The iconic grand tourer returns after 20 years!

Built between 1989 and 1999, the BMW 8 Series is now regarded as one of the most daring and intriguing Bimmers ever made. It’s also among the most desirable BMWs built in the 1990s. Requested again and again by fans ever since it was discontinued, the 8 Series finally made a comeback. Previewed by a concept car at the 2017 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the modern 8 Series made its debut at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France.

A new 8 Series has been rumored for quite a few years, but for some weird reason BMW refused to bring it back until now. And I say "weird" because the German brand is in dire need of a luxury coupe above the 6 Series. With Mercedes-Benz already selling a two-door S-Class and Audi working on the A9, the 8 Series was pretty much mandatory in order for BMW to keep up with the competition. And needless to say, the S-Class was already far ahead of the 7 Series long before it gained coupe and convertible variants. Will the upcoming 8 Series have what it takes? Find out in my speculative review below.

Updated 07/09/2018: BMW announced prices for the 2019 M850i xDrive Coupe that will arrive in U.S. showrooms on December 8. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 8 Series.

  • 2019 BMW 8 Series
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    eight-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    523 @ 5500
  • Torque @ RPM:
    553 @ 1800
  • Displacement:
    4.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    8.8/10

BMW 8 Series Exterior

  • New design language
  • Based on concept car
  • Sporty front end
  • Elegant rear fascia
  • Sleek roofline
  • Aggressive M850i trim
2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior
- image 783818
The production model remains true to the concept car, although it’s not as aggressive

When BMW introduced the concept car, it promised that it "reveals much of what is to come." Needless to say, the Germans weren’t kidding. The production model remains true to the show car, although it’s not as aggressive. The 8 Series that we will find in showrooms has the same low-slung design, elongated silhouette, and an aggressive raked roofline toward the back. It also retained the long wheelbase and the wide track, all defining styling cues for a modern grand tourer.

Up front, we can see a similar kidney grille that spectacularly wide and widens toward the base. This styling element isn’t exactly new on modern BMWs, but it’s definitely wider on the 8 Series. Sure, the grille sits higher on the production model, which makes it less aggressive than the low-nosed concept car, but it gives it a unique look in the lineup. The headlamps are also based on the concept, but they’re not as slim and narrow toward the grille.

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior
- image 783798
The first thing to notice when looking at the coupe’s profile is that the nose is slightly shorter

The bumper, on the other hand, has a much friendlier appearance. Whereas the concept boasts massive side intakes and a sizable trapezoidal opening in the center, the 8 Series showcases a three-piece configuration that looks similar to other production models. It’s still aggressive thanks to its big openings and big splitter below, but by no means unique. The engine hood also suffered a big downgrade, losing the beefed-up shoulders we’ve seen on the concept. The 8 Series comes standard with full LED headlamps with LaserLight technology.

The first thing to notice when looking at the coupe’s profile is that the nose is slightly shorter. The reduction comes from a shorter front overhang and the fact that the concept’s pointy nose was shaved off. Fortunately, most of the concept’s remaining features were retained, including the elongated quarter windows, the heavily raked rear window, and the taillights that extend deep into the flanks. Even the multi-spoke wheels and the inclined vent on the front fender were carried over.

On the other hand, the scoops on the doors aren’t as aggressive, while the side skirts are milder too.

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior
- image 783817
On top of the unique styling, the 8 Series features an advanced aerodynamics system

Around back, the 8 Series has a flatter decklid compared to the concept’s aggressive design with a raised middle section, but I think it looks better as it gives the coupe an elegant look. Much like the headlamps, the LED taillights are thicker, but they do light up in the distinctive "L" shape we’ve seen on the concept car. The bumper was heavily revised and now includes a big license plate recess in the middle, vertical scoops at the corners, and massive exhaust pipes in the diffuser-like element.

On top of the unique styling, the 8 Series features an advanced aerodynamics system that includes active air flap control with adjustable kidney grille slats, air curtain, and air breathers. All of them, plus the double bubble-style roof, help to reduce the aero drag of the coupe. The latter can be ordered in carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) to lower the car’s weight and center of gravity and enhance agility. The optional Carbon Package adds air intake bars, mirror caps, a rear spoiler, and a rear diffuser insert made from CFRP.

All told, the new 8 Series looks better than expected and borrows quite a lot from the concept car. What’s more, it looks unique when compared to both the 6 Series and 7 Series. While Mercedes’ option in this niche, the S-Class Coupe, is almost identical to the sedan it is based on, the 8 Series has little in common with the 7 Series four-door.

