• 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe - Driving Impressions

LISTEN 05:51

I love 4-door cars. Being able to have room inside for your friends is usually a good thing and having a big four door with 600 hp is even better. Enter the new BMW M8 Gran Coupe. This is a car for when you don’t want compromises and you want everything. There are usually drawbacks for such situations and in this case it comes down to money. But let’s just enjoy the fast and luxurious M8 for now.

BMW M8 Impressions

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe - Driving Impressions Exterior
- image 916859

The Gran Coupe rides on a chassis and body which is 9.1-inches longer, 1.4-inches wider, 2.3-inches taller, and with an increased 7.9-inch wheelbase over the M8 Coupe, adding extra stability, comfort and rear interior space. The back seat is actually quite spacious and can seat three people for short hauls.

Most rides in the M8 will be short hauls because with 600 hp on tap, you can get there very quickly.

The 4.4 liter S63 V-8 produces 600 hp at 6,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque at 1,800 – 5,600 rpm thanks to two turbochargers, cross-bank exhaust manifolds, direct injection and upgraded cooling and oil supply. The turbochargers are positioned within the V of the engine block to help improve thermal efficiency and response. The cross-bank exhaust manifolds improve turbocharger and throttle response by reducing the distance the exhaust gases need to flow to reach the turbochargers. The direct fuel injection operates at a very high 5,076 psi ensuring ultra-fine fuel atomization for improved power and efficiency. Water-to-air intercooling helps reduce the temperature of the incoming air charge for improved power.

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe - Driving Impressions Drivetrain
- image 916887
BMW M8 specifications
M8 Coupe M8 Competition Coupe
Engine type S63B44T4 S63B44T4
Engine type V8 V8
Induction Turbocharged Turbocharged
Cylinders 8 8
Valves per cylinder 4 4
Stroke mm 88.3 88.3
Bore mm 89.0 89.0
Displacement cm³ 4,395 4,395
Compression rate :1 10.0 10.0
Engine power hp 600 HP @ 6,000 RPM 617 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Engine torque 553 LB-FT @ 1,800 – 5,700 RPM 553 LB-FT @ 1,800 - 5,860 RPM
0-60 mph seconds 3.1 3.0
Top speed (optional) mph 155 (189) 155 (189)

The advanced cooling system is composed of two separate water circuits, one for the intercoolers and one for the engine and turbochargers. An electric cooling pump ensures that the turbochargers receive sufficient coolant flow even after the engine has been turned off. An additional engine oil cooler and transmission oil cooler ensure the M8 is capable of standing up to the higher thermal demands of track driving.

The V-8 is mated to an 8 speed automatic transmission feeding power to all four wheels. Just like the M5, there is a setting to make the M8 a rear drive car. Under normal circumstances, the system only sends torque to the front wheels when extra traction is required. The default 4WD mode focuses on providing maximum traction and controlled handling. 4WD Sport sharpens the M8’s response and agility further while sending more power to the rear wheels during dynamic driving. Deactivating DSC allows for 2WD mode which activates a unique rear-wheel drive only mode for experienced drivers. In 2WD mode the M8 becomes more like a pony car and is capable of burnouts with ease. Use the launch control and 4WD and you can do 0-60 in 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 190 mph (with the optional M Driver’s Package).

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe - Driving Impressions Exterior
- image 916891

M8 models are equipped with standard M compound brakes featuring drilled, vented steel brake disks measuring 395 mm up front and 380 mm in the rear with fixed, six-piston calipers in the front and floating, single-piston calipers in the back.

Our test car had the optional carbon ceramic brakes which come with 400 mm front disks and with the 380 mm rear disks and are worth it if you plan on driving your M8 on the track on a regular basis.

Those brakes will cost you over $8000 so choose wisely. The M8 Gran Coupe features the latest version of BMW M’s integrated brake-by-wire system. This system combines braking activation, brake booster and brake control functions into one compact module which saves almost 4.5 pounds over a conventional braking system, while eliminating the vacuum-based components. The system is a bit touchy in everyday driving but nothing to worry about.

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe - Driving Impressions Interior
- image 916905

The interior appointments of a special car like the M8 needs to set the car apart. Beautiful seats and stitching with illuminated M badging below the headrest area are standard. A 12-inch center display shows all the instruments and can be custom designed to your liking. Our car had the optional Bowers and Wilkins 16 speaker audio system with 1400 watts of audio power. The system will set you back $3400 but the audio quality is superb.

The M8 is quick. With four wheel drive traction, the car launches hard and can scare your passengers.

It is also luxurious and well crafted. Unlike many other similar cars, the M8 actually gets decent fuel economy as well. It is a car of few compromises but where it falls short is that it doesn’t feel like a BMW. BMWs used to feel connected and pure but with all the luxury and features, there is a loss. Most people won’t agree or care and will love this car. We love this car as well but wish it drove more like its older brothers.

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe - Driving Impressions Exterior
- image 916868

So the M8 Gran Coupe is an awesome car that can do it all. It is roomy, fast, luxurious, fun, and can even work in bad weather thanks to an advanced 4WD system. The only drawback is that good things in the world usually don’t come cheap and the M8 Gran Coupe starts at around $130,000 with our test car topping the $150,000 mark. That is a lot of money but then this is no ordinary car.

Ali Arsham
About the author

Related Articles

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: