The company’s most powerful four-door yet?

The iconic 8 Series made a comeback in 2018 and BMW confirmed that the grand tourer will spawn an M8 version for the very first time. The German firm also announced plans to expand the 8 Series family with a Gran Coupe model that will also get an M8 version. A concept car was unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March and four months later we stumbled across the production version on public roads.

While the first test cars weren’t M models, a beefed-up prototype showed up on public streets in January 2019. Not surprisingly, it looks a lot like the M8 coupe. The M8 Gran Coupe will make things rather interesting in the four-door coupe niche, as BMW will have a rival for the AMG and RS versions of the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi A7, respectively. The concept car provides a few valuable hints as to what to expect from the production model, but most technical specifications are still a mystery. Until more data becomes available, let’s have a closer look at what we already know about the upcoming M8 Gran Coupe.

Updated 01/25/2019: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming BMW M8 Gran Coupe out testing for the first time.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming BMW M8 Gran Coupe.

Spy Shots

January 25, 2019 - 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe caught testing for the first time

2019 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Exterior Spyshots
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2019 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Exterior Spyshots
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BMW M8 Gran Coupe Exterior

  • Concept-inspired features
  • Aggressive bumpers
  • Unique grille and headlamps
  • Coupe-style roof
  • Very similar to the M8 coupe
2019 BMW M8 Gran Coupe
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While the concept car boasts a few features that aren’t likely to be seen on a production car, the overall design looks familiar and shares many cues with the two-door version we’ve seen in recent spy shots and the GTE-spec race version.

I expect the production model to remain mostly unchanged up front.

As seen in the rendering from X-Tomi Design, the M8 Gran Coupe will get the same front fascia styling in production guise, including the massive kidney grille with sharp edges and a wider lower section.

The aggressive stance of the bumper will carry over with a massive center outlet and big vents onto the sides. Changes will include chrome grille trim instead of gold (or black in certain trim options), an "M8" badge, and clear headlamps lenses. The concept car uses the yellow-tinted lights of the GTE race car, but this feature isn’t eligible for production models.

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior Wallpaper quality
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In short, look for the M8 Gran Coupe to look very similar to the M850i, which already includes a range of M-designed parts.

Onto the sides, the rendering suggests that the concept car is around 90 percent ready to go into production. And this is true now that we’ve seen prototypes of the regular 8 Series model. It will have the same wheelbase, a similar coupe-style roof, and identical character lines. However, the production model will get a slightly taller roof, bigger side mirrors, and actual door handles. The wheels will be different as well, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the concept’s two-tone rollers with gold accents available on the options list. Of course, the gold window trim will be replaced by chrome or black, while the B-pillars will become more visible and the rear doors will have quarter windows.

The rear end will remain identical to the coupe model.

The side vents seen on the concept will get a bit smaller, but everything else should be carried over, including the big trunk lid spoiler, the thin taillights, and the quad-exhaust layout with big, round tailpipes.

BMW M8 Gran Coupe Interior

  • Likely identical to the coupe
  • 10.25-inch infotainment display
  • 12.3-inch instrument cluster
  • BMW’s latest tech
  • Carbon-fiber trim
  • Sports seats
  • Leather and Alcantara
2019 BMW 8 Series
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While the concept car has a fancy cabin, the production model will be less futuristic.

I’m pretty sure that the four-door will get the same layout as the coupe, starting with the wide center console that rises toward the dashboard to separate the driver and front passenger areas. This is a feature usually found in full-fledged sports cars and it would give the Gran Coupe an edge over the competition.

As seen in the coupe, the center stack is rather clean, with just a few controls for the audio system and A/C placed in there. The remaining features are accessible through the freestanding, 10.25-inch infotainment display at the top, just like you’d expect in any modern premium vehicle.

2019 BMW 8 Series Interior
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This screen is part of the new BMW Live Cockpit Professional, which also includes a fully digital, 12.3-inch instrument cluster that shares graphics with the X5 SUV and the upcoming Z4.

The M8 will probably get bespoke graphics and dials and at least one more mode for sporty driving though. The aluminum trim will carry over from the standard model, but BMW should also add a few carbon-fiber elements, at least on the options list.

