2019 BMW 8 Series storms in. BMW has taken the wraps off its new flagship, the svelte 8 Series Coupé that costs from £76,270. Billed as the “most exciting” BMW in years, it is inspired not only by the futuristic i8 plug-in hybrid, but also the Z8 that appeared in Bond movie The World is Not Enough. It gets four-wheel drive as standard and “double-bubble” contours.
Closely based on the Concept 8 Series shown off at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2017, the 8 Series measures 4,843mm long and an SUV-like 1,902mm wide, but stands just 1,341mm tall. BMW has kept the headlights as slim as possible using LED technology, but optional ‘Laserlight’ clusters will give a range of up to 600 metres and feature blue accents to set them apart. Elsewhere, the 8 Series trades the angular lines and distinctive pop-up lights of its predecessor for smooth, flowing shapes, wide haunches and a tapered glasshouse.
Even out of sight there’s impressive attention to detail, like the fully sealed underbody, active kidney grille slats and narrow door mirrors designed to reduce drag. The two-door 8 Series is designed to replace the 6 Series in the line-up, and rival cars as wide-ranging as the Lexus LC, Aston Martin Vantage and Porsche 911. Its interior sticks with convention, though, featuring just one 10.25-inch infotainment screen in the usual spot in the middle of the dashboard, along with BMW’s latest 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a wide centre console that cossets the driver and passenger. Of course, there’ll be all of BMW’s latest technology too, from a myriad of driving aids that keep pace with traffic on the motorway, help you park and look out for hazards, In case you’re wondering, there are small rear seats, but it’s probably even more pertinent that their backrests can be folded down to make the 420-litre boot even larger. By contrast, the hybrid Lexus LC makes do with a 172-litre boot, while the Vantage musters 350 litres.
Powering the 8 Series is BMW’s ‘TwinPower’ 3.0-litre straight-six diesel engine with 316bhp and 502lb ft of torque, fed to all four wheels by an intelligent xDrive system and a revised eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic gearbox that’s been lightened and has a wider spread of gears. There are standard paddleshifts on the steering wheel and even a launch control mode, helping propel the 840d from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds.
Despite being one of the quickest diesels on sale, it will also return up to 46.3mpg on the combined economy cycle and emits 160g/km of CO2, with Select Catalyst Reduction to cut NOx. The gearbox is also linked with the navigation system, using information about your route to help tune its shift strategy.
BMW has used lightweight materials to keep the mass down and the chassis gets Integral Active Steering that steers the rear wheels by a few degrees to reduce the turning circle. It aids agility at low speeds and improves high-speed stability. Active roll stabilisation will be optional, reducing body roll by using electric actuators to keep the suspension level in corners.
Just one diesel model is available, using the 840d xDrive name, with the price tag set at £76,270. The first cars will arrive in November, with a convertible version expected to join the line-up at a later date.