This is the new 4-door coupé standard, end of.
The final piece of the 8-Series puzzle is now in place, with BMW having unveiled the new 8-Series GranCoupe overnight and leaving motoring hacks like this writer agog. “Combining smile-inducing performance and design shaped by dynamism and elegance,” the new 8-Series GranCoupe is somehow the most brutish but most refined interpretation of the 4-door coupé we’ve seen yet, which has most definitely sent the Mercedes-Benz CLS scurrying back to Stuttgart.
It would be a mistake to assume that the 8GC is merely an 8-Coupé made longer, because it isn’t. The chassis is derived directly from the coupé with which it shares its name (the only one to do so in the segment, they point out) but it sports model-specific chassis tuning, as to ensure the perfect blend of dynamics and poise. The 8GC launches in three flavours: The full-fat M850i with its 390kW V8, the long-hauler 840d 235kW/680Nm inline-6 oiler, and the ‘entry-level’ 840i with its inline-6 250kW petrol mill. Regardless of which you go for you get xDrive four-paw traction as standard, as well as an 8-speed ZF automatic, though the M-Sport differential is reserved only for petrol-powered variants.
The design of the 8-Series GranCoupe is not something we’re about to gloss over because God above, it’s pretty. There’s an aggression seen here that simply was not present in the outgoing 6-Series GranCoupe, and a resolution to the design that makes it equally elegant to behold. It’s a truly difficult car to describe without throwing out clichés in every sentence but flatly, it’s clear that this is the 4-door born from the coupé.
The best angle to this writer has to be the rear three-quarter – where the old 6-GranCoupe had a rear end that was rather forgettable, this new 8-GranCoupe looks so much better. From the large ducktail spoiler to the complex diffuser, you cannot accuse the 8GC of being forgettable, at all. And that’s even before you hear the growly V8.
Step inside and you’re greeted, up front at least, by a cabin lifted very much wholesale from the coupé. While it lacks originality perhaps it makes up for in perceived quality, with materials employed throughout the cabin very nice to hold and behold, and build quality about what you’d expect for what is their most expressive 4-door model in the lineup.
In the rear you’d be mistaken for assuming it’s a strict 2-seater – it isn’t. The two outer seats bear designs that mimic the seats in front (be it the comfort seats in the six-cylinder models or the optional Sports seats) in order to ensure that rear passengers also enjoy the same cosseting experience as the two up front, and there’s an “extended centre console” that stretches all the way to the rear bench. But you can subject a human being to that centre rear seat (which straddles the centre console in a very inelegant fashion) should you so want to, which is why BMW’s decided to call this a “4+1” arrangement.
Behind that you’ll find the boot, rated at 440L with the seats up. Should that not be enough space, the rear seats fold 40:20:40 should they need to.
Tech-wise you’ll be able to find all the very latest BMW innovations like the digital instrumentation, OS7.0 powering the 10.25-inch central touchscreen, the voice & gesture controls, and BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant (which you activate by saying ‘Hey BMW’). You can also option on various advanced driver assistance technologies which, in addition to the usual smattering of lane-keep blind-spot auto-brake nonsense, includes properly-new stuff like the reversing assistant (that plays the last 700m of low-speed steering input in reverse should you need to back out of a tricky spot, like a one-lane two-way alley).
BMW Australia has not yet brought up an introduction timeline for the new 8-Series GranCoupe but frankly, they’ll face well-dressed, well-heeled, and amazingly-articulate rioters outside their office if they don’t. We’re certainly looking forward to sample this (especially in full M850i guise) when it arrives but until then, stay fixed to CarShowroom as we bring you more updates as they come.