The 8 Series’ already sporty seats will be replaced by race-inspired units with heavier bolstering. Leather and Alcantara will be standard in this model, but BMW will probably use more of the latter for a motorsport-inspired look. Unlike the 8 Series, which can be had with a variety of upholstery colors, including two-tone layouts, the M8 will be mostly black. But the cabin won’t be boring, as extra features will also include sports pedals, bespoke floor mats, illuminated door sills, and, of course, plenty of "M8" badges.

2019 BMW 8 Series Interior
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The audio system should get an update for this model, so the standard 11-speaker system will probably be replaced with the 16-speaker Harman Kardon unit that’s optional in the regular coupe. The fully active, 16-channel, 16-speaker sound system from Bowers & Wilkinson will be available for the M8 too.

Of course, the M8 Gran Coupe will get a different rear-seat layout.

The rear doors will provide easier entry and exit for the passengers, while the longer wheelbase will add a bit more legroom.

Headroom will remain cramped due to the car’s coupe-style roof, but the Gran Coupe will definitely be more comfortable for longer rides.

BMW M8 Gran Coupe Performance

  • Turbocharged V-8
  • More than 600 horsepower
  • 0 to 60 mph in less than 3.7 seconds
  • Top speed in excess of 190 mph
  • Eight-speed automatic gearbox
  • AWD system
2019 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Exterior Spyshots
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The Germans say the mill will generate "north of 600 horsepower"

Just like the outgoing Gran Coupe model based on the 6 Series, the four-door 8 Series will share underpinnings with the coupe. This means that the M8 Gran Coupe will also share drivetrain components with the two-door M8. The latter has yet to be unveiled, but BMW released some info about the engine.

Not surprisingly, the M8 features beefed-up version of the twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8 that BMW launched in the M850i model. The Germans said the mill will generate "north of 600 horsepower," a significant upgrade over the 523 horsepower available with the M850i. Torque should also increase from 553 to well over 600 pound-feet of torque.

This output will give the M8 Grand Coupe solid leverage over its direct competitors. While the Audi RS7 comes with 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque on tap, the Mercedes-AMG CLS53 cranks out 458 horses and 568 pound-feet. Granted, Mercdedes has yet to launch a proper CLS63 model, but it should be on par with the Bimmer performance-wise. However, BMW needs more than 620 horsepower to compete with the recently launched Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe, which delivers 630 horsepower and 627 pound-feet in range-topping G63 S trim.

2019 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Exterior Spyshots
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This output will give the M8 Grand Coupe solid leverage over its direct competitors

How quick will it be? We don’t know that yet, but since the M850i coupe needs 3.6 seconds to hit 60 mph, the M8 Gran Coupe should do it in less than that. My bet is on a 3.4-second sprint, which will make it two tenths quicker than the Audi RS7 Performance, but slower than the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S.

The engine will mate to a fully variable M all-wheel-drive system that can send all power to the rear wheels. The M8 will have an individual 2WD mode and the Gran Coupe should get it as well. With this feature you’ll be able to enjoy the four-door in all its rear-wheel drive glory. BMW also says the M8 will have a lower center of gravity, even weight distribution, and wider tracks front and rear, changes which should apply to the Gran Coupe version as well.

BMW M8 Gran Coupe Safety

2019 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Exterior Spyshots
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The M8 could feature the optional Active Cruise Control system with Stop & Go at no extra cost

The M8 Gran Coupe will benefit from the same safety and driving assist features introduced with the 8 Series. The package should include Personal Co-Pilot, a suite of driver assistance technologies that give the coupe semi-autonomous capability. Using camera images and data provided by ultrasonic and radar sensors, the system it monitors vehicle surroundings and takes actions depending on the environment and the traffic around the car.

The 8 Series’ standard Cruise Control system includes automatic braking function and Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, but the M8 could also feature the optional Active Cruise Control system with Stop & Go at no extra cost. Other highlights will include the active Park Distance Control (PDC) with sensors at the front and rear and Driving Assistant Professional, which adds Steering and Lane Control assistant and Crossing Traffic Warning.

