2019 BMW 8 Series Unveiled; Rivals Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe
The second-gen 8 Series coupe is making a comeback after 19 years. BMW’s new flagship is expected to go on sale globally by November 2018 and arrive in India sometime next year
After teasing it alongside its 24 Hours of Le Mans Challenger, the M8 GTE, BMW has finally taken the wraps off the much-awaited 8 Series Coupe. The car was showcased on the eve of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race and what a better venue than it considering the new flagship from BMW was developed alongside the M8 GTE and shares a lot of components with it. The 8 Series nameplate is making a comeback after 19 years, after the first-gen 8 Series was discontinued in 1999.
Starting off with the design, you cannot get enough of it. It features a long swooping bonnet, a single-piece signature kidney grille, which along with the slim LED headlights (BMW's slimmest) and large air dams give the coupe an angry face. The rear gets an integrated spoiler emphasising the width of the car (1902mm). It is complemented by a heavily racked, rounded off windshield, L-shaped taillights and a large bumper that houses twin trapezoidal exhausts and a rear diffuser.
The side profile comprises of a long following roofline, short overhangs and slim windows, giving it a sportscar-like stance. It also gets the ‘double-bubble’ roof dip similar to the classic racing cars. The 8 series sits on 18-inch alloys as standard while 19-inch and 20-inch units are offered as optional.
The BMW 8 Series will be available in two variants: M850i xDrive and the 840d xDrive. Thanks to the M prefix, the M850i is the more performance-oriented of the two. It is powered by the same 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8 petrol engine that powers the new M5. However, it has been downtuned to produce 530PS of maximum power and 750Nm of peak torque. It can go from 0-100kmph in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 250kmph.
The 840d, on the other hand, is powered by a 3.0-litre, inline six-cylinder diesel engine that makes 320PS of maximum power and 680Nm of peak torque. It can take the coupe from 0-100kmph in 4.9 seconds and achieve a top speed of 250kmph. Both the engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, which sends power to all four wheels via a rear-biased 4WD system. However, the M850i is also fitted with a locking differential, unlike the 840d.
The 8 Series also gets adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled damping and active steering as standard, while active roll bars is an optional fitment. Other added options include M carbon roof and M Carbon exterior package with air intake slats, exterior mirror covers, rear spoiler and rear diffuser in CFRP (carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic).
On the inside, the 8 Series is uber luxurious and packed with features. It gets BMW’s new Live Cockpit Professional with a fully digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment display, which can also be controlled by the traditional rotary dial, steering-mounted buttons, voice control and gestures. Other features offered on the 8 Series include a HUD (head-up display), active cruise control with stop & go function, steering and lane control assistant, side collision protection, evasion aid, distance information, crossing traffic warning, priority warning and wrong-way warning. Finally, there’s lane change warning and lane departure warning: while the lane change warning system informs the driver about vehicles in the car’s blind spot, the latter restricts the driver from changing lanes without activating the lane change indicator.
It is also equipped with Parking Assistant, which steers the vehicle when reversing over a distance of up to 80 metres on the same course as the last completed forward parking manoeuvre. Parking Assistant Plus additionally offers surround view, top view, panorama view and remote 3D View.
BMW will also offer telephony with wireless charging, BMW Display Key (which allows the driver to park the car remotely and check the car’s vitals like remaining fuel, tyre pressure, etc.) and a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system as optional on the new 8 Series.
The new 8 Series coupe will go on sale globally by November 2018. So expect it to land in India by 2019, although there is no official confirmation about it yet. But if launched, it will be imported in India as a CBU, which means it will be priced above Rs 2 crore. The 8 Series will rival the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, Bentley Continental GT and the Aston Martin DB11.
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