20 years after BMW retired the 8 Series nameplate, they finally decided to bring it back and they did so with a vengeance. Whereas the original was available solely in 2-door Coupe format, the new 8 Series is available in no less than three different body styles.
This last body style is seen by many as the best-looking of the three, yours truly included. By all metrics, the 8 Series Gran Coupe is easily the best-looking BMW made in the last 10 years.
The front fascia doesn’t look like it wants to bite your face off, like some other models from Munich seem to want to do these days. The kidney grilles are on the larger side of things, but they are still decent and have a shape that blends in nicely with the rest of the car.
The sleek headlights are marvelous and the blue accents laser-equipped ones have make them just that tiny bit more special. Then there’s the front bumper. The M Sport choice will most likely be the most popular one and for good reason. It has massive air inlets on the sides that tell you this car is not to mess with.
Get some carbon fiber bits on the car and things get even prettier – if carbon fiber is your thing. The side of the car is sleek. The roof hangs low and has a slight arch right above the rear seats but continues flawlessly to the massive boot lid. Massive wide hips enthrall you and create a feeling of power, oozing seriousness and demanding respect.
The fact that our tester was wearing Aventurine Red made it look even better, highlighting every crease and character line.
Inside the cabin things were similarly pretty. Whereas the outside was red, the interior was all white, with Individual Merino Ivory white leather covering the seats and Alcantara in the same hue covering the roof lining.
The design is pretty much the same you’ll find on the Coupe model. The dash looks the same and the same technology is offered. The speakers light up with beautiful patterns and the colors can even be matched to the interior lighting.
You can also adjust the intensity of the speaker illumination, which goes to show how much thought went into the making of this bespoke setup. The optional 1,400 Watts sound system delivers a crisp sound and has plenty of volume without distortions even at max volume.
You also get all the tech found on the other 8 Series models, from the new digital instrument cluster to iDrive 7. The tester came with the latest driving assistant tech which now shows you the cars around whenever you’re driving on the highway or around town.
The bigger difference between this 8 Series and the other two body styles comes in the back though. As we are all aware, the 8 Series Gran Coupe builds on the success enjoyed by the 6 Series Gran Coupe before it. The problem with its predecessor was that space in the back was rather limited.
That’s because the four-door coupe is 231 mm longer than the Coupe and 201 of those millimeters go into the wheelbase alone. That means you get more room in the back than ever. Sometimes though, despite the best efforts of the engineers, that added length doesn’t necessarily translate into more usable room for the occupants. This 8is not the case on the 8 Series Gran Coupe though. You get enough room in the back for longer trips.
Leg room is more than decent while headroom is adequate. Overall though, I think four adults going on a longer trip, even cross country, would be comfortable all the way.
The rear seats also look amazing. They have profiled bolsters on the sides and are nice and soft. They can also be heated and ventilated like the ones up front and you also get two charging ports in the rear center console. These will be quite useful on longer trips. The frameless windows also create a nice effect whenever you open the doors and, to my surprise, as a matter of fact, the 8 Series Gran Coupe is a lot quieter than expected.
Driving the 2020 BMW 840d Gran Coupe though is a really good experience, with or without the fake sound. The driving position is low and comfortable, offering good visibility on all sides, sans the rear. The low-profile window at the back does look cool, but the profile of the rear seats’ headrests does cut into your field of view out back. Not really a huge issue though except when parking around town. Nevertheless, the BMW surround view cameras will help out. A lot!
Also, navigating around town should be a bit of a hassle with a car that’s over 5 meters long but, luckily for us, BMW adds Integral Steering to the mix and that means the rear wheels help out when turning.
The steering is nicely weighted and offers confidence when trying to place the car on the road. The front axle also has plenty of grip and that adds to the confidence inspiring feel you get behind the wheel.
Then there’s the excellent body control and lateral grip which help out a lot when entering a bend with some speed. The car simply holds on while being pushed by all forces to the outside of the bend and keeps you on the perfect line. All the while you feel like nothing can set you off in the wrong direction or offset the extraordinary balance this car has on the edge. It is, by all means, remarkable.
This particular model wasn’t powered by the almighty 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 of the M850i variety, but the 3-liter straight six diesel with two turbochargers under the hood does its job brilliantly too. It delivers 320 HP and 680 Nm (501 lb-ft) of torque to all four corners of the car through an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
Those numbers might seem off compared to the 530 HP of the M Performance alternative, but they are more than enough for anything you might want to do with the 2020 BMW 840d Gran Coupe. The car will do 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.1 seconds which means you’ll leave a lot of cars for dead.
The fuel consumption of the 840d xDrive outside city limits was around 5 l/100 km (56.49 mpg UK, 47 mpg US) with an average speed around 100 km/h (62 mph). That number went up to 8 l/100 km (29 mpg US, 35 mpg UK) when the average speed rose to 130 km/h (81 mph).
As a matter of fact, the Active Sound Design feature still pumps in some fake V8 sounds when in Sport mode.
The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is one of the best cars to come out of Munich in the last decade and you should give it a good look over if you’re looking for a stylish four-door coupe.