Is the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé the best car in BMW's range?
There's a lot to choose from, and I really mean a lot when I say it. In the upper price bracket there's one that sticks out though - the 8 Series!
BMW have always done big 'gran coupés' pretty well, I remember seeing an early 635d and absolutely adoring the sweeping lines, brilliant design and luxurious interior. Moving on to the 640d and BMW had done a stellar job again - a somewhat timeless design with an interior made to the quality of a 7 Series. The brilliance was also in the used price, a 2 year old 640d would generally have lost 75% of its value. Good for the used buyer, not so much for the new.
The all-new 8 Series Gran Coupé is almost a continuation on that superb 6 Series concept, making it somewhat bigger and better in every single way. Whilst a good specification will set you back upwards of £80,000 - the entire package almost seems worth it. If you can wait - much like the 6 Series, I predict these will lose serious money extremely fast.
If looks could kill...
Over the last few years, BMW have been totally knocking it out of the park from an aesthetically pleasing point of view. Whilst they have come under fire due to somewhat... interesting... grille size decisions - the rest of the cars have always been brilliantly designed. The front profile of the 8 Series Gran Coupé is sweeping and yet sleek all in one easy to absorb design aesthetic. The side profile is long and tasteful - oh, and the back is a total work of art.
Utilising the new 'duck'esque' rear design language of newer BMW's, the 8 Series has managed to make it absolutely stunning. The sweeping lines all come together in perfect harmony to create an unquestionably pretty rear end. In general though, the entire exterior aesthetic is pure brilliance - whoever designed it needs an award... seriously.
An interior you never want to get out of!
If you spend over £80,000 on a car, you rightfully expect the interior to be totally on point - thankfully it is. Truly luxurious materials, perfectly refined and everything exactly where you want it. The driving position is comfortable and offering superb view of the road - blind spots are almost no where to be seen. The infotainment is typically BMW, so refined and easy to navigate even a child could do it. Just a note though - the extra tech amenities do at times feel a bit gimmicky.
The rear leg room is decent but isn't as spacious as the model derivative would suggest it should be. Headroom is slightly affected by the sweeping roofline, however it's more than acceptable. The boot space is more than reasonable, however it's not that much more than a 5 or 7 series would give you - so keep that in mind.
Audio wise, Harman/Kardon have nailed it. Total crystal clear audio bliss without a hint of over processing. Overall it's an interior which is so comfortable, when you reach your destination you won't want to get out.
The performance dynamic is surprisingly good...
There's a few engines to choose from, the car I was testing was a 40d xDrive derivative. This meant 320hp / 680Nm and a 0-62 time of 5.2 seconds - topping out at a limited 155mph. It felt engaging, dare I say nimble and thanks to the interior sound synthesiser - grunty. Little roll is felt in corners whilst the size of the vehicle also never shows itself up. Thin country roads aren't an issue in the slightest!
If you want to go pure performance, there's one for that too! The M850i is powered by a turbocharged 4.4 V8 and produces 523HP / 750Nm, gets to 62mph in 3.7 seconds and tops out at the usual 155mph. Not only does it have noise but total composure, it's at close to an M8 as money can buy - and it's so close the every day driver wouldn't even notice (sorry, every day driver).
Economy wise BMW claim the 40d can achieve as high as 47mpg (it's a diesel after all), whilst the M850i typically sees considerably less... but would you even care?
"Buying one of these is a stupid idea!"
Yes... but also no. Depreciation will hit hard, buying new isn't for anyone cash savvy. However, if you're following your heart, the 8 Series Gran Coupé offers a stupendously good driving experience whilst also offering a heart throb of an aesthetic experience. The interior is second to none, and I mean it - BMW are (for me) leading the interior quality game.
If you decide to buy used, you're also in for a total win. The immediate discount on year old vehicles would almost be worth the wait - also remembering that this design aesthetic isn't going to get old that fast. This is the new design language, as such it'll look modern in BMW terms for some time.
I didn't think I'd like it as much as I actually did. I've discovered when that happens, it means it's one heck of a car. A car I'd likely own, cherish and love. Please, no one send me finance deals.