Adopting a modern and aggressive look from one bumper to another, the new luxury BMW two-door seems to borrow some elements of style to the i8, his sister to hybrid powertrain. When looked from the back, the resemblance is striking. According to BMW, the style of this iconic new car will have an impact on other models in the coming years, they promise!
What does it look like?
The 2019 BMW 8 Series inherits dug sides, the flared and curved grille and emaciated spotlights. Here, the sides have been dug to the extreme and aerodynamics has been the subject of special attention. Giant air intakes in the front and rear bumpers and openings in the front fenders, behind the wheel arch, improve the airflow. The treatment of the back part contributes to the originality of the drawing. It evokes that of the famous i8 for the light signature. But the volumes are sportier with a generous spoiler overhanging the trunk. The use of lightweight materials such as carbon fiber reinforced plastic that BMW masters perfectly and aluminum will prevent excess weight.
What about the interior?
The ergonomics of the cabin has been completely revised. If the instrumentation is virtual, BMW returns to a fairly conventional approach with an inclined center console housing the air nozzles, climate control, CD player, a large storage space and the multifunction display. The latter is always controlled by the iDrive system based on a wheel located on the central tunnel. The slim seat shell emphasizes the care taken in controlling weight.
What's under the hood?
The 2019 BMW 8 series' engine is upgraded relative to the V-8 in the 650i it replaces. It's a nearly all-new twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 with larger turbos and an estimated 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. As before, the V-8 nestles its turbochargers between the cylinder banks in a 'hot vee' configuration, shortening the exhaust gases' pathways to the turbos and minimizing lag. All this power is funneled through an 8-speed automatic transmission on its way to all four wheels. BMW says the all-wheel-drive system will be biased toward the rear where there is an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. It also sounds as though it will have a staggered wheel-and-tire setup, naturally with the wider tires at the back.
How is it to drive?
The Dynamic Damper Control (adaptive dampers), Active Roll Stabilization (active anti-roll bars), Integral Active Steering (rear-wheel steering), and electronically controlled locking rear differential all work together to bolster the driver's sense of control and the 8 series handling capabilities more so than on any similarly tech-laden BMW we've recently driven. Switching among the Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ driving modes doesn't drastically alter the car's responses to inputs, either. Happily, the 8 series electrically assisted steering delivers actual road feel, informing the driver's hands of the front tires' grip and sidewall deflections. As befits a luxury sports coupe, the conversation is in an inside voice rather than a shout. Turn-in is quick and satisfying, with a positive feel backed up by stupefying front-end grip.
What does BMW intend with this brand?
The BMW Concept 8-series, to give it its proper title, is a design study with the intended purpose of putting BMW in the right direction in the luxury car market. The brand wants to make new waves in the plush, wafty end of the industry and says the new 8-series is 'part of the biggest model offensive in the brand's history. BMW also says that the Concept 8-series not only previews the new luxo-coupe but a whole new design language for the brand too.
How much will it cost?
The new eight range will have a remarkably different purpose. We expect the new 8-series range to be launched in late 2018, with UK sales due to start in November or December. It's too early for prices, but a starting cost of around GBP70,000 seems likely, and we anticipate the red-hot BMW M8 topping GBP115,000.