BMW 8 Series Exterior Design Video

BMW 8 Series Exterior Dimensions

Length 191.2 inches
Width 74.9 inches
Width including mirrors 84.1 inches
Height 53.0 inches
Wheelbase 111.1 inches
Ground clearance 5.0 inches
Turning radius 19.5 feet

BMW 8 Series Interior

  • Concept-inspired cabin
  • Clean dashboard
  • Two-tone finish
  • Premium materials
  • State-of-the-art tech
  • Sporty seats
2019 BMW 8 Series Interior
- image 783831
The wide center console rises toward the dashboard to separate the driver and front passenger areas, just like in full-fledged sports cars

Not surprisingly, the interior of the 8 Series is significantly different from the concept car. But needless to say, it looks as modern as they get and it blends elegance with sportiness like no other Bimmer.

One notable feature is the very wide center console that rises toward the dashboard to separate the driver and front passenger areas, just like in full-fledged sports cars. The console host most of the main control features for the audio system, the air conditioning control panel, air vents, and the freestanding and frameless infotainment display.

The latter is part of the BMW Live Cockpit Professional, which combines the 10.25-inch screen with the fully digital, 12.3-inch instrument cluster. The display behind the steering wheel shares graphics with the latest X5 and the upcoming Z4. The dashboard has a wraparound design with the aluminum A/C vents at the corners almost forming a one-piece units with the matching trim of the door panels.

2019 BMW 8 Series Interior
- image 783789
The BMW Live Cockpit Professional combines a 10.25-inch screen with a fully digital, 12.3-inch instrument cluster

The 8 Series is fitted with sports seats as standard. These newly developed seats have integrated headrests and a semi-electric folding function on each seatback for easier entry and exit for the rear passengers. The fine Merino Individual leather upholstery with contrast stitching is also standard. To make sure that the 8 Series provides the best comfort out there, BMW added large pockets in the door panels, a roomy glove compartment, two cup-holders under the center console’s trim finisher, and a large storage compartment under the armrest.

The M850i xDrive model, the first to hit the market, comes with a few exclusive design features and options. Among them, there’s an anthracite BMW Individual headliner, M pedals, M driver’s footrest, and special floor mats. It also has illuminated door sills and M badges on the steering wheel and the instrument cluster.

2019 BMW 8 Series
- image 784013
The newly developed sports seats have integrated headrests and a semi-electric folding function on each seatback

The standard audio system has eleven speakers and a digital amplifier, while the optional Harman Kardon Surround Sound System features 16 speakers. For the ultimate audio experience, BMW also offers a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system. It’s a fully active 16-channel amplifier with an output of 1,375 watts, dynamic equalizing and 16 illuminated speakers.

The rear backrest has a 50:50 split design and it can be folded down either individually or together to further increase cargo capacity. BMW has yet to announce trunk capacity figures, but the Germans did say that the 8 Series has automatic trunk lid operation.

Finally, the coupe can be ordered with exclusive glass applications for the gear selector, iDrive controller, start/stop button, and the volume control for the audio system.

BMW 8 Series Interior Design Video

BMW 8 Series Interior Dimensions

Shoulder width front 57.2 inches
Shoulder room rear 46.9 inches
Legroom front 42.1 inches
Legroom rear 29.5 inches
Headroom front 38.9 inches
Headroom rear 33.6 inches
Trunk volume (SAE) 14.8 ft³
Fuel Tank capacity 18.0 gallons
Curb weight 4,478 lbs
Gross vehicle weight 5,280 lbs
Payload 772 lbs

BMW 8 Series Performance

  • 4.4-liter V-8 engine
  • 523 horsepower
  • 553 pound-feet of torque
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds
  • Better than Mercedes S560 4Matic
  • Diesel option for Europe
  • Standard AWD
2019 BMW 8 Series Drivetrain Wallpaper quality
- image 783844
The V-8 engine cranks out 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque in the M850i model

As rumored from the very beginning, the 8 Series is powered by an evolution of BMW’s ubiquitous 4.4-liter V-8 engine. The twin-turbo unit received extensive upgrades for this application, including a new aluminum-alloy block, fully variable valve control, double-Vanos variable camshaft timing, and a flap-controlled exhaust system. It also has larger twin-scroll turbochargers and intake ports optimized for higher flow.

The engine cranks out 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque in the M850i model, an output that places it between Mercedes-Benz S560 Coupe and the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph takes 3.6 seconds, only two tenths behind the significantly more powerful AMG S63 model, Top speed is limited to the usual 155 mph.

