AFTER A SCORE OF MARKET ABSENT YEARS, BMW IS SET TO RELEASE AN 8 SERIES COUPE ON THESE SHORES IN DECEMBER, TO THE BETTERMENT (IF NOT ENRICHMENT) OF US ALL
BY EVAN MONROE
After a 20 year wait, U.S. consumers were greeted in late spring by an announcement from Bavaria that BMW would be returning its vaunted 8 Series coupe to U.S. dealerships. Built at the maker’s Dingolfing plant in Germany (also home to 7 Series sedan production), the all new coupe is a first key component of the Munich based brand’s expanded luxury segment model offensive. On these shores, the official model designation will be the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe.
The low slung design and elongated silhouette with its slim window pillars, “double bubble” roofline, long wheelbase, and wide track gratifyingly marks a break from attractive but occasionally hulking body styles of BMW models of late. Uniqueness is further supplied by a kidney grill of large proportion, featuring a hexagonal outline that widens towards the bottom.
Inside, a wide center console rises up towards the instrument panel, separating driver and front passenger areas. This center space houses the audio control unit and its function buttons, the air conditioning control panel, and air vents, as well as the frameless Control Display, all arranged vertically in a clear and handsomely partitioned structure. In addition to the gear selector and iDrive Controller (like it or loathe it), the center console accommodates the Driving Experience Control switch and the engine start/stop button within a newly designed cluster that features active haptic feedback. Merino leather seats are at once supportive and enveloping, with extended leather surrounds, and there’s also a 16 speaker Harman Kardon audio system to get your Bach on.
Under the hood lies a 523 hp Twin Power Turbo V8 (with new intake ports and a redesigned air intake), hitched to an eight speed Steptronic Sport transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel. Completing the driving experience is BMW xDrive, the maker’s intelligent all wheel drive system, newly improved and tuned specifically for this model.
Availability starts in December, with a best guess starting price of $111,900. In sum, all we can say is willkommen zurück (“welcome back”)!
Ray Catena BMW of Westchester
543 Tarrytown Road, White Plains, NY
914.761.6666 / westchesterbmw.com