BMW’s first true competitor for the Mercedes CLS and Porsche Panamera?

BMW has an interesting habit of turning its coupes into four-doors by adding a Gran Coupe badge. And it just did the same with the 8 Series, the sexy coupe that recently replaced the 6 Series in the lineup. Technically speaking, the 8 Series Gran Coupe replaces the 6 Series Gran Coupe, but this now four-door coupe is more than that. Let’s find out why.

The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is an 8 Series with two extra doors

BMW 8 Series Grows Bigger in Gran Coupe Trim, Goes After the Mercedes CLS
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It's pretty obvious that the Gran Coupe is virtually identical to the regular 8 Series in the front

Just like the other Gran Coupe models of past and present, the 8 Series Gran Coupe is a four-door version of the 8 Series it is based on. It’s just as sleek, but it’s longer and it offers enhanced access to the rear seats, where passenger will also enjoy a bit more legroom and headroom.

It’s pretty obvious that the Gran Coupe is virtually identical to the regular 8 Series in the front. It has a massive, yet sleek grille, slender headlamps with optional Laserlight technology, a sporty front splitter, and large air intakes. The rear section looks the same as well. There’s a big spoiler integrated into the trunk lid, really slim, two-piece taillights, vertical bumper vents, and a sporty diffuser with big exhaust pipes.

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Not only the wheelbase is longer and the design include rear doors, but BMW also altered the shape of the roof

It’s the Gran Coupe’s profile that stands out. Not only the wheelbase is longer and the design include rear doors, but BMW also altered the shape of the roof. The front section of the roof is a bit taller, while the front doors are shorter. The rear windows are obviously larger now and their design is not as sleek as the coupe’s quarter windows. The roof line retains a coupe-style shape toward the back and BMW actually managed to keep the size and shape of the deck lid in place.

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Size-wise, the Gran Coupe is obviously bigger than the two-door 8 Series. At 200 inches long, the Gran Coupe is almost 10 inches longer than the two-door version. Eight of these 10 extra inches go into the sedan’s wheelbase, which comes in at 119 inches. The Gran Coupe is also 1.2 inches wider and sits 2.2 inches taller compared to the coupe.

BMW 8 Series Coupe vs BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Size
BMW 8 Series Coupe BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe
Length 191.2 inches 200 inches
Wheelbase 111.1 inches 119 inches
Width 74.8 inches 76 inches
Height 53 inches 55.2 inches

The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is bigger than the 6 Series Gran Coupe

BMW 8 Series Grows Bigger in Gran Coupe Trim, Goes After the Mercedes CLS
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The new 8 Series Gran Coupe is marginally larger than its predecessor, which was based on the 6 Series. Specifically, the new four-door coupe adds almost three inches in length, while its wheelbase is two inches longer. The 8 Series is also 1.5 inches wider, but the two sedans have the same height.

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe
Length 200 inches 197.2 inches
Wheelbase 119 inches 117 inches
Width 76 inches 74.5 inches
Height 55.2 inches 55.2 inches

The 8 Series Gran Coupe is smaller than the 7 Series

BMW 8 Series Grows Bigger in Gran Coupe Trim, Goes After the Mercedes CLS
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While it’s bigger than its spiritual predecessor, the 8 Series Gran Coupe isn’t the biggest four-door with a BMW badge. This position remains with the 7 Series, which is marginally longer than the 8 Series Gran Coupe. Specifically, the regular 7 Series is 0.7 inches longer and boasts a two-inch longer wheelbase. They’re similar when it comes to width, but the 7 Series is almost three inches taller. Compared to the long-wheelbase version of the 7 Series, the 8 Series Gran Coupe is 6.2 inches shorter, while its wheelbase is 7.4 inches shorter.

