BMW’s 8-Series is returning after a 19 year hiatus, giving the German marque a new flagship grand tourer in its range. The last time BMW had an 8-Series in its lineup was in 1999 - until now, BMW’s grand tourer segment has been serviced by the 6-Series, but the return of the 8-Series means that the 6-Series will no longer be offered from next year.
The new 8-Series lineup is being kicked off with both a Coupe and Convertible variant. Styling-wise, the new 8-Series is wide, low and long, giving it an impressive presence on the road.
Previously only available for BMW M models, the M Carbon roof comes standard on the BMW M850i Coupe, reducing the vehicle’s kerb weight, lowering the centre of gravity and completing the swooping coupe roofline.
Aggressively styled headlights emphasise the sportiness of the 8-Series, while a ‘tucked-in glasshouse’ at the rear accentuates its wide hips.
At the heart of the all new BMW M850i xDrive Coupe and Convertible rests a 4.4-litre V8 twin turbocharged petrol engine, generating 390kW of power, with an M5 Competition-matching 750Nm of torque.
That means the BMW M850i Coupe is able to sprint the 0-100km/h run in just 3.7 seconds, while the convertible variant takes a smidge longer at 3.9 seconds. The engine is mated to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission that can be controlled via shift paddles.
The original 8-Series was ahead of its time in the late 90’s, and the newly minted generation continues that tradition with a plethora of technology to help make the touring experience even grander.
For example, BMW’s ‘ConnectedShift’ technology works in tandem with the navigation system to match the gear ratio to the oncoming road section. Inside, you’ll find the BMW Live Cockpit Professional - a 12.3-customisable instrument cluster with a head-up display lets you see exactly what’s going on without taking your eyes off the road. Voice control and gesture control (coupe only) also let you navigate and operate the entertainment system without taking your hands off the wheel.
There’s also an upgraded BMW ConnectedDrive system, with some handy digital services including Wireless Apple CarPlay, Real Time Traffic information and ‘Digital Key’, which enables access to the car via smartphone.
For those that like the wind in their hair, the BMW 8 Series Convertible roof operates automatically via the touch of a button, completing the motion in just 15 seconds and operational at speeds of up to 50km/h.
Folding rear seats at the back also allow for more storage space when travelling solo or with a partner.
They also make throwing in a golf bag or unwieldy items like skis much easier.
In Australia, the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe is priced at $272,900, while the BMW M850i xDrive Convertible comes in at $281,900 – local deliveries are expected to begin early next year.