Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Bucket Seat: BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe


It's no secret that I'm a big fan of BMW's Gran Coupe range, ever since it was first introduced in the 6 Series back in 2012 I fell in love with the concept. For one, the new shape 6 Series was just under a year old and to see something like an elongated version of a coupe with two additional doors was unheard of. Well Mercedes did have the CLS but that was a drastic change from the CLK at the time so while the two sort of did sit in a similar segment, the concept behind them was vastly different. The 6 Series was a luxury GT coupe, that embodied the best luxury BMW had to offer and couple it with the sporty finesse we know they're so good at, so when the Gran Coupe came along, it just ticket all the right boxes for and hence I made a concerted effort to get behind the wheel of one. I did get my chance in 2016 and while it might have not been the range topping M6, the 640d certainly had the hairs on the back of my neck up throughout the time. 


When I heard BMW were canning the 6 Coupe and turning it into their GT range, I was sad. Sad because it was such a beautiful car, even Chris Bangle's edition had a certain level of charm about it that still has you turning your head when you see it on the road today. Sadness quickly turned to joy after realising the reason for the change was due to the 8 Series badge being revived, concept sketches hit the internet, and it looked fantastic, a new dawn with a new 8 was on the cards. At the Geneva Motorshow last year, BMW through a curve ball and unlike before where most of the secrets were always leaked, the M8 Gran Coupe Concept showed itself. The motoring world was blown away by it, it was monstrous, beautiful and elegant all at the same time. 


Today, the fruit of that concept is born in the 8 Series Gran Coupe and like music to my ears, it's coming to South Africa in 3 engine variants for now, the 840i, 840d and the M850i, with I'm sure M8 versions due early next year. While the production car does chop away most of the dramatic styling from the concept, the car itself is still a stunner. The designers did well to keep that big rear end of the 8 Coupe and blend it in so well to the elongated body of the Gran Coupe to accommodate the additional doors. The side profile still is sleek and lowered to have that grounded effect of the car. Some stats on the engine performances, the 840i will be a six-cylinder in-line petrol engine producing 250kW and 500Nm of toque, the 840d, being a 3L six-cylinder that churns out 235kW and 680Nm of torque and the M850i xDrive having a 4.4L V8 petrol which throws out 390kW and 750Nm of torque. All engines come with an eight-speed steptronic transmission. My pick of the bunch? The diesel, it gives you the best of both world's, sportiness and good fuel economy, not to mention that great torque factor. Would I chose it over the M8 though? That is the question....






















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