Earlier this year, BMW pulled the wraps off their 8 Series Gran Coupe, the four-door version of their new flagship grand touring model. The world then patiently waited for the inevitable reveal of a proper M version with mechanical specifications and performance to match the M8 Coupe.
On cue, here is that exact car, albeit one that makes its world debut in both standard form and as the more potent Competition, mirroring its two-door counterpart. As you would expect, cars such as the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door and Porsche Panamera are cast as the new M8 Gran Coupe’s main rivals.
To adeptly face them in battle, the Munich offering does pack the necessary firepower and dynamic prowess required, but only time will tell if it can rally troops to its cause. After all, both the Affalterbach and Zuffenhausen camps have had a big head start, establishing favour in the minds of potential buyers.
BMW and their M division will need to rely on their wits and the M8 Gran Coupe’s sheer desirability factor to sway the narrative back its way. But with that said, there’s very little on the car that strikes as surprising or particularly new.
Its engine and powertrain are identical to the M8 and M8 Competition (Coupe), that being a 4.4-litre S63 twin-turbocharged V8 producing either 441kW in standard or 460kW in Competition tune, both mated to a quick-shifting 8-speed automatic. Assuming the latter is chosen, the car would need just 3.2 seconds to launch itself to 100km/h thanks in large part to the M xDrive four-wheel drive system laying down all that thrust.
Like on the M8 Coupe and F90 M5 saloon, this provides every large M car (so far) with selectable all-paw traction for true all-weather ability and much faster standing acceleration but also allows the front axle to be decoupled for a more traditional rear-drive sensation.
Interestingly, despite the 200mm wheelbase extension, addition of two rear doors and all the accoutrements necessary to accommodate two additional occupants, and specifically the weight penalty that carries, the M8 Gran Coupe defies notions of heft to also match the smaller and lighter M8 Coupe’s century sprint times. However, only by ticking the optional M Driver’s Package is the 306km/h top speed accessible, otherwise electronically limited to more gentlemanly 250km/h.
The photos BMW has supplied so far of the M8 Gran Coupe Competition are more than adequate for casual perusal and occasional scrutiny, though it is slated to make its in-the-flesh public premiere at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November.
Given this implied prioritisation to North America, that portion of the world will likely have order books open soon after European markets. For Australian customers, as confirmed by BMW’s local arm, the M8 Gran Coupe will be making landfall in the second quarter of 2020, accompanying the M8 Competition Coupe.