The power reaches the wheels through an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission with wider ratios and sportier gear shifts. Revised specifically for the 8 Series, the gearbox features a Launch Control function for off-the-line sprints with maximum available traction. Naturally, a pair of shift paddles placed behind the steering wheel enable the driver to use a manual model to switch gears.

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior
- image 783815
Europe will also get a diesel model rated at 316 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque

The M850i trim also comes with xDrive all-wheel drive. The familiar AWD system was tuned for more efficient operation and it has a rear-biased setup for an authentic sports car experience. When needed, the xDrive system can send all available torque to the rear wheels. An electronically controlled rear differential improves traction and power transmission.

Europe will also get a diesel model called the 840d. Powered by the same twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine from the 7 Series, it will hit the road with 316 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. The sprint to 62 mph takes 4.9 seconds in this car, but fuel economy is significantly better at 46.3 mpg over the V-8’s 28.3 mpg rating (on the British cycle).

Am M8 version is also scheduled to follow, but BMW could also offer 840i and 850d models at some point.

BMW 8 Series Driving Scenes Video

BMW 8 Series Engine and Performance Specifications

Engine type N63B44T3
Cylinders 8
Valves per cylinder 4
Stroke 88.3 mm
Bore 89.0 mm
Displacement 4,395 cm³
Compression rate :1 10.5
Engine power 523 HP @ 5,500 - 6,000 RPM
Engine torque 553 LB-FT @ 1,800-4,600 RPM
Transmission type 8HP76 Sport
Transmission type automatic
0-60 mph 3.6 seconds
Top speed 155 mph

BMW 8 Series Suspension and Brakes

  • Bespoke suspension
  • Torsion struts
  • Adaptive M setup
  • Rear-wheel steering
  • M-developed brakes
2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior
- image 783824
Very similar to the Adaptive M suspension, it also features electronically controlled dampers

The new coupe rides on a bespoke suspension system that combines a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle. It also uses electromechanical steering and a powerful braking system developed specifically for this model.

BMW optimized suspension stiffness by adding torsion struts to the front axle and by incorporating a load-bearing strut in the rear axle. Independent rubber bearings, which increase camber stiffness, and additional damping plates at the rear axle further enhance the suspension setup.

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior
- image 783862
Stopping power comes from a braking system developed by the M division

Very similar to the Adaptive M suspension, it also features electronically controlled dampers that can be adjusted via the Driving Experience Control switch. Just like in full-fledged M models, the Sport and Sport+ modes activate optimal responses for maximum handling. The Integral Active Steering, which comes standard, reduces the car’s turning circle and increases agility at moderate speeds. The 8 Series also features active steering rear wheels steering for enhanced cornering ability and stability at high speeds.

Stopping power comes from a braking system developed by the M division. It features four-piston calipers at front, single-piston, floating calipers to the rear, and inner-vented brake discs.

BMW 8 Series Safety

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 783784

Naturally, the flagship coupe is equipped with BMW’s latest safety features, including Personal Co-Pilot, a suite of driver assistance technologies that turn it into a semi-autonomous vehicle. Personal Co-Pilot processes camera images and data provided by ultrasonic and radar sensors to monitor vehicle surrounds and take actions depending on the environment and the traffic around the car.

The standard Cruise Control system includes automatic braking function and Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, while the optional Active Cruise Control system adds Stop & Go. The 8 Series can be further upgraded with the optional Driving Assistant Professional, which adds Steering and Lane Control assistant, and Crossing Traffic Warning. The active Park Distance Control (PDC) with sensors at the front and rear is standard and provides visual and acoustic warnings to avoid colliding with obstacles when parking. It’s also able to automatically select suitable parallel parking spaces and maneuver into them.

BMW 8 Series Prices

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior
- image 783851

BMW will only sell the M850i model in the U.S. at first. The coupe will retails from $111,900 plus $995 for destination and handling. Standard equipment for this model includes Full LED headlamps with BMW LaserLight technology, BMW Individual Merino Leather upholstery, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, Sport Automatic Transmission, Adaptive M Suspension with Active-Roll Stabilization, M Sport Brakes, Parking Assistant and BMW Live Cockpit Professional with 12.3 inch and 10.25 inch digital displays.

Optionally, you can add the Driving Assistant Professional, a 1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system, Glass Controls for the gear selector, iDrive controller, start/stop button, the carbon-fiber roof, and the carbon-fiber exterior trim package.

In the United Kingdom, the 840d trim retails from £76,270, while the M850i model starts from £100,045.

