BMW aims to bring something different and more dynamically elegant to the market for large luxury coupes with this sleekly-styled 8 Series model. Everything the brand has learned about large coupes has been channelled into this ‘G13’ generation 8 series design, which was launched in mid-2018 aiming to recapture the more exclusive feel of its ‘E31’ predecessor.
BMW 8 Series
Why Lease The BMW 8 Series Coupe?
It’s much, much more than merely a stylised two-door version of the 7 Series saloon, even though it's built alongside that car at the company's Dingolfing German plant. BMW points out that '8' has always been a model badge given to its special projects. The electrified i8 model was one of these; the Z8 sports roadster of 2000 was another.
With this modern-era 8 Series, development was conducted in parallel with the M8 GTE endurance racing car, which suggests a dynamic focus never previously seen in a top BMW coupe model. It also hints at the move towards a more premium level of desirability that the company’s largest sports car must make if it’s to be a credible rival to cars like plusher Porsche 911s and the Mercedes S-Class Coupe.
The base model is the 340hp petrol 840i sDrive rear-driven version, with the alternative being a 320hp 840d xDrive diesel derivative. Otherwise, you’ll be choosing a 4.4-litre twin turbo petrol V8, which offers 530hp in the M850i xDrive model or 625hp in the top M8 Competition variant. With all models, there’s a surprising amount of rear seat room – and a big 420-litre boot.
The 8 Series Coupe kit list is as extensive as you’d want it to be for the money being asked. All variants get 20-inch M light alloy Y-spoke M Bicolour alloy wheels, BMW Icon Adaptive LED headlights and an ‘M Aerodynamics package with an ‘M’ rear spoiler and bespoke ‘M’ treatment for the front apron, the side sills and the rear diffuser. Other standard features include front fog lights, a rear view parking camera, all-round parking sensors, a powered boot lid with gesture control, auto headlamps and wipers, power-folding heated mirrors and an alarm. Refreshingly, metallic paint’s standard too.
Inside, there’s soft ‘Merino’ leather upholstery, heated electrically adjustable front sports seats with memory settings, ambient lighting, cruise control, two-zone automatic air conditioning, an M leather steering wheel, a frameless rear view mirror and a wireless ‘phone charging mat.
And there’s a fresh level of technology and connectivity too, thanks to a standard Head-up display. And BMW’s latest ‘Live Cockpit Professional’ package, which gives you a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster screen and a 10.25-inch centre-dash infotainment monitor which can be accessed via touchscreen, an iDrive touch controller or voice control. Through both screens, you can access the standard harmon/kardon loudspeaker DAB audio system and the Connected Navigation set-up, which can make proactive route suggestions as you drive. Plus there’s the latest 4G LTE connectivity, a WiFi hotspot, a 20GB hard drive - and Bluetooth ‘phone-pairing too.
We’d say the closest competitor to this car is the Lexus LC Coupe, but you might also consider the Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe and the Maserati Gran Turismo. Possibly also base versions of the Porsche 911.
Which leaves us with… well what? Possibly the most complete large coupe you could choose? We’d say so. But is it the ‘ultimate driving machine’ the ads will promise? Well it’ll depend on how you define that. This car does so in its own very distinct way, with elegance, arrogance and excellence in equal measure.