BMW sent me and a group of influencers and journalists out to sunny Spain to experience the all new BMW 8 series. I was joined by Joe Achilles, Emma Walsh, Rory Reid and many others to drive what is a highly anticipated return for the BMW 8 series. 20 years on and BMW had to deliver something special to match the 8 series of old that we all grew to love. We drove two models on this trip. The BMW 840d and the M850i. I was fortunate to see the reveal of the new 8 series at the Le Mans 24hr race in the summer when BMW returned the iconic endurance race with the M8 GTE.
Joe and I took the 840d out on the first day. Retailing at just under £75k with a 320bhp 3.0 6cyl twin turbo engine delivering a 0-60 time of just 4.9 seconds. The thing they impressed me the most was how comfortable the car was, packing a serious amount of tech including BMW’s new reverse assist technology. This feature remembers the last 50m you have driven and once activated, will mirror exact steering controls. A very cool feature. The sound of the 840d also was great. Granted there is an element of enhanced in cabin sound present in most new BMW cars to add to the driving experience. Both models are X drive and have rear wheel steer. This made the steering around the undulating and twisty roads around the Malaga mountains a really pleasure. Most of the time you would have to remind yourself that this car weighs nearly two tonnes. The diesel is such a mile cruncher and whilst the size of the car is large with a long wheel base you wouldn’t think it sitting in the cabin. The interior quality is superb. You would expect nothing less from a luxury flagship BMW car.
After enjoying the Spanish roads and getting a good feel for the 840d we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and drinks. The hotel was absolutely stunning, Finca Cortesin in Malaga if anyone wants to look it up. The food was delicious and the drinks were flowing as we all debriefed on what was a busy but rewarding day.
The next day it was time to get out in the M850i. 530bhp from the 4.4 V8 engine and a 0-60 time of just 3.7 seconds got me very excited. Just to show how fast this acceleration is here’s a clip from my video showing Joe’s reaction to the launch. There is no question about it. The M850i is fast!
0-60 in 3.7 seconds and he wasn't expecting it!
We headed back out into the mountains where we revisited similar roads to the day before however this time with much more power under the bonnet. The sounds coming from the M850i were mind blowing. Subtle crackles out of the exhaust on overrun gives you that cheeky smile to know that you are driving a serious bit of kit. We liked this model, we liked it a lot! The feeling as you power through the gears with all the low to mid range torque whilst absorbing the views and eyeing up the next corner really did put a smile on my face.
As an all round package the BMW 8 series has definitely delivered. Spain was the perfect location to drive the car and experience what it could offer, getting close to the limits of the car and seeing what it was capable of was superb. I think as a GT car the 8 series is something I would very much enjoy long distance drives in. When you get close to the limit you are reminded that you are driving a car that weighs nearly two tonnes. But I don’t think you would buy one of these cars to drive it on the limit each day, you would buy one to suit a luxury lifestyle.
When we got the car back to BMW it was time to head back to Malaga airport, board the plane and head back to the UK where the weather wasn’t 17 degrees and full sun, but 6 degrees and rain. Welcome back to the UK I guess. Big thanks to BMW for the hospitality and opportunity to drive such a prestige car and the trip as a whole was one to remember.
You can watch the entire journey in the below Youtube video.