2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

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2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Test Drive Review: The New Shape Of Luxury

At the very pinnacle of BMW's M car lineup sits the BMW M8 Gran Coupe. The automaker struck gold when it introduced the 6 Series Gran Coupe, a four-door car with styling from a two-door coupe, blending the best elements of both body styles. After replacing the 6 Series with the new 8 Series, the company then reintroduced the GC derivative to great success in 2020. In M form, it's been so successful that it now becomes the only body style available in 2021, with the Coupe and Convertible versions taking a brief hiatus, at this stage, in the US.

This top-tier version of the 8 Series utilizes BMW's flagship twin-turbo V8 engine producing between 600 and 617 horsepower. With so much grunt, the M8 Gran Coupe boasts supercar levels of acceleration while still hauling four people in luxury. Although it doesn't directly compete with other models in this price range due to its conventional trunk configuration, key rivals include the Audi RS7, Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door, and Porsche Panamera. The M8 GC is finely tuned to compete with these other high-dollar options and offers unique styling that separates it from the pack.

Read in this review:

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2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 M8 Gran Coupe?

For the 2021 model year, the Gran Coupe becomes the only M8 you can order, with BMW choosing not to bring the Coupe and Convertible to the US - these two models are reviewed separately. Last year, the Competition model was a standalone trim within the model range but this year, BMW opted to call it the Competition package. Despite the name change, the Competition additions include more power from the V8 engine, a $13,000 price increase, and other performance features. Other changes are minor since this isn't an all-new model. For instance, Sirius XM 360L with a one-year all-access subscription replaces SiriusXM. The color palette has seen the addition of Donington Grey metallic but Sonic Speed Blue falls away. On the options list, buyers can now opt for compound brakes with red or black calipers, while the available night vision with pedestrian detection upgrade has been removed.

Pros and Cons

  • The best-looking BMW right now
  • Stupendous power from twin-turbo V8
  • Blistering acceleration
  • Impressively agile for its size
  • Far more rear legroom than the two-door
  • High-quality cabin materials
  • Uncommunicative steering
  • Interior design could be more exciting
  • AMG's V8 still sounds better
  • Competitors have larger trunks
  • Carbon ceramic brakes are tough to modulate

What's the Price of the 2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe?

For 2021, the BMW M8 Gran Coupe's starting price is the same as last year, with an MSRP of $130,000. This doesn't include tax, licensing, and registration costs, along with a $995 destination charge. Although the Competition spec is now a separate package and not a trim on its own, it still adds another $13,000 to the base price as it did for 2020, taking the total to $143,000. At these prices, it carries a premium over the marginally slower Audi RS7, which begins at $114,000.

Best Deals on 2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Gran Coupe
4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Trims and Specs

2021 M8 Gran Coupe Exterior

2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Front View CarBuzz
2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Rear View CarBuzz
2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Driving Front Angle CarBuzz
See All 2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Exterior Photos


  • Length 200.9 in
  • Wheelbase 119.2 in
  • Height 55.9 in
  • Max Width 76.5 in
  • Front Width 64.0 in
  • Rear Width 65.4 in
  • Curb Weight 4,480.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Individual Dravit Grey Metallic, Priority 1 +$1,950
  • Almandin Brown II Metallic, Priority 1 +$1,950
  • Ametrin Metallic, Priority 1 +$1,950
  • Individual Aventurin Red Metallic, Priority 1 +$1,950
  • Frozen Bluestone Metallic, Priority 1 +$5,000
  • Bluestone Metallic
  • Barcelona Blue Metallic
  • Alpine White
  • Black Sapphire Metallic
  • Brands Hatch Grey Metallic
  • Marina Bay Blue Metallic
  • Donington Grey Metallic
  • Motegi Red Metallic

2021 M8 Gran Coupe Performance

2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Gear Shifter CarBuzz
2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Engine Bay CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain

Handling and Driving Impressions

As expected from a high-powered luxury sedan, or Gran Coupe as the manufacturer calls it, the M8 does not sacrifice comfort in its pursuit of neck-breaking speed. Rough roads cause the low profile tires to roar quite a bit, but most of the time, it cruises along quietly without allowing bumps to jar its passengers in the most comfortable suspension mode. A nearly-endless menu of customization options are included, allowing drivers to adjust the modes for the engine (efficient, sport, sport plus), chassis (comfort, sport, sport, plus), steering (comfort and sport), braking (comfort and sport), and xDrive system (4WD, or 4WD Sport and 2WD with traction and stability control disengaged). Once you solve the puzzle of how you'd like the car to be set up, two steering wheel-mounted M1 and M2 buttons save those settings for quick access. Our ideal setting is Sport Plus engine, Comfort chassis and steering, Sport braking, and 4WD Sport or 2WD on the xDrive.

With 4WD Sport mode, the car rockets off the line like a bullet, while allowing plenty of rotation through the corners thanks to a rearward chassis bias. 2WD mode is reserved for expert drivers who know how to tame over 600 hp going to the rear wheels only. Smokey burnouts are not only possible, they are astonishingly easy. Drivers can also choose between three different shift speeds in automatic or sequential modes, but in pretty much all of them, BMW's eight-speed transmission does exactly what's asked of it with no back-sass. It's easily the best automatic transmission available today.

