beautiful thing no matter how you cut it. From the front, your eyes are drawn to the wide kidney grille, hexagonal in shape and wider at the bottom, a first for the brand. Designed to emphasise width, the grille is flanked by two very slim headlights (the slimmest of any BMW, they point out) that are LED as standard, but available optionally with the brands’ LaserLight technology. Regardless, they maintain the dual-ring signature no matter the condition. Neat.
The rear sees the fitment of a pair of slim taillights with a very prominent light signature to them, sitting above enormous exhaust pipes that definitely didn’t try to be hidden. Down the sides, you can’t help but note the AirBreathers on the front fenders, a feature on all new BMWs, but here have been emphasised by two character lines that appear to cave around it. There are also similar Breathers at the back at the furthest edge of the rear bumper, all working together to keep the brakes cool and the car slippery.
There’s also a spoiler at the back, part of an M-Pack, which works together with a front splitter to reduce lift. And as for any BMW, the 8-Series is available with a variety of carbon-fibre trim bits as options for the well-heeled.
The cabin of the new 8-Series carries more than a passing resemblance to what was introduced to the world in the new X5 SUV, albeit with a sportier twist. As such, there’s a greater emphasis on width, something underscored by the incredibly-sharp 10.25-inch infotainment screen that rests atop the centre stack. Complemented by a 12.3-inch instrumentation screen, the two make up BMW’s new operating system, again first seen in the X5.
As expected in any BMW, everything is swathed in leather and the materials used are top-notch. The option to have certain switches and knobs, including the gearlever, capped in glass makes the whole thing feel really rather special.
Options are aplenty for the 8-Series as is necessitated by any BMW. Inside you can get things like a Bowers & Wilkins audio system, that glass switchgear pack, as well as a variety of veneers, leathers and the like.
The BMW 8-Series launches with two powertrains, a petrol and a diesel. The range kicks off with the oiler, the 840d xDrive, which packs a 3.0-litre inline-6 turbodiesel mill which puts out a respectable 235kW and 680Nm. That’s enough to get the car to 100km/h from rest in just 4.9-seconds, though BMW would rather you enjoy the car’s “relaxed” nature at low engine speeds. Definitely the car for touring.
If you’re a point-and-shoot kind of guy, it’s the petrol that’ll get your heart racing. The M850i xDrive offers up a 4.4-litre V8 biturbo petrol mill, putting out a staggering 390kW and 750Nm, with all that shove available from just 1800rpm. Naturally, this mill makes the 8er faster to 100km/h, hitting the mark in just 3.7-seconds.
Both cars benefit from BMW’s excellent xDrive four-paw drivetrain, and despite the power on offer, they both return decent mileage. The petrol mill claims to do about 10L/100km, whereas the oiler does 6.2L/100km on the combined cycle. Not bad, eh? An 8-speed automatic transmission from ZF is also standard fare.
The BMW 8-Series is expected to go on sale in Europe by November, so we’re expecting to see it here sometime next year. Prices remain a mystery, as its used-to-be-a-6er size but higher-than-a-7er nomenclature means the premium that’ll be charged for this superlative grand-tourer is hard to guess. But rest assured that you’ll know it when we do, so stay tuned to CarShowroom as we bring you more updates as they come.