World Premiere: 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe — Triple Threat
There are a lot of cars that are both beautiful and powerful. There are also a lot of cars that are practical and powerful. Yet, …
There are a lot of cars that are both beautiful and powerful. There are also a lot of cars that are practical and powerful. Yet, very few automakers can actually combine all three of those attributes into one, cohesive package and make it extremely desirable. It’s a tall order. However, it seems as if the Bavarians have been able to do it with this — the BMW M8 Gran Coupe.
It’s Got the Looks…
As a fan of the Bavarian brand, I’ll be the first to tell you that BMW doesn’t often make truly beautiful cars. Sure, many of its cars look great and there are a few genuine beauties in BMW’s history. But it’s not really known for making jaw-dropping, traffic-stopping machines. When you think of beautiful cars, brands like Jaguar, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo come to mind before BMW. However, the BMW M8 Gran Coupe can help to change that.
Just look at it. It’s absolutely stunning, especially in the gorgeous shade of purple seen in these photos. Like the standard 8er GC, the BMW M8 Gran Coupe features a sweeping roofline, muscular rear haunches and an integrated rear spoiler that all look fantastic. It’s rare when a four-door version of a two-door car actually looks better but, in the case of the M8 Gran Coupe, it’s leaps and bounds better looking.
Personally, I’ve actually already seen the BMW M8 Gran Coupe in person, during a closed-room event in Canada, and it’s breathtaking. In the flesh, it’s significantly better looking than in photos, which can’t do its delicious curves justice. Seriously, it’s achingly pretty in person and is easily the best looking BMW in the current portfolio.
I also like how BMW gave the M8 Gran Coupe a First Edition model that has a similar color scheme as its concept car from awhile back. The paint color is called Aurora Diamond Green Metallic and its Individual interior color scheme is called Ivory White/Tartufo. Only 400 of the First Edition models will be made and a numbered plaque will show their owners just how rare they are.
There’s some interesting lightweight techniques used in the body of the four-door M8. The doors, hood, front bulkhead, engine subframe and rear bumper support are all made from lightweight aluminum. While the trunk decklid is actually made from a dent-resistant plastic, the dashboard support is made from magnesium and the central transmission tunnel is made from CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic). So, despite being big and luxurious, it doesn’t actually weigh as much as a tank.
BMW M8 Gran Coupe Exterior Design
While it’s nice on the inside, its cabin can’t be spoken of with the same sort of enthusiasm. That’s not to say that it’s bad, of course. Its design is pleasant, its materials are absolute top-notch and its tech is very impressive. However, it isn’t really any different that the cabin of the 8 Series Coupe and that’s already a bit boring for its price point. So it’s a nice place to sit but for well over six-figures, you’d expect just a bit more pomp, especially with how stylish the exterior is. No matter, though, the body more than makes up for its interior.
It’s Got the Practicality…
The BMW M8 Gran Coupe also makes up for it with back seat space. The standard 8 Series Coupe is incredibly uncomfortable in the back seat for any human with, ya know, legs. In fact, I’m not sure it’s possible to fit an adult in the back seat of an 8 Series coupe without at least partial disassembly of said adult. However, the M8 Gran Coupe can fit two adults or even three children in the back plenty comfortably.
In fact, for two adults, the back of the BMW M8 Gran Coupe is actually quite lovely. The seats are comfortable, there’s more than enough headroom for more normal-sized humans and and there’s even a nice center console for climate controls. It reminds me a bit of the Aston Marin Rapide in the back of the M8 GC, which is a compliment.
It’s not all lavish and luxurious, like the back of a 7 Series, but it’s certainly nice enough for two adults to sit back there in perfect comfort and luxury.
Of course, the BMW M8 Gran Coupe gets the same brilliant tech as every other 8 Series (and basically ever other BMW) and it’s slick, easy-to-use and packed with features. Being a proper M car, it also gets the two little red “M1” and “M2” buttons on the steering wheel for drive setting presets and the new gear lever. The latter of which is welcome and looks much better than the plastic-fantastic gear lever of the M5 and X3 M.
