Ever since it first appeared in 1989, the BMW 8 Series has attracted a lot of attention from autophiles and auto novices alike. A step up from the company's 6 Series automobiles, the 8 Series was discontinued in 1999. Fast forward to 2018 for its long-anticipated return and the immediate stand-out is the 2019 BMW M8. This is the first in the 8 Series line-up ever to earn an "M" badge. While the company insists that it is not a super sports car, the M8 certainly has many of the same features. The M8 is going to take on some of the top luxury brands, most notably the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This spirited entry from the world-class designers at BMW stands poised to conquer the highway.
What will the M8 look like?
The short answer is like a sportscar. The M8's lowered suspension conveys the slick look of a performance racer, while the sloping hood gives the impression of a cat ready to pounce. The chrome grille, bordered by sleek headlights, and fierce bumper design lend an aggressive air. Close attention to details, such as the carbon-fiber spoiler BMW added to the back, and attention-grabbing spoke wheels, complete the dramatic effect.
What kind of changes can we expect from the new M8?
Upgrades can be found in nearly every area of the 2019 M8. Outside, the previous rectangular exhaust pipes have been replaced by two rounded outlets on the sides. Inside the cabin, the already-premium seats have been removed to make room for ones with heavier bolstering and race-car looks. Under the hood, the revised V8 engine is loaded with power to fulfill your racing fantasy.
How well-equipped is it, in terms of technology?
BMW has created the 2019 M8 with the latest technology available. The new, freestanding 10.25-inch gauge screen up front is a part of the BMW [search label="Live Cockpit Professional" items="BMW 3 Series|BMW Gesture Control|BMW OS|Audi"]. The infotainment system has been upgraded to a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system with a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, to keep you plugged-in along the way.
How comfortable will the M8 be?
In typical BMW form, you can expect a luxurious road experience. The sumptuous interior seats four people with ample legroom, especially for those in the front seats. Their Merino leather upholstery never lets you forget this is a top-of-the-line luxury vehicle. In addition, the M8's front seats have a special fold function that makes it easier for rear-seat passengers to get in and out of the car. With the 14.8-cubic feet of trunk space, you won't be encumbered by cargo in the seating area, either.
How powerful is the M8's engine?
If you want a luxury car with a powerful engine, the 2019 M8 is everything you dream of. The new 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine produces a staggering 523-horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The take-charge engine on the new BMW comes with an 8-speed transmission. The M8 can go from zero to sixty miles per hour in a mere 3.92 seconds and tops out at a speed of 155 miles per hour.
How well does the M8 handle?
Drivers will be impressed by the agile handling of the 2019 M8. The low-slung design of the new BMW grabs the road for more athletic steering response. The brakes work very well, but the response can feel a bit punchy.
How rich will I have to be to own one?
The 2019 BMW M8 will definitely not come cheap. The M850i starts around $111,900, and the price will only go up from there as you add optional features. Basically, you're going to have to break a lot of piggy banks to afford the M8.
How good is the M8's standard safety package?
This is one area where BMW definitely could have done better. The only standard safety features that come with the high-priced M8 are automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and pedestrian and cyclist detection. The company's Active Driving Assistant Professional system is optional and adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and Active Side Collision Protection to your safety package.
How does the BMW M8 compare with its class rivals?
The M8 faces some strong competition from some of the biggest names in luxury automobiles. BMW has designed the M8 to go up against direct rivals like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The 8 Series is much more well-prepared to face the S-Class than the 6 Series was, but is it a better choice than the S-Class? As far as looks, the M8 closely resembles the Mercedes S560, and both look great. In terms of both power and speed, the BMW comes out ahead of Mercedes. However, as far as fuel economy goes, Mercedes takes the lead, claiming 34 miles per gallon to BMW's 28.3. The interiors of both cars are loaded with luxury features, so there's really no clear winner. Bottom line, either choice is excellent, but the M8 slightly edges out the competition from Mercedes-Benz.
Is the M8 worth the high price tag?
There is no one correct answer to this question. Truthfully, BMW has packed the new M8 with some terrific features that are sure to impress. While there are areas where the company has room for improvement, such as standard safety features, they have designed a truly striking vehicle with amazing performance and power. If you are already in the market for a $100,000-plus luxury car, the price tag should not deter you from choosing the M8. It's really a matter of personal taste and how much a certain brand name means to you. You are assured a great performer with BMW and its closest rivals, so there's really no way to lose.
When will the new M8 be released?
The good news is you have a little more time to save up your money. The new M8 is expected to make its debut sometime in the middle of 2019.