This could be the prettiest BMW of the last ten years.
BMW hit a home run when it decided to bring back the legendary 8 Series to replace the outgoing 6 Series. First available as a coupe or convertible in M850i trim, the 8 Series looked to pick off where its predecessor left off - offering Aston Martin DB11 and Bentley Continental GT level performance for less than half the price. We tested an M850i and came away highly impressed with its performance, then BMW upped the ante with the M8 and M8 Competiton.
There was still something missing though - a more practical Gran Coupe. The 6 Series Gran Coupe was arguably the prettiest of the 6 Series body styles and now BMW has revealed a new 8 Series Gran Coupe, which has now become the prettiest vehicle in BMW's lineup.
To create the 8 Series Gran Coupe, BMW had to do a lot more than just adding a couple of extra doors on the Coupe. Everything you see from the A-pillar back is changed to create a significantly different design. To create more headroom, the windshield has less rake, which should eliminate some of the blind-spot issues of the Coupe. The 8 Series Gran Coupe is also 1.2 inches wider than the Coupe. In fact, its' the widest BMW production car of all time.
Standard paint colors include Alpine White, Carbon Black, Black Sapphire, Mineral White, Sonic Speed Blue, Sunset Orange, Bluestone, Blue Ridge Mountain, and Barcelona Blue. BMW will also offer individual colors including Dravit Grey Metallic, Tanzanite Blue II Metallic, Aventurin Red Metallic, and Frozen Bluestone Metallic.
Thanks to the taller roofline, rear seat passengers are treated to 3.4 inches of extra headroom and since the Gran Coupe has a longer wheelbase, there are 7.1 inches of added legroom. In other words, humans will actually fit into the Gran Coupe's rear seat. The addition of two rear doors makes the Gran Coupe the most practical 8 Series available but trunk space is only increased by 0.7 cubic feet. BMW clearly paid more attention to passenger comfort than cargo hauling.
Like the 8 Series Coupe and Convertible, the Gran Coupe will be filled with sumptuous leather and premium materials. There is even an optional Swarovski crystal shifter with matching glass iDrive controls. Those wonderful glass buttons control BMW's iDrive infotainment system, which is currently one of the most advanced systems on the market. All 8 Series Gran Coupe models come standard with a panoramic glass roof to add an airier feel to the cabin but customers can also opt for a weight-saving carbon fiber roof.
BMW has announced two engines and three powertrains for the 8 Series Gran Coupe. The base 840i and 840i xDrive are powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine producing 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. 0-60 mph takes 4.9 seconds with rear-wheel-drive or 4.6 seconds with xDrive all-wheel-drive. The M850i comes with xDrive only, receiving power from a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 producing 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. With two extra cylinders and an additional turbocharger, 0-60 mph in the M850i takes just 3.7 seconds. An M8 Gran Coupe and M8 Gran Coupe Competition are expected later on and should produce 600 hp and 625 hp respectively when they arrive.
Contrary to predictions, the Gran Coupe is actually the least expensive model in the 8 Series range. The base 840i starts at $84,900 plus a $995 Destination charge or $87,800 for xDrive. The more powerful M850i xDrive costs $108,900, which is about $3,000 less than the equivalent coupe. BMW also has its rivals beat on price, with the 8 Series Gran Coupe edging out the Mercedes AMG GT 4-Door ($99,000) and the Porsche Panamera ($86,300).
BMW faces stiff competition from Mercedes-AMG and Porsche with the AMG GT 4-Door and the Panamera. Both the Mercedes and the Porsche offer the practicality of a hatchback while the BMW only has a conventional trunk. Each is also available in high-performance guise producing well over 600 hp. Even when the M8 and M8 Competition arrive, they won't be the most powerful models in the segment. But with stunning looks and an equally stunning interior, the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe will give Mercedes and Porsche something to worry about.