There’s also a new M-specific screen in the digital gauge cluster, which is a nice touch and is a bit easier to read when driving quickly. It also makes the M8 feel a bit more special than its M850i sibling.
BMW M8 Gran Coupe Interior Design
And It’s Got the Performance
So those are two of the three talents that make the M8 Gran Coupe a true triple-threat; its beauty and its practicality. However, its best talent is likely its third — its performance.
Under that stunning skin, the M8 GC is essentially the same as the M8 Coupe. However, there are some minor differences that might actually make it the better overall car. First, let’s start with the similarities.
Powering the BMW M8 Gran Coupe is a familiar 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque in standard guise. As with the M8 Coupe and the M5, there will also be a Competition model that bumps power slightly to 617 hp and keeps torque the same. Though, the Competition model will have some additional chassis tweaks that make it worth getting.
That monster motor sends its power through an eight-speed automatic gearbox to all four wheels. Much like the BMW M8 Coupe, the M8 Gran Coupe will get an Active M Differential at the rear axle as standard, along with three different modes for the all-wheel drive system: 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD. Like with the M8 and M5 before it, the latter mode keeps the M8 Gran Coupe in rear-wheel drive mode until the driver disengages it. It also turns DSC completely off, which might make it unwise on anything but a race track.
According to BMW, the standard — if you can call it that — M8 Gran Coupe can get from 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds, with the Competition model shaving a tenth off that. Though, we wouldn’t be shocked to see it break into the high two-second range, seeing as the M5 does.
What’s interesting is that, much like its two-door sibling, the BMW M8 Gran Coupe also gets a brake-by-wire system that combines brake activation, brake booster and brake control functions into one electronic module. That allows for finer tuning of the brakes, though there might be a concern with its pedal feel on track. However, there are two different modes for pedal feedback; Comfort and Sport.
So far, it’s mechanically identical to the M8 Coupe under its skin. However, there are some differences that differentiate it from its two-door sibling. For starters, its wheelbase is about eight inches longer than the M8 Coupe’s and it’s two inches longer than the BMW M5. The BMW M8 Gran Coupe also sports a wheel track that’s about an inch wider than the M8 Coupe.
That added length and width between the wheels adds to high-speed stability and just makes it a more planted, sorted car in general. From driving the regular 8 Series Gran Coupe, we can attest to the fact that it does indeed make it feel a bit better. Not only does it feel more composed but it’s also a bit more comfortable. So we expect the M8 Gran Coupe to be the most enjoyable Bimmer to drive when it finally hits the road, much like the M6 Gran Coupe was back in its day.
A True Triple Threat
With stunning good looks, a very usable back seat and large trunk on top of its blistering performance, there’s little that the BMW M8 Gran Coupe can’t do. As far as do-it-all performance machines go, it’s almost impossible to beat, especially at its price. Now, at $130,00 and $143,000 for the M8 Gran Coupe and M8 Gran Coupe Competition, respectively, isn’t exactly cheap. However, what are the alternatives?
The Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door 63 S is $30,000 more to start than the standard BMW M8 Gran Coupe (and comes with an even longer name, somehow). The Aston Martin Rapide starts at over $200,000 and has less power and performance, as well as much older tech. The all-new 2020 Audi RS7 Sportback hasn’t had its pricing released yet but we can expect it to be priced similarly to the M8 Gran Coupe. That leaves only two Bavarians to dominate this segment and the M8 Gran Coupe might actually be the prettier of the two cars, which is immensely impressive considering how gorgeous the Audi is.
We can’t wait to get behind the wheel of this new BMW M8 Gran Coupe. Few triple-threats like it in the automotive world and it will truly be one of the coolest cars on the market in any segment.
BMW M8 Gran Coupe Studio Shots
BMW M8 Gran Coupe Design Sketches
BMW M8 Gran Coupefeatured
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