BMW 8-Series takes on Porsche power and Merc luxury
The much-awaited BMW 8 Series Coupe will go on sale here from November and will cost from €125,725 on-the-road.
There will be two models: A stonking M850i xDrive (530hp, reworked 4.4-litre V8 petrol, 0-100kmh 3.7 seconds); and a 840d xDrive (6cyl in-line 320hp diesel, 0-100kmh 4.9 seconds). The heavily revised V8 boasts 68bhp more power than previous engine versions.
BMW says the 2dr sports car, which gets the 8 Series nameplate back on the road after a near-20 year absence, combines the performance of a Porsche 911 with the luxury of a Mercedes S-Class. That is a serious niche in an already rarefied market.
You get a steptronic sport 8spd transmission with both models - and there is the xDrive all-wheel drive system which sends all the power to the rear wheels as default and brings the others into play according to demand.
This is a big car: 4,843mm long, 1,902mm wide, 1,341mm tall and with a 2,822mm wheelbase.
As you'd expect for the money, there's a lot of luxury stuff - leather upholstery, folding rear backrests, sports seats in Vernasca leather, the slimmest LED headlights on any BMW model, adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers and integral active steering (reduces the turning circle), cruise control with braking function, collision and pedestrian warning with city braking, heads-up display, active park distance control and live cockpit professional (combines new display and control concept) high-res instrument cluster behind the steering wheel with a 12.3ins screen and 10.25ins control display.
It will be great to see the 8 Series back on the road.