Everybody, please give a warm welcome to the new BMW 8-series. No, really - this is a facelifted version of the company’s plush flagship, even though the changes aren’t immediately obvious. Look closely, though, and you’ll spot them. Maybe.
At the rear, there’s a tweaked diffuser, while at the front, we have new inserts for the (now illuminated) kidney grilles and the bumper intakes. The right-hand kidney grille on the M850i also has a little M badge, and that’s your lot. For comparison, we’ve included a picture of the refreshed 8er (left) and the outgoing car. There’s no point in doing the same for the M8, which carries over the pre-update car’s styling.
To properly distinguish your 8-series from the old one, you could always pick from one of the four new colours. On the M8, there are an additional eight on the palette, including four posh ‘Frozen’ metallic finishes. The final item for the exterior is a new set of 20-inch wheels.
Moving inside, BMW has added a bigger 12.3-inch central infotainment system running the company’s latest operating system. The M8 now has those weird carbon-backed seats from the M3 and M4, complete with holes in the back and those pointless carbon fibre-topped lumps placed between your legs. Joy.
All the body styles are still available, so whether buying a regular 8er or an M8, you can have it as either a two-door coupe, a four-door ‘Gran Coupe’ or a convertible. The range has been slimmed down a tad, though, with the inline-six diesel-powered 840d getting the chop in the UK market.
Mechanically, the cars are unchanged. The 840i entry point for the range features a turbocharged ‘B58’ inline-six providing 328bhp purely for the rear wheels, and above that is the all-wheel drive, V8-powered M850i. Its 4.4-litre engine develops 523bhp and launches from 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds.
The M8 gets a spicier version of that V8 for a total of 626bhp and a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds. Like the M850i it’s all-wheel drive, but it gets a more advanced selectable system with a pure rear-wheel drive mode.
Want one? Prices have gone up a tad, but not excessively so. An 840i Gran Coupe is the cheapest of the bunch at £72,225, while the cheapest M8 (also a GC) is £123,300. All versions are on sale now ahead of initial customer deliveries in March.