With its low-slung silhouette, it almost looks likes a sports car at first. The smoothly flowing roof and strong character lines give it the proper stance of a luxury four-door GT. It takes the fight straight to cars like Audi’s A7 and the Mercedes-Benz CLS. We think the four-door version of the new 8-Series is the best-looking, with the convertible and coupe included. And this no regular sedan; it’s more for those looking for style, power and comfort, not practicality. BMW states that the car should drive like a two-seater – now that’s something to think about, considering its heft. Let’s see if this car combines all that it takes to lure the Indian customer.
As low as…
We love how the car looks from up-front with that low-slung snout, the beautifully curved roofline, those strong character lines and the massive, multi-spoke alloys that give it an unmatched stance. It’s a proper luxury grand tourer and it has been styled appropriately. You’ll love the lengthy bonnet with creases on it, those aggressively-styled headlamps and the not-so-large kidney grille. There’s a certain amount of elegance to its design as well and what makes it stand out even further are those four frameless windows. Plus, let’s not forget the three-meter-long wheelbase. It’s a nice balance of sportiness and elegance, both. The width of the grille gives it a smarter face to look at and the new LED ‘corona-ring’ signatures in the headlamps look fantastic. The BMW 8-Series Gran Coupe looks the part even from the back, thanks to those slim tail lamps, the sculpted bumper and the integrated ducktail-like spoiler. As far as the design is concerned, BMW Cars have nailed it.
Inside the BMW 8-Series Gran Coupe, you’ll be happy to note the amount of room offered at rear for passengers; it gets individual rear seats and integrated headrests that are perfectly supportive. More than comfort however, the seats are quite sporty – and this instantly becomes noticeable on long trips. You sit pretty low, almost sports car low and under-thigh support isn’t the best. Also, the backrests are reclined too further back. Towering passengers will find headroom at the back a problem, and with that wide central console flowing all the way from the front to the back, it takes up room in the middle, making it next to impossible for a third occupant to squeeze in. Customers will be impressed with the levels of quality; the plastic and finish. Seated up-front, you feel like you’re in a roadster or something of the kind, but the quality of leather on the seats and dashboard will make you want to spend hours in the cabin. There are many chrome-detailed bits too, and the crystal effect on the volume control knob, gear lever and iDrive dial is nothing short of classy. You do get a cockpit vibe inside because of all the raked windscreens and windows and the individual seats. Equipment-wise, the BMW 8-Series Gran Coupe gets BMW laser lights, wireless charging, heads-up display and gesture-control for the iDrive. You don’t get a spare tyre, but 440-litres of boot space is decent.
Behind the wheel
Seated inside, we can feel its size. You’ll have to be overtly careful in cities. It’s a car you might want to consider being gentle with, particularly around sharp turns. The ride quality impresses with its suppleness, thanks to the adaptive damping and long wheelbase. You do feel some of the ‘blows’ from large bumps, on which you’ll have to be extra careful because of the car’s short springs and ground clearance. It somehow manages to tackle bumps, thanks perhaps to the 18-inch wheels and the 7-Series’ Carbon Core chassis on which it is based. The 3.0-litre, turbo straight-six petrol engine makes 335bhp and 500Nm of torque. It’s a very impressive engine, to say the least, but we can only imagine what it could’ve felt like to have a V8 engine under the bonnet. But the straight-six is sublime; the motor is super-smooth at idle, and as you floor the throttle, the motor ensures it reaches the redline in no time with amazing gusto.
At high speeds, it revs freely, almost like a naturally-aspirated BMW engine of old. An open stretch of road should definitely be taken advantage of, given how stealthy this thing is. What aids the responsiveness of the engine is usability of the 8-speed torque-converter based transmission. The 8-Series Gran Coupe is smooth and fast, and the super-quick shifts make it a hoot to drive. Surprisingly, the Gran Coupe is light on its wheels around corners – something never felt on heavier all-wheel-drive BMW Cars. It stays planted at the highest of speeds, and it’s so agile, it could have you mistake it for being a smaller, sportier sedan. This is, by far, one of the best four-door coupes we’ve driven. And all of this from a rear-wheel-drive BMW, makes it so, so tempting. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming cars, only at autoX.