2019 BMW M8 Gran Coupe
The company’s most powerful four-door yet?by Ciprian Florea, on
The iconic 8 Series made a comeback in 2018 and BMW also confirmed that the grand tourer will get an M8 version for the very first time. The German firm also announced plans to expand the 8 Series family with 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.
Granted, the test cars are actually an non-M models, but one of the prototypes sports the same exterior as the M850i coupe, which makes it very similar to the full-blow M8 version. The M8 Gran Coupe would make things rather interesting in the four-door coupe niche, as BMW will have a rival for the AMG and RS versions of the CLS and A7, respectively. The concept car provides a few valuable hints as to what to expect from the production model, but 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.
Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming BMW M8 Gran Coupe.
2019 BMW M8 Gran Coupe
0-60 time:3.7 sec.
Top Speed:190 mph
BMW M8 Gran Coupe Exterior
- Concept-inspired features
- Aggressive bumpers
- Unique grille and headlamps
- Coupe-style roof
- Very similar to the M8 coupe
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.
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
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.
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.
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
- Around 600 horsepower
- V-12 engine possible
- 0 to 60 mph in less than 3.7 seconds
- Top speed in excess of 190 mph
- Eight-speed automatic gearbox
- AWD system
The M8 Gran Coupe will most likely share underpinnings with the two-door M8, but since the latter has yet to be unveiled, we don’t have official information about the drivetrain. All we know so far is that the M850i uses a twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8 rated at 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.
A likely scenario is that BMW will use a beefed-up version of this engine, with output close to the 600-horsepower mark.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the M8 Gran Coupe gets more than that. For reference, the Alpina B7, which is based on the latest 7 Series, comes with 599 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.
But rumor has it BMW could also use the twin-turbo, 6.6-liter V-12 that motivates the M760Li, the most powerful iteration of the 7 Series. This sedan benefits from 601 horses and 590 pound-feet of twist. While the former needs 3.6 seconds to hit 60 mph, the latter achieves the benchmark in 3.9 ticks.
With the M8 Gran Coupe likely to be lighter and have better dynamics than the M760Li, 60 mph should come in 3.7 seconds or less.
Top speed is likely to be closer to the Alpina model at 193 mph. The transmission will be an eight-speed automatic regardless of the engine, while the xDrive all-wheel-drive system will be included in the standard package.
BMW M8 Gran Coupe Pricing
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe.
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Read our full review on the BMW 8 Series Concept Coupe.
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