by Aiden Eksteen
A premium, full-size executive coupe offers a sophisticated and sporty aesthetic but is also expected to deliver an expressive driving experience that can be both fun and capable, without compromising the tranquil drive. The 2021 BMW 8 Series Coupe does this impeccably with its substratum turbo 6-cylinder unit modulated for 335 horsepower and its preeminent twin-turbo V8 dialed up for a fiery 523 hp. Those powertrains, combined with BMW's penchant for masterful chassis and drivetrain calibration, set the 8 Series Coupe up nicely against the likes of the iconic Porsche 911. It may not elicit as much of a special and noble emotion as the 911, but it's still a thrilling and contemporary vehicle nonetheless. Starting at a price of $88,000, the 2021 BMW 8 Series Coupe is eye-wateringly expensive, and its diminutive rear seats are pretty much useless. Even so, no BMW fan or any driving enthusiast will have much to complain about once behind the wheel of this second-generation luxury coupe.
Although it isn't an all-new model, a few equipment enhancements have been made to set the 2021 lineup apart from the 2020 BMW 8 Series Coupe. For the latest 840i, an Anthracite headliner has been added. Across the range, lane departure warning becomes standard and SiriusXM with 360L and a one-year all-access subscription replaces the old package. The color palette loses the option of Sonic Speed Blue, while inside, black extended Merino leather with black M piping falls away as well. There's greater value to be found in the optional M Sport Package; its price drops by $300 while receiving enhancements like M Sport Brakes with black calipers. Some other small changes have been made to the list of standalone optional features, such as the deletion of night vision with pedestrian detection.
See trim levels and configurations:
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
If you're a BMW devotee or just someone that really appreciates a fun, capable, and luxurious 2-door sports car, then the 2021 BMW 8 Series Coupe will certainly impress. It's the German automaker's halo coupe offering and the superlative step up from the brand's smaller coupes within the broader range. Its commanding yet sophisticated aesthetic oozes capability and affluence, characteristics that tangibly materialize once behind the wheel. Two powerful engines, a slick-shifting transmission, and a masterfully crafted drivetrain and chassis accord the 2021 8 Series Coupe with some of the most enjoyable and proficient driving dynamics $100,000 can buy. It boasts a modern and extravagant cabin along with a comfortable and spacious cockpit, though the same can't be said about the rear seats.
As with most high-end vehicles in the US, neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has subjected the 2021 BMW 8 Series Coupe to review, so it carries no official safety rating. It does, however, come with a decent amount of driver assists and active safety systems and benefits from the German automaker's penchant for reliability. Overall, the 8 Series may not have the same special feel that some of its contemporaries emit, but it's still a one-of-a-kind cruiser bound to turn heads and stir emotion.
It's difficult to ignore just how phenomenal the performance of the top-spec M850i is, but with its $111,900 price tag, it's more than $20,000 pricier than the RWD 840i. The base model shouldn't be underestimated, though, as it offers plenty of straight-line potential and handling proficiency, and comes nicely outfitted with many of the advanced features and tech found in the top-spec M850i. There are some options we'd still opt in, however, including the Driver Assistance Package for the driver assists and crash prevention systems, and the Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system for the added entertainment. Both additions will still keep the price below $100,000, if only just.