This, ladies and gentlemen, is the new BMW 8 Series Coupé. And it’s heading to South Africa. While the worldwide market launch of the sleek new coupé is scheduled for November 2018, the two-door sportscar will go on sale in SA in the first quarter of 2019.
Note, however, that only the M850i xDrive derivative will be offered locally. In overseas markets, two variants will be available: the aforementioned M850i and the diesel-powered 840d xDrive. The latter, for the record, makes 235 kW and 680 N.m from its 3,0-litre inline-six diesel mill, hitting 100 km/h from standstill in a claimed 4,9 seconds.
And the M850i? Well, as we already knew, this model will employ the brand’s twin-turbo 4,4-litre V8 petrol engine (that BMW says has “undergone extensive refinement”) linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and sending 390 kW and 750 N.m (the latter between 1 800 and 4 600 r/min) to all four corners. The obligatory zero to 100 km/h dash is completed in a claimed 3,7 seconds, while top speed comes in at 250 km/h. Expect an M8 to follow at a later stage.
BMW says the latest version of its xDrive system in the M850i features a rear-wheel bias and a rear differential lock to ensure “maximum agility and precision”. Adaptive M suspension and integral active steering will ship standard.
Set to be built at BMW’s Dingolfing plant alongside the 7 Series, the new 8 Series Coupé measures 4 843 mm long, 1 902 mm wide and 1 341 mm high, with a wheelbase of 2 822 mm. The M850i model will run on 20-inch M light-alloy wheels finished in Frozen Cerium Grey metallic with a high-gloss polished finish and wrapped in 245/35 R20 front tyres and 275/30 R20 rear rubber.
BMW says the new model’s “almost fully sealed” underbody, active air flap control with adjustable grille slats and “air curtains” help to reduce aerodynamic drag. On the M850i xDrive variant, an additional front spoiler further minimises front axle lift at high speeds. The BMW M Performance model is fitted with an M rear spoiler as standard, too.
The Bavarian automaker says full leather trim for the instrument panel and door shoulders will be standard on the 8 Series Coupé, along with a leather sports steering wheel (M850i upgrades to an even sportier tiller) with shift paddles. Interestingly, the control unit for the light functions now consists of a block of buttons positioned at the bottom of the instrument panel between the steering wheel and the driver’s door.
The standard audio system comprises eleven speakers and a digital amplifier, although there is also the option of the Harman Kardon surround sound system featuring 16 speakers as well as the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system, the latter boasting diamond loudspeaker technology, fully active 16-channel amplifier (with an output of 1 375 watts), dynamic equalising and 16 partly illuminated speakers.
The BMW 8 Series Coupé will come standard with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional, which features the latest-generation display and control concept comprising a high-resolution instrument cluster with a screen diagonal of 12,3 inches and a 10,25 inch control display.