If we had to nitpick the experience, we'd say there are simply too many drive modes available, and it might take time to figure out your ideal configuration. After trying the Sport Plus chassis mode, we found it to be too stiff for certain roads. Likewise, the Sport steering was too heavy and twitchy without offering any additional feedback to the driver. The M8 also uses brake-by-wire tech, which we found difficult to modulate smoothly at low speeds. Most drivers will find a configuration to enjoy here, whether it is the softer or firmer end of the settings, though there are more involving, less isolating M cars on the market today.

2021 M8 Gran Coupe Interior

2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Dashboard CarBuzz
2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Steering Wheel CarBuzz
2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Seating Trim CarBuzz
See All 2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 42.1 in
  • Front Head Room 39.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.6 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.1 in

2021 M8 Gran Coupe Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Trunk Space CarBuzz
2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Cargo Room CarBuzz
2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Maximum Trunk Space CarBuzz
  • Trunk Volume
    11 ft³

2021 M8 Gran Coupe Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is the 2021 M8 Gran Coupe A Good car?

By combining the sleek looks of a two-door coupe with the practicality of a four-door car, BMW has found a way to keep sedans relevant in a time where the majority of consumers prefer crossovers. The M8 Gran Coupe offers arguably the prettiest styling of any current Bimmer along with the most potent powertrain. Other options in this price range include the Audi RS7, Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door, and Porsche Panamera, but the BMW is arguably the prettiest of the bunch, despite its good looks compromising its cargo-hauling abilities.

But when spending over six-figures on a car, brand reputation and personal taste will heavily affect the purchase decision. The M8 checks nearly all of the performance grand tourer boxes with high levels of comfort, a premium cabin, advanced technology, supercar level performance, and room for four adults. We wish the steering and overall driving experience felt more rewarding, but with most of the high-powered models in this segment feeling just as isolating, it's difficult to fault it for not being an old-fashioned driver's car. For the modern luxury car buyer, this is among the best options available today.

What BMW M8 Gran Coupe Model Should I Buy?

After spending limited time driving the Competition versions of both the Coupe and Convertible and now spending a week in the standard M8 Gran Coupe for this review, we can definitively recommend passing on the Competition model. The 17 additional horsepower is barely noticeable on the road, so you can put the $13,000 you would have spent on it into an investment or a tropical vacation. The best M8 GC isn't a base model though, so you have to add a few options. We recommend the Driving Assistance Professional Package for $1,700 plus the prerequisite Driving Assistance Package at $1,100, and the Bowers & Wilkins audio for $3,400. As described, you'll spend around $136,200.

Check out other BMW M8 Styles

2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Comparisons

Audi RS7 CarBuzz
Mercedes-AMG GT 63 Mercedes-Benz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
BMW M8 Gran Coupe617 hp15/22 mpg$134,100
Audi RS7 591 hp14/21 mpg$123,900
Mercedes-AMG GT 63 577 hp16/21 mpg$140,600

2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe vs Audi RS7

Similar in concept to the M8 GC, the RS7 is Audi showcasing its more flamboyant side with this car's dramatic sloping roofline. The RS7 packs almost as mean of a punch as the M car, with its 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 pumping out 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, enough for a 3.5-second blast to 60 mph. However, this falls short of the BMW with the Competition Pack by half a second, which at this level of performance, is a fair amount. The RS7 mirrors the M8 in driving all four wheels and having an eight-speed automatic transmission. While RS-badged Audis have always been stupidly quick, the latest RS7 is now more engaging than before, too; no longer is an M-badged BMW the default choice for keen drivers. Each car has a stunningly crafted interior, the RS7's feeling a touch more modern but the BMW's, which still uses traditional knobs for many functions, being a bit easier to use. As these two are all about style, the one that appeals most to your eyes will likely come out on top in an otherwise tight battle.

See Audi RS7 Review

2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe vs Mercedes-AMG GT 63

Although details of the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT four-door weren't yet confirmed at the time of writing, it's a formidable rival to the M8 Gran Coupe even if Mercedes elects to make no changes to the 2020 version. In GT 63 form - which you'll need to match the M8 - it makes 577 hp from its 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 and will charge to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. This time drops to 3.1 seconds in the case of the GT 63 S with its uprated 630-hp V8, but the price is quite a bit higher than its rival. Starting at over $140,000 for the Mercedes-AMG GT 63, the M8 has the edge in performance for less money. By comparison, however, the AMG makes an even more intoxicating sound from its V8 and, both inside and out, it turns even more heads. The dynamics have been tuned to handle all that grunt and both cars blend sharp handling with a comfortable enough ride in their comfort modes. Oddly, the 2020 GT retained the outdated COMAND interface, which isn't as good as the infotainment setup in the Bimmer. Good luck deciding which of these two phenomenal cars should get a spot in your garage.

See Mercedes-AMG GT 63 Review
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