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BMW takes on Merc’s S-Class Coupe and S63 AMG with the 8 Series

S. Muralidhar | Updated on May 14, 2020 Published on May 14, 2020

In the cockpit, the classic sportscar atmosphere is abundantly clear

At the rear, the car’s sporting allure is intensified by wide tracks, sporty exhaust and wrap-around LEDs

Put the memory of the lockdown behind you with this new flagship 4-door coupe and its ‘M’ twin

The 8 Series is BMW’s fresh flagship coupe, but it is not the first time that the luxury car maker has had that numeric series in its portfolio. Making a comeback after nearly two decades, the new 8 Series has been available globally in Coupe form since model year 2019. The 8 Series Gran Coupe which replaces the 6 Series Gran Coupe came a little later, as did the M8 - the high performance model of the series developed by the M division of the company.

Claimed to be the most luxurious sports coupe ever built by BMW, the 8 Series Gran Coupe will sit just above the 7 Series sedan as the more stylish and plush option for customers looking to lock into the new body style that is all the rage now. While the new 8 Series is available in three different body styles - coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe with at least three different engine options, BMW India has just launched the four-door Gran Coupe and the high performance M8 Coupe.

Design

At the front of the new 8 Series Gran Coupe, muscular surfaces and the chiseled contours of the bonnet together with large air intakes make a statement about the car’s power and striking ability to accelerate. The brand trademark double kidney grille widens towards the bottom, emphasizing the vehicle’s low centre of gravity – an effect that is further enhanced by extremely slim headlights. When viewed from the side, the long wheelbase, elegantly flowing coupe roofline and wide wheel arches create a stretched silhouette underlining the length, flagship position and dynamic ability of the car. A third line runs through the door handles into the pronounced, curved shoulder. At the rear, the car’s sporting allure is intensified by extremely wide tracks, sport exhaust system and wrap-around LED lights. The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe looks fast and ready for the sprint even when standing still. The long wheelbase, the coupe-style roofline and the four frameless doors deliver a lot of that dynamic character boosting its performance positioning.

The cabin is typically driver-focused with just that subtle tilt towards the person behind the wheel making the centre stack and all the controls fall easily within reach. In the cockpit, the classic sportscar atmosphere is abundantly clear. Electrically adjustable sport seats provide a superior grip and a dynamic driving position. The experience is extended to all passengers thanks to the single-seat design of the rear seats - a first for a BMW, which then means that this is only a 4-seater. A middle passenger at the rear can’t be accommodated even if he or she may be ready for the squeeze. The flagship Gran Coupe’s center console is wide and steeply ascending as is typical of sports cars, helps underscore the longitudinal orientation and has all relevant controls. BMW claims generous space in the cabin allows passengers to stretch out and enjoy the experience of absolute freedom of movement. The boot offers luggage space of 440 litres. The 40:20:40 split backrest allows greater flexibility and ease of loading / unloading, aiding in making the Gran Coupe a fairly versatile long distance companion too.

The instrument panel and door trims are finished in premium Leather ‘Walknappa’. Multiple color choices are available for the leather upholstery and interior trim finishers. Crafted Clarity glass application increases the luxury-quotient of various controls. Another highlight is the large two-part Panoramic glass roof. Ambient Lighting with six dimmable designs creates an atmosphere for every mood.

Powertrains

The engine in the BMW 840i Gran Coupe features the brand’s proprietary TwinPower Turbo technology. The BS VI compliant petrol engine has been tuned to deliver maximum power with high efficiency and offers spontaneous responsiveness even at low engine speeds. The three-litre, six-cylinder in-line petrol engine of the BMW 840i Gran Coupe produces an output of 340 hp and maximum torque of 500 Nm at 1,600 – 4,500 rpm. The car accelerates from 0 -100 kmph in just 5.2 seconds. It is paired with the eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission. It also gets the M Sport Differential, which ensures that during quick changes of direction or on varying surface quality, the engine power is optimally brought to the road. Adaptive Suspension enables individual response behavior for each wheel at the touch of a button. Using the Driving Experience Control, the driver can also choose between different driving modes to suit the driving conditions (Comfort, Sport, Sport+).

M8 Coupe

The 8 Series Gran Coupe is also available in the M Sport trim with minor modifications to the exterior design and interior trim elements meant to identify its higher trim level. But that variant is not to be confused with the M8 Coupe which has also been launched by BMW India late last week.

The M8 Coupe is designed to deliver an elevated, thrilling driving experience and is powered by one of the most powerful 8-cylinder petrol engines ever from BMW. On the outside, the hexagonal kidney grille with M typical double slats draws attention set between the iconic four-eye face of the brand’s signature Laserlight. The size of the air intakes widens towards the bottom and hinting at the higher cooling requirements of the high-performance engine and brakes. The torsion-resistant, extremely light carbon-fibre material in the M carbon-fibre roof reduces weight and adds to the high-tech sophistication of the M8 Coupe. The side view highlights the more aerodynamic profile of the M8 with the sharp inclination of the sharknose, extra-large air curtains.

The rear spoiler lip, M-specific M8 rear diffuser and M-specific double-flow exhaust system with twin tailpipes add to the racing inspired design. BMW has also chosen to name the special paint finishes for the M8 after some of the most popular races like Brands Hatch and Marina Bay. Inside the cabin, in addition to the liberal sprinkling of the M logo, the driver and front passenger seats are set lower and sport dual-tone ‘merino’ leather. A Bower & Wilkins surround sound system is optional, while a Harman Kardon one is standard fitment. Optional equipment offerings include M seat belts, M Carbon engine cover, M Sport exhaust system, M Carbon ceramic brakes, M Driver’s Package amongst others. The engine in the M8 is the TwinPower Turbo, 4-litre, 8-cylinder petrol, which is amongst the most powerful V8 engine ever developed by BMW M GmbH for a production vehicle. Also BS VI compliant, the engine features two highly dynamic turbochargers, high-pressure direct injection, Valvetronic and a tested cooling concept. It produces an output of 600 hp and maximum torque of 750 Nm at 1,800 – 5,600 rpm. The car accelerates from 0 -100 kmph in just 3.3 seconds. The eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission is offered with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and cruise control with braking function to enhance driving pleasure during both on-road and on-track driving.

In the M8, the intelligent all-wheel-drive technology M xDrive distributes power between the front and rear axles in fractions of a second. Depending on the selected configuration and the interaction with M Sport Differential, the focus is on optimum controllability, traction and agile handling.

The BMW 8 Series cars are completely built units imported from Germany and will be available for a starting price of ₹1.3 crore for the 840i Gran Coupe and ₹2.15 crore for the M8 Coupe.

Published on May 14, 2020

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