The two launch models of the new 8 Series coupé – the 840d and the M850i – which will be in UK showrooms this month, will both feature an improved version of the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission.
8 SERIES TRANSMISSION TRICKS
The new unit offers reduced weight, a newly-developed controller and a significantly-increased gear ratio spread, and offers significant advantages over the previous versions of this muchpraised transmission.
As a result, it’s possible to achieve worthwhile efficiency gains with reduced engine speeds, particularly when driving in higher gears. Shift paddles on the steering wheel are included for manual gear selection, while the transmission also features a Launch Control function for the quickest possible getaway.
Of more practical use is the transmission controller’s ability to adapt shift strategy to the current driving situation, by means of intelligent networking with the standard Professional Navigation system. This enables the system to take the planned route into account so, for example, it will have the ability to shift down early when approaching a junction, to maximise the slowing effect of engine braking.
The striking new 8 Series coupé; BMW’s range-topping GT cruiser. While the optional, crystal-clad gear selector in the 8 Series might not be to everyone’s taste, the interesting, technological revisions to the eightspeed automatic transmission it controls, certainly should be.