The eight gets four. Pack on the passengers with the 2020 BMW 840i Gran Coupe G16, which with four doors now ensures your friends and family don’t miss out on the fun.
BMW has wasted no time in building out its 8 Series lineup of slinky coupes and saloons. After the Coupe and Convertible (and their hotter Competition siblings), we now have the four-door 8 Series Gran Coupe, a replacement for the old 6 Series Gran Coupe. There’s lots to like about BMW’s new Porsche Panamera/ Mercedes four-door GT fighter, starting with its design.
BMW has kept the Coupe’s design up to the start of the A-pillar and redesigned everything aft. The tapering glasshouse and swept adaptive LED headlights convey the impression of speed and purposefulness, while slim LED tail lights accentuates the car’s low, wide stance.
It’s an arresting and proportional attractiveness that pips the slightly ungainlylooking 8 Series Coupe G16, and one that the competition can’t quite match either. That’s good news, too, considering it’s BMW’s halo four-door until the scorching M8 Competition Gran Coupe arrives in 2020.
To create usable space for two more in the rear, BMW added 201mm over the Coupe’s wheelbase, 30mm to the width and 61mm to the height, the last of which is down to a slightly more upright windscreen. The Gran Coupe is meant to be a 4+1, but the rear passenger sitting in the middle requires some leg-spreading across the extended centre console that houses the individual rear air-con vents and two USB-C charging ports. Um, no sweat during warm days, then?
It’s actually quite easy to get into the rear thanks to large door apertures. Legroom and headroom are ample, but your head will brush the roof if you’re any taller than my 1.78m as it just about meets the arbitrary one-fist-of-space measurement if I sit upright. Inside, the instrument panel and door cards are trimmed in soft, luxuriant leather and get stainless-steel mesh trim bits but the overall design is ultimately standard BMW fare.
Your hands grip a wellpadded three-spoke M steering wheel while your eyes absorb information from either the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster or the 10.25-inch Live Cockpit Professional infotainment screen.
On the scenic drive route encompassing the IC1 and N267 around Serra de Monchique, just outside the Algarve International Circuit, the Gran Coupe displayed a softer yet firmly resilient ride. Partly thanks to the longer wheelbase, it took the bumps on the mountain roads far more readily, making for a calmer, less frenetic ride in keeping with its passenger-friendly bent.
Even large potholes didn’t elicit a sharp expulsion of breath from passengers anticipating a big judder. The adaptive M suspension – that comes as standard on the Gran Coupe – helps smoothen out the ride, though you can choose Sport or Sport+ should you find an interesting bit of road. Though down on power from the full-fat 4.4-litre V8 in the M850i, the new 3-litre straight-6 in the rear-wheel-drive 840i – firing 340hp out through the 8-speed Steptronic – was a keen revver, never felt breathless and delivered a proper 6-cylinder bark on command.
Out of high-speed corners, the standard-fit M Sport differential helps sharpen the handling while M-Sport brakes, despite not being carbon-ceramic stoppers, bit down resolutely and shed speed readily. If you want a rear-wheel-drive, 6-cylinder sedan-slash-coupe from BMW, the 840i is the one to get because the others in the range are xDrive variants. It stands to reason, then, that this is the “purest” one in the range. With extensive safety systems and a poised ride keeping you well ensconced in luxurious surroundings, the 8 Series Gran Coupe is a confident and assured partner on long distances and a ready partner should the road turn twisty. But the Gran Coupe clearly can do with more power, fire and fury, and to that we say: Bring on the M8 Competition Gran Coupe.
The BMW 840i Gran Coupe’s lengthened proportions make for a good-looking car.
if you want a rear-wheel-drive, 6-cylinder, sedan-slash-coupe from bmw, the 840i is the one to get.
Drivetrain type Inline-6, 24-valves, turbocharged
Bore x stroke 82mm x 94.6mm
Compression ratio 11:1
Max power 340hp at 5000-6500rpm
Max torque 500Nm at 1600-4500rpm
Power to weight 189hp per tonne
Gearbox 8-speed automatic with manual select
Driven wheels Rear
0-62MPH (0-100km/h) 5.2 seconds
Top Speed 250km/h
Consumption 13.3km/L (combined)
Co2 emission 170g/km
Front Double wishbones, coil springs
rear Five-link axle, coil springs
Brakes Front / rear Ventilated discs
type Bridgestone Potenza S007
Size 245/45 R18 (front), 275/40 R18
Air Bags 8
Traction Aids ABS, DSC
Kerb weight 1800kg
Turning circle 12.3m
Buying it price incl. coe
From $470,000 (after $20k VES surcharge)
Warranty 3 years/100,000km
+ ENGAGING DRIVE, SHARP LOOKS, RESPONSIVE ENGINE
- UNEXCITING COCKPIT, TIGHT REAR HEADROOM, LIMITED REAR SEATING