BMW M8 Gran Coupe Pricing

2018 BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe Exterior
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Pricing information is obviously not available at this point, but the M8 Gran Coupe shouldn’t cost much more than the M6 Gran Coupe. The latter comes in at $119,800, so it’s safe to say that the M8 Gran Coupe could fetch around $125,000. This would make it not only the most expensive model in the M lineup, but also more expensive than the competition. The Audi RS7, for instance, comes in at $113,900. A new-generation version of the AMG CLS63 S is not yet available, but the outgoing model starts from $108,900. Hopefully the M8 Gran Coupe will have something to offer for the premium.

BMW M8 Gran Coupe Competition

Audi RS7

2015 - 2016 Audi RS7 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Assuming that the M8 Gran Coupe will indeed replace the M6 Gran Coupe, it will go against the Audi RS7. While the A7 was redesigned for the 2018 model year, a new RS7 has yet to be launched. A new version will arrive by the time the M8 Gran Coupe hits the market, but in the meantime, Audi is still offering the old RS7 in the U.S. The good news is that the outgoing RS7 still looks fresh on the outside. The interior needs an update and the tech isn’t exactly new, but the drivetrain is pretty solid. Powered by a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8, the RS7 comes with 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet on tap. Go with the RS7 Performance and output increases to a whopping 605 horses. The regular model hits 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, while top speed is limited to 174 mph. The Performance version is a tad quicker at 3.6 seconds. Pricing starts from $113,900 for the regular model and from $130,700 for the Performance version.

Read our full review of the 2018 Audi RS7.

Mercedes-AMG CLS63

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLS63
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The CLS is the vehicle that started this full-size, four-door coupe niche and the AMG CLS63 is also the first performance model in this class, so it’s only natural to include it in this comparison. However, the latest-generation CLS has yet to spawn a 63 model, and it might not get one anytime soon. Mercedes did launch the AMG CLS53 recently, but this four-door coupe is no match for the upcoming M8 Gran Coupe and the Audi RS7. Instead of a V-8, the CLS53 uses a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and EQ Boost technology, which turns it into a mild hybrid. The drivetrian is rated at up to 457 and 568 pound-feet when the EQ Boost delivers maximum output, but that’s not enough to compete against a 600-horsepower Bimmer. Getting to 60 mph takes 4.5 seconds, while top speed is limited to 155 mph, both figures inferior to the competition. Should Mercedes-Benz offer a proper AMG CLS63 S version, it should arrive with close to 600 horsepower, but we might not get one. And the reason for that is called the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe.

Read our full story on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLS53.

Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe Exterior
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It has the aggressive AMG GT front end

Launched at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the GT 4-Door Coupe is essentially a more hardcore version of the CLS. It shares many design cues with the latter, but it also borrows some from the AMG GT sports car. More importantly, it has more aggressive aerodynamics and significantly more powerful engines. While the base version uses the CLS53’s six-cylinder and EQ Boost drivetrain, the AMG GT63 version is powered by the familiar twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8. The mill is rated at 577 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, which puts it on par with the AMG GT R. Not as powerful as the upcoming M8 Gran Coupe, right? Yes, but it’s notably quicker, needing only 3.3 seconds to hit 60 mph. Top speed is nothing to sneeze at either at 193 mph. But there’s a more powerful version in GT63 S trim. Powered by the same engine, this one comes with a whopping 630 horsepower and 627 pound-feet on tap, more than you can hope from the M8 Gran Coupe. The sprint to 60 mph only 3.1 clicks, while top speed is rated at an impressive 195 mph. Pricing is not yet available, but the GT 4-Door Coupe should start from around $140,000.

Read our full review of the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe.

Conclusion

2019 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Exterior Spyshots
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The M8 Gran Coupe might seem like an awkward decision at first glance, but since the 8 Series replaced the 6 Series, BMW also needs a replacement for the 6 Series Gran Coupe. And even is the latter doesn’t get discontinued like the two-door version did, BMW could use a more upscale competitor for the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi RS7. With a more unique design and a powerful drivetrain, the M8 Gran Coupe could succeed where the M6 failed in this niche.

  • Leave it
    • Could be very expensive

References

2018 BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe.

BMW Teases The Upcoming 8 Series With Images And Video
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Read our full speculative re view on the 2019 BMW 8 Series.

2019 BMW M8 Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings Exterior
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Read our full speculative review on the BMW M8.

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the BMW 8 Series Concept Coupe.

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