BMW has revealed the four-door version of its latest big luxury coupe, the 8-series Gran Coupe. The more-door model is the fourth variant of the latest generation of 8-series to be announced after the German maker revealed the regular coupe, the convertible and the M8.
In reality, the new range of 8-series BMWs is a replacement for the old 6-series cars. That makes this the successor to the 6-series Gran Coupe. But there’s one key difference between the old and new car, the 8-series is a five-seater, where the 6 was strictly a four.
The space for the extra passenger has been made by making the outside of the 8-series Gran Coupe enormous. Its wheelbase is 3023mm, 201mm longer than the coupe it’s based on. It’s also 61mm taller and, although the front structure and track are identical to the regular 8-series, the rear track width is 1671mm, 28mm wider than the two-door. Still, that’s 34mm narrower than the track width of the X7.
Big it may be, but BMW has used a selection of exotic materials to try and prevent the weight from becoming equally as ginormous. The doors and roof are made from aluminium, so are parts of the bonnet, subframes and bulkhead. The boot lid is made entirely from plastic and the interior structure uses carbonfibre and magnesium. This has resulted in an increase of just 70kg over the two-door coupe, but still, most models have a kerb weight of only just under 2000kg. To try and save a little more weight, a carbonfibre roof is optional.
Initially, there are just three engines available in the 8-series Gran Coupe, two petrol motors and a diesel. The latter is found in the 840d xDrive and is a twin-turbocharged 3-litre straight-six that puts out 316bhp and 501lb ft. Thanks to having four-wheel drive, it can hit 62mph from a standstill in 5.1sec.
The flagship of the petrol engines is in the M850i. It has a 4.4litre twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 522bhp and 553lb ft of torque. It too is four-wheel drive and can dash to 62mhin just 3.9sec.
The final engine, BMW’s ubiquitous 3-litre twin-scroll turbocharged straight six, can be found in the 840i and it makes 335bhp and 369lb ft of torque. The 840i is the only model that can be specified with rear-wheel drive as well as BMW’s all-wheel xDrive system. Go for the two-wheel drive model, however, and you the 0-62mph time goes up from 4.9sec to 5.3sec.
All cars are equipped with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, adaptive dampers, active anti-roll bars and a head-up display, they are all limited to 155mph, too. It’s only the M850i and 840i models get a limited-slip differential or, as BMW calls it, an M Sport differential. If you specify the M Technic Sport pack on the diesel, though, you will get the fancy diff.
If you’re being mean, the 8-series Gran Coupe is just a less practical, flashier version of a 5-series; it shares many of the same components, including its engines and drivetrains.
In most guises, it’s also not as fast as the regular saloon either, the 0-62mph times of the 840i and 840d are 0.1 to 0.4sec slower, respectively. The M850i claws back a bit of respect as it is 0.1sec faster to 62mph than the M550i.
Although BMW hasn’t announced the price of the 8-series yet, it’s likely to be significantly more expensive than that of the 5-series, too. However, there’s no arguing that the 8-series Gran Coupe is a far more elegant car than any run-of-the-mill BMW saloon.