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe BMW 7 Series BMW 7 Series Long
Length 200 inches 200.7 inches 206.2 inches
Wheelbase 119 inches 121 inches 126.4 inches

The 8 Series Gran Coupe offers better rear-seat passenger room

BMW 8 Series Grows Bigger in Gran Coupe Trim, Goes After the Mercedes CLS
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Because the wheelbase is eight inches longer, you can stretch your legs a bit more in the rear seats

As expected, the Gran Coupe is the roomiest 8 Series to date. While the two-door coupe isn’t very cramped in the rear, the Gran Coupe comes with notably more space. Because the wheelbase is eight inches longer, you can stretch your legs a bit more in the rear seats. There’s also more shoulder room and headroom for rear passenger due to the taller cabin and the fact that the sloping section of the roof doesn’t begin from the B-pillar, like on the standard coupe.

The rear seats also have integral seat restraints and you can add the optional four-zone automatic climate control system for enhanced comfort. Obviously, the rear doors add a lot of convenience as well, as rear-seat passenger no longer have to struggle to fit behind a folded front seat to get inside the car. The Gran Coupe is just as comfortable as a regular sedan when it comes to ingress and egress.

Everything else remains unchanged compared to the regular 8 Series, so you get all the goodies and the modern tech. There’s the BMW Live Cockpit Profession, the big infotainment display, a head-up display, a leather steering wheel, and trim surface in stainless steel. You can even opt for the glass applications for the gear selector and center console controls.

The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe comes with three engines

BMW 8 Series Grows Bigger in Gran Coupe Trim, Goes After the Mercedes CLS
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Just like the two-door coupe, the Gran Coupe features two gasoline engines. The base model goes by the name 840i and draws juice from a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. The turbocharged mill generates 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It hits 62 mph in 5.2 seconds a hits a top speed of 155 mph. While the entry-level model is rear-wheel driven, you can opt for the XDrive variant with AWD. The latter hits 62 mph in 4.9 seconds.

Next up is the performance-oriented M850i xDrive, powered by a 4.4-liter V-8 good for 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. This sedan will get you to 62 mph in a scant 3.9 seconds and it will keep charging until it hits 155 mph. The M850i is the most powerful version now, but it will be superseded by the M8 Gran Coupe later in 2019.

Finally, European customers will have access to a diesel version called the 840d xDrive. This four-door features a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel that cranks out 315 horsepower and an impressive 501 pound-feet of torque. This model accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 5.1 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph.

BMW 840i BMW M850i xDrive BMW 840d xDrive
Power 335 hp 523 hp 315 hp
Torque 369 lb-ft 553 lb-ft 501 lb-ft
0-62 mph 4.9 seconds xDrive (5.2 seconds RWD) 3.9 seconds 5.1 seconds
Top speed 155 mph 155 mph 155 mph

The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe comes after Mercedes and Audi

BMW 8 Series Grows Bigger in Gran Coupe Trim, Goes After the Mercedes CLS
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The 8 Series Gran Coupe takes over where the 6 Series Gran Coupe left to tackle two iconic German four-door coupes: the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the Audi A7.

The CLS is the oldest nameplate in this market and the car that started the full-size four-door coupe trend. It’s already in its third generation and boasts a fresh design, having been unveiled in 2018. Drivetrain options include four-cylinder and six-cylinder gas and diesel mills, but there’s no V-8 to go against the M850i xDrive. The most powerful version to date is the Mercedes-AMG CLS53 4Matic, rated at 429 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes offers two additional trims with 295 and 362 horsepower. On the diesel front, the base model delivers 241 horses and 369 pound-feet, while the range-topping trim cranks out 335 horsepower and 516 pound-feet.

Redesigned for the second generation in 2018, the Audi A7 is also as fresh as they get. Sporting a more aggressive design on the outside and a more luxurious interior, the A7 comes with a range of four-cylinder and V-6 engines that feature 48-volt electrical systems. In the U.S., the four-door coupe comes with a 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 340 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of twist. In Europe there are also four-cylinder units with 245 horsepower and diesel between 204 and 286 horses.

Further reading

References

1989 - 1999 BMW 8-series
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Read our full review on the original 1998-1999 BMW 8 Series.

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

2019 BMW 8 Series High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 8 Series Concept Coupe.

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1989 - 1999 BMW 8-series
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