Model tested: BMW M8 Gran Coupe
Engine: 4.4-liter twin turbo V8
Transmission: xDrive AWD 8-speed automatic
Torque: 553 lb.-ft.
EPA rating: 15/city, 21/highway, 17/combined
Base price: $130,000
As tested: $152,300
Overview: The BMW 8-Series continues pushing the envelope — big cars styled to turn heads and deliver blistering performance, loaded with technology and bathed in luxury.
The 8-Series comes with a choice of a 335-horsepower turbocharged inline-6 or 600-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8, with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive standard. Our test driver featured the latter and this review focuses on that vehicle. Slightly smaller, less expensive competitors include the Audi RS-5, Lexus RC-F and Mercedes-AMG E 53.
Walkaround: The 8-Series features a muscular, contemporary design defined by smooth curves, sculpted sides, a steeply raked rear roof and BMW’s signature twin-kidney grille. The Gran Coupe has a 119-inch wheelbase and rolls on big 20-inch wheels.
Interior: The Gran Coupe is a four-passenger vehicle. Front-seat occupants enjoy ample legroom complemented by comfortable heated and cooled, 20-way-adjustable seats. Our 8-Series’ interior was covered in soft Merino leather and wood accent trim, with dash and door panels designed with the driver in mind. The rear seats fold, allowing access to the trunk for greater cargo space.
A large, 12.3-inch infotainment display offering numerous configuration possibilities sits above the center console. It controls the optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound audio system, navigation, Wi-Fi hotspot and the latest iDrive 7.0 system, and is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible. There’s also wireless phone charging and other features too numerous to detail here.
Standard safety features include lane-departure warning, frontal-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and active blind-spot detection.
Behind the Wheel: The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 propels the Gran Coupe from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. Ride settings include eco pro, comfort, sport and sport-plus modes via the driving dynamics control. The all-wheel drive and standard four-wheel-steering system took us through sharp turns on winding two-lane blacktops with abundant speed and minimal roll in sport-plus mode.
The 8-Series uses a start/stop system that cuts power at idle to save on the required premium fuel. The system can be disabled with a button push.
Bottom Line: The BMW 8-Series is a formidable blend of power, performance, brilliant handling and outright luxury. The sporty chassis, quick-shifting eight-speed automatic and the beast of a powerplant deliver the best of all driving worlds.