After almost two decades away, BMW has rekindled the 8 Series name.
Revealed on Friday evening ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hour race, the enormous two-door coupe has wowed fans with its svelte looks and bold claims of being the gruntiest Beemer we’ve ever seen.
Prices will start from £76,000 – though if you want the yet-to-be-seen M8 version, which is based on BMW’s Le Mans racer, you’ll have to fork out closer to £130,000 for the 600bhp-plus brute.
Eighth wonder: The BMW 8 Series Coupe has just been launched and you can order one today from £76,000
The Coupe is one of three body types that will be released under the 8 Series name, which has been absent from BMW’s range since 1999.
The two-door model will be joined by a convertible as well as a four-door Gran Coupe, all of which are expected to be in showrooms by the end of 2019.
Prices for the Coupe have already been released, with the 840d diesel and M850i petrol already on sale costing £76,270 and £100,045 respectively.
The diesel will utilise BMW’s tired and tested 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, tweaked to develop 320bhp and 680Nm of torque.
The most potent M850i will be blessed with a thunderous 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 that will produce 530bhp and 700Nm of pulling power.
Even with the bulging proportions of the stretched coupe it will be one seriously quick car.
Prices for the Coupe have already been released, with the 840d diesel and M850i petrol already on sale costing £76,270 and £100,045 respectively
The last time BMW offered an 8 Series was way back in 1999. Here is the 2018 car compared to the previous version from two decades ago
Even with these bulging proportions the BMW 8 Series will be one seriously quick car
BMW states it will be able to motor from a standstill to 62mph in 3.7 seconds – the same time it takes an Audi R8 V10 to reach that speed – and onto a limited top speed of 155mph.
Think that’s rapid? The M8, due in 12 month’s time will put that to shame.
Bosses have said it will use the same petrol motor but reworked to put out more than 625bhp.
They also stated it will be the most powerful and fastest production car in the firm’s history, dethroning the 617bhp M5 currently on sale.
BMW states that the M850i will be able to motor from a standstill to 62mph in 3.7 seconds – the same time it takes an Audi R8 V10 to reach that speed – and onto a limited top speed of 155mph
It should be fairly practical too, with a boot that can easily swallow two people’s luggage. Split folding rear seats mean you can pack longer items into the car too, such as flat-pack furniture… or perhaps BMW was thinking more of a pair of skis
The BMW 8 Series Coupe is based on the 7 Series saloon, though is marginally smaller. Despite that, it’s almost as long and wide as a Range Rover Sport
All models launched in the 8 Series range will feature all-wheel-drive and linked to an eight-speed transmission.
While performance is a huge deal, styling will play a big part in a customer’s decision to ditch a Mercedes S-Class Coupe or even rethink buying an Aston Martin DB11 or Bentley Continental GT.
Fortunately, the 8 Series cuts a handsome yet aggressive stance.
What impact will the new BMW 8 Series have on the old model?
It wasn’t a huge seller, but the original 1990s BMW 8 Series was much loved – and with prices having bottomed out it is starting to be recognised as something of a modern classic.
The 8 Series was BMW’s flagship car and a technological tour de force, although those electrics have come back to haunt owners.
It was launched in at the turn of 1990 with a 5.0 litre V12 engine and three years later a 4.0 litre V8 arrived to ease the petrol bills slightly – this was later revised to a 4.4 litre V8.
The 850CSi was the equivalent to the latest M8 that will arrive in 2019 and featured a 5.6-litre V12 motor.
Styling was super sleek, performance was brisk, with a sprint to 60mph in under 7 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph, luxury was high on the agenda and the 8 Series aimed to be ultimate cross-continent driving machine. Production ended in 1999.
As with many big, expensive and powerful cars, the 8 Series suffered hefty depreciation and as prices fell away the cost of repairs scared off buyers.
You could pick up a decent but well-used 8 Series for about £5,000 to £8,000 relatively recently, but prices for good cars have been on the up for a few years. By the end of last year, prices for a good original BMW 8 Series range from about £12,000, to £25,000 for low milers.
The new 8 Series is likely to ignite a bit more interest, and see prices rise further, but be warned these are not cars to buy if you don’t set aside enough money to cover the inevitable bills.
We found a 1993 850 CSi with a manual gearbox and 114,000 miles on the clock on Pistonheads priced at £45,000, suggesting there could be a mini-boom for the older 8 Series already taking place.
By Simon Lambert
While it’s shorter than the 7 Series saloon it’s based on, the car still measures in at a garage bulging 4.8 metres long and 1.9 metres wide – that’s about the same as a Range Rover Sport.
It certainly makes a statement, with the stretched bonnet and flared rear haunches.
That doesn’t mean it will be a barge to drive, and BMW has even fitted a carbon fibre roof to every model in the range to ensure the centre of gravity is low to ensure it’s nimble enough when owners are late to a business meeting.
The 8 Series Coupe was launched ahead of the competitive debut of the BMW M8 GTE at the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hour race
One of the 8 Series Coupe GTE racers retired after covering 223 laps while the other went on to finish 36th overall and 12th in class
Quite a few technological developments for the GTE race car have been passed down to the 8 Series Coupe, BMW says
Some tech from the GTE Le Mans racer, which debuted at the weekend’s event and finished 12th in class and 36th overall, will also be passed down to the production car.
For instance, the M850i will feature active rear wheel steering, adaptive M suspension, a trick limited slip differential on the rear axle and a performance-enhancing exhaust that was developed for the endurance racer.
The 8 Series will also be the first BMW to feature the latest iDrive infotainment system, which is linked to a massive 10.25-inch screen in the dashboard.
The new BMW 8 Series certainly makes a statement, with the stretched bonnet and flared rear haunches making it look super agressive
Parking it might prove difficult, with the car measuring in at 4.8 metres long and 1.9 metres wide
The BMW 8 Series will go head-to-head with the Mercedes S-Class Coupe. Which one would you choose?
While drivers can operate the functionality using the traditional iDrive rotary button, they will also be able to change settings using voice or gestures.
The 8 Series also gets a massive hard drive to store music and in-car WiFi.
The big question is, would you take one over a Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe? Let us know in the comments section below.
Inside, it is as you’d expect from a range-topping BMW – sporty, though finished in high-grade materials
The 8 Series will be the first BMW to feature the latest generation of the iDrive system that can be controlled by voice and gesture for 2018
The 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine will be tweaked for the M8 that goes on sale next year. It will dethrone the current M5 as the most powerful – and fastest – BMW production model
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