The 8 Series is BMW’s flagship coupe, offering up a luxurious driving experience
Replacing the big swooping, grand-tourer 6 Series, the 8 Series is an in your face, tech-crammed coupe that boasts a 500-mile real-world drive range. But does it live up to its flagship status? We take a closer look.
A strong, stylish presence
At 4,843mm long, the 8 Series is shorter than the 6 Series it replaces. But don’t think of it as a compact four-seater, however.
Its long, swooping lines give it immediate presence and the massive front grilles are hard to ignore. Underneath it’s a heady mixture of aluminum, magnesium, carbon-fibre reinforced polymer and good old-fashioned steel, which all combine to create a solid base. The engine sits up front and sends power to the rear – though BMW’s xDrive system is included to send almost 100% of the power to either axel, offering instantaneous and effective transfer of engine power.
Not just all torque
A 3.0-litre, turbocharged straight-six engine sits under the 8 Series’ sweeping bonnet. With 320bhp and an impressive 680Nm of torque, 0-60mph is achievable in 4.7 seconds.
As previously stated above, xDrive means that power is sent to all four wheels, which is done via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
But the main talking point is the 8’s fuel-consumption. Any modern day grand tourer worth its salt needs decent economy, and because the 8 should return up to 46.8mpg combined, you’re looking at around 500 miles between fill-ups. Though a V8-powered 8 Series is available (and is in fact the only other powertrain option), the diesel suits the country-crossing, huge-mileage character of this coupe.
How does it handle?
As a luxurious grand tourer, you’d expect the 8 Series to be supremely comfortable – but although it’s still a very luxurious drive, it could go the extra mile as a flagship car. It doesn’t float over bumps, but this works to its advantage when faced with twists and turns on the roads, which the big BMW eats up with little effort.
In its natural habitat of the motorway, the 8 Series is sublime. The diesel engine settles down to the merest whisper, and the suspension feels composed and well-suited to higher speeds. The driving assistance systems are excellent and allow big miles to go under the car’s wheels without any real driver fatigue.
A tight squeeze in the back
As a flagship, the 8 Series needs to feel special inside, which is why all manner of high-end touches are present, including an illuminated gear stick. Well, why not?
Practicality-wise, it’s those sat up front who come out on top. There’s plenty of room to stretch out, and a good amount of storage too. However, the same can’t be said for those sat in the back.
There’s only space in the rear for a couple of small children, with most adults unlikely to fit. It’s best to think of the 8 Series as a two-seater with additional space behind.
If your priority is space, BMW recently launched the 8 Series Gran Coupé, with added length and width, along with a greater distance between the front and rear axles, making it a far more generous four-seater.
Packed with technology
The 8 Series comes packed with tech – but given the £74,655 starting price, that’s to be expected. You can only have it in M-Sport trim, which means you get a variety of dynamic styling touches for the exterior, and some M-specific interior components too. There’s a wealth of optional upgrades to choose from, so you do get the opportunity to have the setup the way you want it.
BMW’s latest infotainment setup comes as standard, and is displayed via a large central touchscreen, along with an accompanying 12.3-inch display in place of the conventional dials.
Large, heavy, diesel-powered coupes aren’t a common sight these days. However, BMW has executed it brilliantly with the 8 Series. It’s comfortable yet enjoyable on more challenging roads and is impressive over longer journeys too.
If you often find yourself on the motorway then the 8 Series could be worth considering.
For more information on the BMW 840d xDrive, visit our dedicated page on lookers.co.uk