BMW 8 Series Competition

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe / Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Exterior
- image 729548

As previously stated, the S-Class Coupe is the main reason BMW needs a flagship coupe above the 6 Series. Launched in 2014 as a replacement for the CL-Class, the S-Class coupe shares most of its styling features with the sedan model, but sports a significantly different rear end design with a shorter decklid, slender taillights, and a sportier bumper. Much like the sedan, it is packed with luxury features and Merc’s latest technology and safety equipment, while also sharing some drivetrains with its four-door sibling. While the sedan is available with an array of gasoline and diesel engines, the coupe is limited to the more powerful mills. In the U.S., only the S560 4Matic is offered, powered by a biturbo, 4.0-liter V-8 rated at 469 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. In Europe, Mercedes-Benz also offers the S400 4Matic with a biturbo, 3.0-liter V-6 good for 329 horses and 354 pound-feet. While the S560 isn’t as powerful as the M850i, the AMG S63 Coupe comes with a beefed-up V-8 that’s good for 603 horsepower. This version is quicker too, needing only 3.4 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. If that’s not enough, the AMG S65, powered by a 6.0-liter V-12, generates 621 horsepower. Pricing for the S560 4Matic starts from $124,500, while the AMG S63 and AMG S65 retail from $167,700 and $238,900, respectively.

Read our full reviews of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe.

Bentley Continental GT

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 728790

Already a familiar name on the luxury grand tourer market, the Continental GT comes in many flavors and has everything it takes to give the 8 Series and S-Class Coupe a run for their money. Elegant yet somewhat aggressive design-wise, the Conti comes with an authentic British interior soaked in leather, Alcantara, and aluminum. It’s also available with a wide range of options from Bentley’s Mulliner division, which makes it the most customizable rig in this comparison. The new-generation model gets its juice from a brand-new, 6.0-liter W-12 that delivers 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, which is more than most 8 Series and S-Class models lacking the M and AMG badges, respective. Sprinting from 0 to 60 mph takes 3.6 seconds, yet another impressive feature. A less powerful V-8 version will follow soon. On the flipside, the Continental GT is quite expensive at nearly $220,000 before options.

Read our full story on the 2018 Bentley Continental GT.

Lexus LC 500

2018 Lexus LC 500 High Resolution Exterior
- image 661469

Essentially a production version of the LF-LC Concept introduced a few years back; the LC 500 is a bold alternative to the 8 Series and S-Class Coupe. Unique by appearance from every angle, it also comes with a luxurious interior that includes everything you can get from the German automakers. But unlike its rivals, it’s only available with one engine, in the form of a 5.0-liter V-8. The familiar mill cranks out a solid 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque, enabling the coupe to hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, toward a top speed of 155 mph. It can also be had with a hybrid drivetrain, which pairs a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 354 horsepower. Pricing starts from $92,000 for the V-8 model and from $96,510 for the hybrid version.

Check out our full review of the 2018 Lexus LC 500.

Conclusion

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior
- image 783856

Designed to give BMW a fighting chance in the full-size coupe market, the 8 Series seems to check all the right boxes. It has a unique design that draws cues from a concept car, it’s packed with all the technology available right now, and it uses a powerful V-8 engine in M850i trim. This model is already more powerful than the range-topping, non-AMG S-Class Coupe and it comes pretty close to the AMG S63 model too. The fact that it can also be had with a diesel engine gives BMW a fighting chance in Europe too.

Personally, I think that the 8 Series is one step above the S-Class Coupe thanks to its design. While Merc’s coupe is way too similar to the S-Class sedan, the 8 Series stands on its own as far as design goes inside and out. Having an exclusive look makes a big difference in this segment and I think that BMW nailed it with this one. All BMW now needs is a solid M8 variant and Mercedes may finally have something to worry about.

  • Leave it
    • * Not as exotic as the concept car

References

1989 - 1999 BMW 8-series
- image 716168

Read our full review on the original 1998-1999 BMW 8 Series.

2019 BMW 8 Series Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings Exterior
- image 718203

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 BMW M8.

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior High Resolution
- image 717999

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 8 Series Concept Coupe.

no article
- image 741745

Read more BMW news.

The Return of an Icon

1989 - 1999 BMW 8-series
- image 716219
1989 - 1999 BMW 8-series
- image 716220
Built for only 10 years between 1989 and 1999, the 8 Series is now regarded as one of the most iconic Bimmers ever made.

Built for only ten years between 1989 and 1999, the 8 Series is now regarded as one of the most iconic Bimmers ever made. Although it was launched the same year that saw the 6 Series go into the history books, the 8 Series wasn’t a direct replacement, but rather a larger, more luxurious grand tourer with a significantly different design. In an era when all BMWs had round, quad headlamps, the 8 Series brought back the retractable light on a Bimmer for the first time since the M1. And, unlike its stablemates, the 8 Series was powered by large V-8 and V-12 engines only. The V-8 cars were originally launched with a 4.0-liter rated at 282 horsepower and 300 pound-feet, but displacement was increased to 4.4-liter in 1996.

