2020 BMW 8-Series Gran Coupe combines style with substance

[ad_1]

BMW has big goals for its 8-Series. It’s the brand’s style leader and its performance leader. BMW races it, uses it to set the future design direction, and asks a lot of money for it, at least six figures.

BMW released the 8-Series as a sleek coupe and a convertible cruiser in 2019, and the most recent addition was the Gran Coupe body style, which provides a more stylish four-door alternative to the 7-Series. I recently spent consecutive weeks in a 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe and a 2020 BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupe, and noted some likes and dislikes about both.

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

Hit: The power and the sound and the glory

The rich Teutonic rumble of BMW’s twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 in both models is a delight. No V-8 sounds as melodious and menacing, and the pops and crackles in the sporty modes make me giggle. Both the M850i and the M8 produce more power than anyone needs and do it in a wonderful way. BMW quotes a 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds for the 600-horsepower M8 and 3.7 seconds for the 523-hp M850i. Both will pin you back into your seat and thank the power gods for the thrust they provide. For those who don’t need the track capability of the M8, the M850i provides all the street muscle you could want.

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

Miss: M8 mode madness

The M850i has the usual lineup of modes: Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Adaptive, though clicking the Sport mode sends you to a submenu with Sport, Sport+, and Individual settings. However, the M8 makes choosing modes more complicated than assembling Ikea furniture. The two most obvious ways are the M1 and M2 toggles on the steering wheel. These can be programmed through the Car submenu in the iDrive system and each has to be hit not once, but twice to engage its settings. Drivers can also hold down the M buttons for several seconds to program these based on the car’s current system settings, which can be chosen via the Setup button (more on that below). The parameters that change include the engine (throttle response), transmission, suspension, steering effort, brake response and effort, stability control, all-wheel-drive system, start/stop system, and exhaust sound. Each has a variety of settings that range from bulldog relaxed to rat-terrier aggressive.

Ideally, drivers would set up one M button for everyday driving and the other for more-spirited runs through canyon roads or on racetracks. On top of that, drivers can adjust the transmission program through a rocker switch on the shift knob. It has three automatic and three manual settings.

But wait, there’s more. The Setup and Stability Control buttons on the center console can change settings as well. The Setup button lets drivers change from the standard comfort- and efficiency-focused settings for a single drive, though the car always reverts to the soft settings upon start up. The Stability Control button lets you choose from standard, sport, or off settings.

The center console also has an M Mode button that changes the instrument cluster and head-up display graphics and reduces or disables the driver-assistance features. In the M8 Competition, pressing and holding this button turns off the driver-assistance features, center screen, and radio.

Why the overcomplicationitis? Give me Eco, Sport, Sport+, Track/Race, and Individual settings and call it a day. Let the M1 and M2 toggles store two Individual modes. I wonder how many owners will actually figure out this complex system.

On a positive note, the settings aren’t too close together and the more-aggressive choices do make a difference in how the car rides and reacts to driver inputs.

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

Hit: Best. Stitching. Ever.

The stitching on the shift knob of the M8 has the familiar red, white, and blue color scheme of BMW M. Contrast stitching, in general, is a nice detail, but this stitching shows a reverence for the brand’s history and looks spectacular. I was also a fan of the black-and-tan interior package in the M8 I drove.

2020 BMW M85i Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M85i Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M85i Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M85i Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M85i Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M85i Gran Coupe

Hit: Styling

In any body style, the BMW 8-Series is shapely and attractive. The only “coupe” in the Gran Coupe is the slope of the roof. Otherwise, the 8-Series Gran Coupe is a sedan, albeit one with frameless rear windows. The twin kidneys up front may be big, but they’re not too big, and the nose’s angles and scoops impart personality. The fastback roof implies motion and is mirrored in the lower contour line that rises toward the trunk. The integrated trunk spoiler perfectly caps off the rear end. People appreciate the lines of the 8-Series, while the 7-Series has a tougher time getting noticed.

2020 BMW 8-Series Gran Coupe

2020 BMW 8-Series Gran Coupe

Hit and Miss: Rear seat space

The Gran Coupe’s full-size rear doors give it a usable rear seat. My 5-foot-9 frame fits well, but anyone taller will want for rear head room. Otherwise, the seats are comfortable with good thigh support from the cushions, plenty of elbow room, and a sculpted feel. For anyone who wants the style and presence of the 8-Series with a usable rear seat, the Gran Coupe is the way to go. Hit. However, if you want a more-useful rear seat, you should opt for the 7-Series, which has more head room and leg room, and is offered with a Rear Executive Lounge Seating package that adds multi-adjustable rear seats with heating, cooling, and massage functions; a 7.0-inch rear control tablet; a rear footrest; a rear center console; and a rear-seat entertainment system. Miss.

BMW gesture control

BMW gesture control

Hit and Miss: Gesture control

Passengers will be astounded and amazed as you twirl your finger to turn up the volume. Some may think you’re some kind of wizard. Gesture control can be a convenient feature, but it’s no more convenient than turning the volume knob. It’s a hit as a party trick, but it’s a miss as a feature that anyone really needs.

_______________________________________

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe and 2020 BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupe

Base price, M8: $131,995, including destination and $1,000 gas guzzler tax

Base price, M850i xDrive: $109,990, including destination 

Price as tested, M8: $154,295

Price as tested, M850i xDrive: $121,695

Drivetrain, M8: 600-horsepower, 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8, 8-speed automatic, all-wheel drive

Drivetrain, M850i xDrive: 523-horsepower, 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8, 8-speed automatic, all-wheel drive

EPA fuel economy, M8: 15/21/17 mpg

EPA fuel economy, M850i xDrive: 17/25/20 mpg

The hits: Power and sound, styling, stitching, rear seat space, gesture control.

The misses: Confusing M modes, rear seat space, gesture control.

[ad_2]

Source link

You may also like

Leave a reply

RI-CARS