Is it as cool as the original model?

Every time an automaker like BMW launches a new-generation model, gearheads go wild, and outlets compare it to alternatives from Audi and Mercedes-Benz. But while models like the X5 and the 3 Series get massive attention with each redesign, no Bimmer gets more time under the spotlight than the 8 Series. Revived after a 20-year hiatus, the grand tourer is the car of the moment and arguably one of the most important releases of the year.

The new 8 Series is spectacular in many ways, but much like most automobiles out there, it’s not perfect. We’re here to give it our usual "love it or leave it" treatment, in which we discuss what we like and what we hate about it. Find out what our staff had to say about BMW’s new luxury coupe and let us know what you think about it in the comments sections below.

Continue reading for the full story.

Kirby

Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior
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It doesn’t have the timeless looks of the original, but it’s clear that Bimmer developed this model to serve one clear purpose, and that’s to become the brand’s unquestioned flagship model

Yes! Yes! Yes! As a child who grew up with a poster of the 1989 BMW 8 Series on my wall, there are only a handful of cars that I’d take over that one. I know that comparing the new 2019 model to the OG icon is unfair for a lot of reasons, so I’m not going to do it. What I can say is that I love that BMW brought back the 8 Series, and the car it has at the moment has the potential to be a long-term success. It doesn’t have the timeless looks of the original, but it’s clear that Bimmer developed this model to serve one clear purpose, and that’s to become the brand’s unquestioned flagship model. The litany of premium and tech features is impressive, and the promise of more versions in the horizon is tantalizing.

One thing I’d be curious of is how carefully BMW turns the 8 Series into the M8. We all know it’s happening so let’s not kid ourselves into being surprised when it does arrive. If the automaker manages to create a clear separation between the standard 8er and the M8, then it’s going to serve the nameplate better in the long run. Now, doing so would mean that the M8 could have power approaching supercar levels, but as I said, I’m not worried. A full 8 Series lineup that includes a coupé, convertible, Gran Coupe, an M8, and whatever other version Bimmer has will go along way in re-establishing the 8 Series nameplate for future generations.

Ciprian

Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior
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I was skeptical about the 8 Series being more than a refreshed 6 Series

It’s been decades since I actually liked any of BMW’s designs (the latest M2 is an exception though), so I was skeptical about the 8 Series being more than a refreshed 6 Series. I’m glad to say I was wrong and I’m happy to see that BMW gave the 8 Series a unique look in the lineup. This is especially important when compared to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, which is nothing more than a two-door version of the sedan. The 8 Series is also significantly more aggressive than its direct competitor in M850i trim, while its sporty front fascia, elegant rear end, and the heavily raked rear window give it that classic grand tourer look that Mercedes-Benz can’t offer. Needless to say, the tech package is as impressive as they get, while the race-inspired interior design with the separate driver and passenger compartment is a cool feature you only find in full-fledged supercars.

On the flipside, the new 8 Series isn’t as glamorous as its predecessor as far as looks go. When the first-gen model arrived in 1990, it took everyone by surprise with its stunning design. It was truly unique in the lineup, it still had pop-up headlamps when other automakers were giving up on them, and it looked downright menacing compared to other grand tourers. More importantly, it had a V-12 engine, and it eventually became a very exclusive nameplate. The new 8 Series will never get there, mainly because the market has changed dramatically in three decades, but it’s also because, at the end of the day, it’s a mild concept. And by I mean that it doesn’t have the original car’s shock factor, it’s not a gas guzzler, and it has enough technology to drive almost by itself. Oh yeah, and it has a diesel option. I don’t get luxury grand tourers with oil burners. Hybrid drivetrains make more sense in cars like this, but not diesel. Still, I can’t wait to test drive the new 8 Series!

Jonathan

Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior
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All told, Mercedes-Benz should be pretty nervous right about now

Break out the bubbly - a major automaker revived a classic nameplate and didn’t turn it into an SUV!

Bitter sarcasm aside, I’m actually quite excited for the new 8 Series. This thing looks like the perfect capstone to the Bavarians’ pyramid, and for a number of reasons.

First off, the motivation behind it is exactly where it should be, or at least that’s how it appears. BMW debuted the 8 Series at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, putting it through its paces in M8 GTE form, and while the brand failed to place well (one car crashed out, the other finished 12th), it’s good to see BMW back in the saddle.

As for the production model, my first impressions are positive. I think it looks quite good, with an aggressive yet elegant aesthetic. The profile reveals rather compelling proportions, while the front bears a head-turning fascia. What’s more, the interior looks fabulous, with less of the messy design I’ve seen from the brand over the last few years. Keep it up, BMW.

I think I’m particularly interested in seeing what new technology the automaker has planned for this thing. Considering the new 8 Series is lining up to be BMW’s flagship model, the gadgets should be pretty trick going forward. And that includes all the stuff to make it drive like a champ, as BMW looks to return to that classic balance between sportiness and comfort it was known for decades ago. And that’s a very good thing, as the tech should trickle down to the rest of the stable.

That said, I definitely would prefer to hear a V-12 soundtrack from the exhaust, but the calendar is telling me it’s 2018, and such expectations are a bit out of step with the times. As such, I think the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 in the M850i xDrive should be more than sufficient.

So far, the initial reviews are giving the 8 Series a thumbs up, painting a picture of a capable, comfortable, fun-to-drive grand tourer that can deliver exactly what we’d expect. All told, Mercedes-Benz should be pretty nervous right about now.

Safet

Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The new BMW 8 Series colorfully represents what the whole brand stands for right now - speed, fun, poise, beauty, cutting-edge technology, and driving characteristics to match those of the exotics.

The new BMW 8 Series isn’t just a car. It is an ideology created out of necessity to transfer the BMW character into what once was its most important trait - the Ultimate Driving Machine. Having developed a car for the segment where heavyweights such as the S-Class Coupe, or perhaps even some of the British aristocracy produced by Bentley and Aston resides, BMW had to rethink the whole premise of a luxury coupe. And they did.

The new 8 Series may be luxurious and opulent in ways only those buying the most expensive can attest, but this is, interestingly, its secondary peculiarity. In a manner of proper sports cars, the 2019 BMW 8 Series introduced us to a whole new BMW line of thinking - it is a car with the architecture drizzled in CFRP and aluminum, with a powerful engine sitting really low, and a whole stature focused on only one thing - speed.

The heart of the matter for the new one is the BMW M850i xDrive M Performance - a 523 horsepower V-8 beast capable of taking down the Aston Martin DB11 in 0-62 runs. BMW and M Performance dramatically improved the V-8 by coating cylinder walls with a special spray to reduce frictional forces. They have also installed a new crankcase and improved pistons. All in the name of power and torque. Sending all the grunt to the xDrive system via an adjustable and adoptable eight-speed transmission with the Launch Control can launch the startling coupe to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds. And it will corner dominantly - all thanks to active steering, roll stabilization, rear biased xDrive system, and active aero. See, a sports car. You have to love it no matter what.

While the sheer look of the thing can be described only by the word gorgeous, I think that BMW rejected all the traits of the original too easily. There are no hints of the original whatsoever. I kind of hold that against BMW. The 8 from the Nineties is an astonishing car which definitely deserves some kind of a throwback.

Sitting at the top of the BMW food chain, the new BMW 8 Series colorfully represents what the whole brand stands for right now - speed, fun, poise, beauty, cutting-edge technology, and driving characteristics to match those of the exotics.

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 Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 BMW M8 Coupe.

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

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

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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