Saturday, June 16, 2018 will be remembered fondly over time (at least by auto enthusiasts). The reason is simple – the BMW 8 Series was revealed to the world. This nameplate, whose history goes back to the 90s, has been eagerly awaited over the years. Its pricing starts from GBP 76,270 (approx Rs 68.70 lakh at current exchange rate) and it will go on sale in November this year. What makes it a model worth getting excited about? Here’s a hint – it shares something with the M8 GTE race car (they were developed side-by-side, after all).
|Specifications||BMW M850i xDrive||BMW 840d xDrive|
|Price||GBP 1,00,045 (approx Rs 90.10 lakh at current exchange rate)||GBP 76,270 (approx Rs 68.70 lakh at current exchange rate)|
|Engine||32-valve, direct-injected, twin-turbo, Valvetronic, Double Vanos, 4.4-litre V8 petrol||24-valve, common rail injection, turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six diesel|
|Transmission||8-speed Steptronic automatic||8-speed Steptronic automatic|
|Front Suspension||Independent, double wishbone with electronically-controlled adaptive dampers||Independent, double wishbone with electronically-controlled adaptive dampers|
|Rear Suspension||Independent, multi-link (5 links) with electronically-controlled adaptive dampers||Independent, multi-link (5 links) with electronically-controlled adaptive dampers|
|Front Brake||395mm discs with four-piston calipers||374mm discs with four-piston calipers|
|Rear Brake||395mm discs with four-piston calipers||374mm discs with four-piston calipers|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||68 litres||68 litres|
What’s new about the BMW 8 Series?
For starters, the BMW 8 Series is the company’s flagship two-door coupe now, displacing the 6 Series from its perch. The 6 Series will still be on sale but as a four-door GT model (just like how 4 Series is the coupe derivative for the 3 Series). This repurposing of models helps the 8 Series occupy a place of prominence in the company’s lineup. At least its buyers will mention the 8 Series in the same vein as the Mercedes S-Class coupe and the Lexus LC 500.
To be mentioned in the same breath as its accomplished rivals, BMW has given the 8 Series jaw-dropping looks. The car carries a classic sports car design with a long hood, cab-rear layout, and double-bubble roof. The use of sleek styling elements all around give this car a sense of agility. The front end carries the BMW signature kidney grille (one piece this time around) which has grown thin and is chrome-outlined-and-slatted too. This grille merges into the sleek, swept-back LED (with BMW’s Laser Light tech) headlamps. Either side sports a vent on the front fender. The 20-inch alloy wheels sporting 5 twin-spoke design round up the styling bits on either side.
The rear end is highlighted by sleek wrap-around taillamps (notice the emphasis on the word sleek?). A spoiler has been integrated into the trunk lid. The registration plate has been housed in the rear bumper. A reflector on each side is flanked by a vertically-positioned vent. Lastly, either side at the rear sports a rectangular exhaust pipe. The best angle to look at the car is from the rear three-quarters (although its roof-line makes its side angle look impressive too).
The car’s interior is quite a luxurious place to be in. Almost the entire dashboard is covered in leather with satin-finished metal inserts. It has that modern touch BMW interiors are lauded for. There are some bits about it that stand out. Firstly, the centre console carries that sleekness from outside. Just one look at those centre A/c vents is enough to get the point across. Another highlight of this interior (an even bigger one and arguably the most important) is the use two digital displays. One of these displays is for in-car entertainment while the other is for the driver (the HUD hasn’t been counted).
The first digital display (measuring 10.25 inches) is the infotainment screen on the centre console. This is a touchscreen unit and, along with the digital dashboard (a 12.3-inch unit), runs on BMW OS 7.0. Users can store up to 10 personalized screens with two-four tiles of live content on each screen. Users can control these screens via four different input methods – touch-based, gesture-based, iDrive controller, and steering-mounted buttons. Moreover, the system has a 20GB inbuilt memory and can receive remote updates via built-in SIM card. Other connectivity options include two USB ports (one Type-A and one Type-C), Bluetooth, and Wi-fi. BMW has pushed the ante further up by integrating Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business into the system.
At the heart of the BMW 8 Series is a 32-valve, direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V8 engine that displaces 4.4 litres. It has Valvetronic and Double Vanos techs that help it push out 530HP power and 750Nm torque. However, this is the case for the M850i xDrive coupe. It also has a diesel-powered sibling called the 840d xDrive Coupe. This car is powered by a 24-valve common rail direct injection turbocharged inline-six Diesel engine that displaces 3.0 litres and makes 320Hp power and 680Nm. Both engines make use of an 8-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox.
The 8 Series coupe has an independent double wishbone suspension up front and an independent multi-link (5 links) setup at the rear. All corners get electronically-controlled adaptive dampers. There’s rear-axle steering too to make this car turn with ease in all conditions. Optional on the petrol variant is the active roll stabilization via electric swivel motors on front and rear axles.
The M850i gets 395mm brake discs as standard while the 840d gets 374mm discs at both ends (as standard, of course). Optionally, the 840d can be specced with 395mm discs at all ends. The BMW 8 Series sports front brakes with four-piston calipers and rear brakes with single piston calipers. The 8 Series coupe (M850i) measures 4,851mm in length, 1,902mm in width, 1,346mm in height, and its wheelbase spans 2,822mm. The 840d coupe measures 4,843mm in length, 1,902mm in width, 1,341mm in height and its wheelbase spans 2,822mm.
Is the BMW 8 Series worth consideration?
Of course it is worth consideration. After all, how many four-seat two-door luxury coupes are out there that look as striking as the 8 Series? This car has been developed alongside the M8 GTE race car. As a result, Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic has been used extensively in the BMW 8 Series, the roof being one area it has been put to use. There’s more to come from the 8 Series’ side – a four-door model (say goodbye to 6 Series Gran Turismo?), a convertible, and a hardcore M8 model.
Also, for those who would use it daily, a diesel engine is available to buy too. This increases the appeal of the 8 Series. There is now one for enthusiasts and one for daily drivers. There is just so much to write about the 8 Series. However, it is just great to have the car in existence after a long hiatus. The fact that it draws inspiration from the old 8 Series and looks futuristic bodes well for BMW. Up until June 16, 2018, the BMW 8 Series was a forbidden fruit. No more! And that is something to be thankful for (even if it means the 8 Series is unattainable for most).
BMW 8 Series – Synopsis
- Prices start from GBP 76,270 (approx Rs 68.70 lakh at current exchange rate)
- To go on sale in November 2018
- M850i xDrive gets a 4.4-litre V8 engine that makes 530HP power and 750Nm torque
- 840d xDrive gets a 3.0-litre inline-six diesel engine making 320Hp power and 680Nm torque
- Either engine is mated to an 8-speed Steeptronic automatic gearbox
- Front gets independent double wishbone setup while the rear gets multi-link setup (electronically-controlled adaptive dampers all around)
- Rear axle-steering included as standard equipment
- M850i gets optional electric swivel motors for active roll stabilization for both axles
- M850i gets 395mm brake discs at all corners with four-piston calipers up front and single piston calipers at the rear
- 840d gets 374mm discs (can be optioned with 395mm discs) with four-piston calipers up front and single piston calipers at the rear
- 8 Series coupe gets 20-inch wheels on all four corners
- Exterior designed like classic sports cars with long hood, cab-rear layout, and double-bubble roof
- Interior is a tech-laden place with two digital displays acting as the centrepiece
- 8 Series lineup to expand with addition of a four-door variant, convertible, and M8 models in future