The all-new BMW 8 Series coupe was one of the biggest car launches of 2018, and a host of versions are set to appear over the next 12 months.
One of the major new models bearing the 8 Series name is the upcoming four-door Gran Coupe model, which has been spied during testing with minimal camouflage.
Images posted by Autocar show that the Gran Coupe will look almost identical to the regular 8 Series Coupe at the front, though an extra set of doors have been subtly added and the roofline extends further back.
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The wheelbase is slightly longer than the coupe, too, offering more leg and headroom for those in the rear, the magazine says. However, it’s not yet known whether the rear bench will seat two or three passengers.
BMW is expected to take the covers off its new 600bhp M8 sports car later this year. The performance-focused grand tourer will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which runs from 12 to 22 September.
Prices and release date
The 8 Series is available to order now and deliveries are already underway.
Buyers can place an order for the 8 Series in dealerships now, with prices starting at £76,270 for the diesel-engined 840d xDrive. Above that sits the faster, petrol-powered M850i xDrive, at £100,045.
Although the 8 Series replaces the current 6 Series as the company’s range-topping coupe model, BMW insists the car is neither a direct successor nor a two-door variant of the 7 Series saloon, Autocar reports.
BMW product manager Sarah Lessmann told the magazine that the 8 Series was designed to be “a stand-alone car”, with its own distinct design and components.
The new coupe bears little resemblance to other models in the BMW line-up, with the exception of its large kidney grille, which has adorned almost every car that BMW has made in its 90-year history.
Sleek lines and sculpted panels give the new model a premium look with a sporty edge.
The car also spots thinner head and tail light designs than other BMW models, as well as a small spoiler that merges seamlessly into the boot lid.
Engines and performance
Entry-level 840d xDrive models are powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six engine, producing 316bhp and 502lb-ft of torque, says Car magazine. This offers drivers a 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds and a fuel economy of 46.3mpg.
Next is the current range-topping M850i xDrive variant, which adopts the BMW M5’s 4.4-litre turbo V8 petrol motor, which produces 523bhp and 553lb-ft of torque. However, the extra power comes at the expensive of fuel economy, at 28.3mpg.
Auto Express says the 8 Series “manages to occupy a previously unfilled niche between being a GT (grand tourer) and a sports coupe”.
In range-topping M850i guise, the 8 Series is “every bit as fast as the 3.7-second 0-62mph time suggests”, while maintaining a “hushed” environment in the cabin and a smooth ride, the magazine says.
The interior is also packed with technology, most of which beats the systems offered by luxury carmakers including McLaren and Bentley, according to Top Gear.
The cabin gadgetry is offset by swathes of “beautifully stitched leather” on the dashboard and door lining. The front seats are “a good place to be”, the car site says, but adds that the back seats are “horribly cramped”.
The 8 Series may offer “greater agility” than its major rival, the Mercedes S-Class Coupe, but the Porsche 911 is still the car to beat when it comes to performance and practicality, says CarBuyer.
However, the reviews site admits that the 840d variant “makes an interesting choice if you want an indulgent, distinctive car for fast, long distance trips”.
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