On the V-12 front, the 850i, which was also the most popular model sales wise, came with a 5.0-liter good for 295 horses and 330 pound-feet. In 1992, both the 5.4-liter and 5.6-liter V-12s were introduced. The former pumped 322 horsepower and 360 pound-feet in the 850Ci, while the later generated 375 horses and 410 pound-feet in the 850CSi. Although BMW built an M8 prototype, it never made it into production, leaving the M-tuned 850CSi as the most powerful factory-made iteration. The 8 Series was offered in the U.S. between 1990 and 1997, selling only 7,232 units. Total production had reached 31,062 examples before the nameplate was discontinued in 1999. Four years later, BMW reintroduced the 6 Series.

Spy Shots

May 10, 2018 - BMW 8 Series Coupe starts dropping camouflage

2019 BMW 8 Series
- image 780107
2019 BMW 8 Series
- image 780110

August 18, 2017 – The Standard 8 Series goes out for a spin on public roads

2019 BMW 8 Series
- image 727153
2019 BMW 8 Series
- image 727145

As is the usual case with BMW models, the M8 won’t be too much different from the standard 8 Series, but it will sport its own specific “M” cues not found on the standard model. As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the front fascia on this test mule is toned down quite a bit. The nose isn’t likely to look anything like that seen on the 8 Series concept. Where the M8 had a smaller air dam that was flanked by two small openings, and ultimately the large intakes in the corners, the standard 8 Series will change the game up a bit. The air dam is quite a bit larger while the corners are drastically different. Instead of two small openings and two massive corner intakes, there is simply a rectangular opening to either side.

Now, clearly, BMW won’t go with rectangular air intakes here – this isn’t the 90s – but from the look of things, the standard 8 Series will be toned down pretty significantly in comparison. It should also be pointed out that the radiator grilles are a little more exposed in these new shots and will feature a slight upward curve along the lower edges. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any of the production models will get those sleek grilles and attractive nose from the concept, but at this point, it isn’t really surprising. Finally, you can make out the production headlights on the standard 8 Series mule, which will feature the angular LED strips around each light. If you recall, we saw something similar on both the 8 Series Concept and the M8 test mule, but this time around, the LED strips are closer together and don’t has as wide of a presence.

And, that’s about all we’ve got for now, but I suspect we’ll see the 8 Series drop some more camo in the coming months before it makes its long-awaited debut. What do you think of it so far? Is it a model you’d be willing to pony up for, or is Bimmer shooting itself in the foot by introducing a large coupe while the market is infested with SUVs of every shape, size, and consistency? Feed us your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this article.

May 31, 2017 - BMW drops spy shots images of the upcoming M8

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior High Resolution
- image 718305
2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior High Resolution
- image 718320

Renderings

2019 BMW 8 Series High Resolution Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 688342
Although concept cars receive serious modifications on their way to becoming production models, the show car suggests that BMW will go with a sleek, sporty shape.

When I first speculated on this car back in 2016, we made a rendering based on the new 7 Series. We basically shortened the wheelbase, redesigned the roof, and shortened the decklid a bit to give the 7 Series a sportier stance. It looked good, and it made sense in BMW’s current lineup, in which most models share several design cues, but as it turns out, it was far from the real deal. Now that BMW has launched the concept car, it’s pretty obvious that the Germans are looking to make the 8 Series more than just a two-door 7 Series.

And that’s a good thing. Although concept cars receive serious modifications on their way to becoming production models, the show car suggests that BMW will go with a sleek, sporty shape highlighted by beefy rear haunches, a prominent decklid spoiler, and a pointy nose flanked by slender headlamps. Needless to say, it will be pretty close to the original 8 Series in terms of visual impact, and if the sleek profile will be transferred onto the production car, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class will look rather boring by comparison.

2019 BMW M8 Convertible Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exterior Exclusive Renderings
- image 718614

One thing I need to mention about our newest rendering is that it depicts the M8 Convertible, so the standard 8 Series will have a less aggressive front bumper and different wheels.

Update History

Update 8/18/2017: So far, we’ve seen the 8 Series Concept and spy shots of the BMW M8 testing in the wild. Today, we finally get a look at the standard 8 Series rocking that traditional pre-debut camo. There isn’t a whole lot to talk about, but there are a few things to point out, so check out the Spy Shots section below to find out more about it.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: