BMW has decided to bring back the 8 Series, a model that was last produced in 1999. Since then, BMW did have the 6 Series Coupe, but now the 6 Series is only available as a four-door, while the new 8 is the top of the line coupe. The 8 series is available as an 840i with a six-cylinder engine or as an M850i with a V-8. We decided to test the V-8 version to see if the M850i is any good.

  • 2020 BMW M850i - Driven
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    523 @ 6000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    553 @ 4600
  • Displacement:
    4.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

Exterior

2020 BMW M850i - Driven
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The 8 Series chassis is based on the 5 series but extra emphasis was placed to improve the structure, drive technology, suspension and achieving the dynamic performance expected of a top-class sports car.

Development was parallel to the BMW M8 and the BMW M8 GTE endurance racer, so a low center of gravity, well-balanced weight distribution, lightweight construction using aluminum, magnesium and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), aerodynamically optimized. and a virtually lift-free body were part of the package.

The 8 is a big car but it does not look large, which is a good thing. There is a very strong resemblance to the Ford Mustang in terms of shape. In fact, the two cars are very similar, and that is not a bad thing. The 8 is a bit longer while the Mustang is a bit wider and the rear track is identical to the millimeter.

2020 BMW M850i - Driven
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The 8 cannot really be called a sports car. It is just too big and too heavy at over 4,400 pounds. You definitely feel the weight when driving the car but not in a bad way. The car feels rock-solid and stiff. The 8 feels a lot more like a very well made and solid German muscle car rather than a pure sports car.

Interior

2020 BMW M850i - Driven
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Get inside the 8 Series, and the muscle car feel continues with big doors that shut with a heavy and solid feel and a low roof. Amazingly, visibility is actually not that bad even to the rear despite the small windows. The front seats are extremely comfortable, and there is loads of luxury that you would expect in a car of this price level. The rear seats are a bit difficult to get into for larger adults, and they are really not meant for adults. Interestingly, the trunk is actually very roomy and can hold a lot of luggage although the opening is a bit small.

Drivetrain

2020 BMW M850i - Driven
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The 523-horsepower, twin-turbo, V-8 loses a bit of power compared to the similar engine in the M5. With xDrive all-wheel drive as standard on the M850i, it is easy to launch the car from a standstill and hit the 60 mph mark in only 3.5 seconds. It could easily top out at 190 mph was it not governed to a maximum of 155 mph. With the all-wheel-drive grip, acceleration is very drama free with barely a chirp from the tires.

The front 245/35-20 and rear 275/30-20 tires may seem a bit small for this car but they provide so much grip that it is just astonishing, and you will almost never be at the limit on the street unless you are a lunatic. We were also surprised at how you can toss this big car around effortlessly.

BMW M850i 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

Driving Impressions

2020 BMW M850i - Driven
- image 852053

The old 8 series had two features that we really loved and you can’t get either of them in the new 8. Those features were a V-12 engine and a manual transmission. Instead, the new 8 is powered by you choice of a turbocharged six-cylinder engine or a twin-turbocharged V-8 engine. All come with an 8 speed automatic.

We were a bit perplexed and did not know what to think of the M850i. It is too big and heavy to be a sports car, and it is too refined to be a muscle car. Drive the M850i on an open stretch of road and you will realize that it is a proper GT car. This is a car that absolutely loves to devour long distances. Whether it is driving from Paris to Nice or San Francisco to Las Vegas, the M850i is right at home. Throw your big bags into the large trunk, crank the stereo to your favorite music, relax in the super comfortable seats, and enjoy.

Pricing and Final Thoughts

2020 BMW M850i - Driven
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The M850i definitely is not cheap with a base price of $112,000, and it resides at a level with many heavy hitters such as Aston Martin, Porsche, Mercedes, Audi, and many more, but the M850i rewards its owner and has strong capabilities. The M850i is not for the driver who wants to do track days, even though it is absolutely capable. It is designed to provide a comfortable cruiser and travel companion, and it is very good at it. It will take a few decades to see if this 8 will be as fondly remembered as the previous 8 but, if you can afford it, it is not a bad way to roll.

Further reading

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 8 Series.

2019 BMW M8
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Read our full review on the 2020 BMW M8 Coupe.

2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible Exterior
- image 803295

Read our full review on the 2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible.

2020 BMW M8 Convertible
- image 843233

Read our full review on the 2020 BMW M8 Convertible.

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