BMW’s all-new 8 Series Coupe and Convertible is a technological tour de force

Twin-turbo V8 and all-wheel drive ensure this Beemer’s no mere boulevardier.

By Michael Stahl 10/12/2018

BMW Australia whipped the covers from its shapely, all-new 8 Series coupe and convertible in Sydney last weekend, in advance of the technological powerhouse grand tourer’s deliveries commencing in March.

BMW’s M850i Coupe (lead image) and Convertible (above)

The M850i Coupe and M850i Convertible, priced respectively at $272,900 and $281,000 (plus on-roads), are powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine and like BMW’s flagship sedan M760Li, feature the brand’s xDrive all-wheel drive and Integral Active Steering of the rear wheels, for low-speed manoeuvrability and high-speed stability.

The 8 Series is not just quick – with 0-100 km/h performance in 3.7 seconds (3.9 for the convertible) – but comfortable, featuring the full complement of BMW’s technologies such as the BMW Live Cockpit professional customisable instrument display, gesture control (coupe only), voice control and the latest ConnectedDrive system that includes Wireless Apple CarPlay and Digital Key vehicle access via smartphone.

The standard equipment specification also includes laser headlights, night vision camera with pedestrian recognition, parking assistance with 3D view and reversing assistant (that can retrace the last 50 metres of travel), and wireless smartphone charging.

All of that driver assistance is made possible by no fewer than seven on-board cameras, five radars and 12 ultrasonic parking sensors, along with plenty of processing power.
The 8 Series’ long, muscular body features the most prominent interpretation of BMW’s kidney grille, sculpted hips and, on the Coupe, a classic “double bubble” shape moulded into the carbon-fibre roof panel.

The M850i Convertible, meanwhile, naturally has a fully electric soft-top, which can be opened or closed within 15 seconds and is operable at up to 50km/h.

A nod to the past: the new 8 Series flank their E31 predecessor of 1989

The 8 Series revives a nameplate introduced way back in 1989 on a wedge-shaped coupe, codenamed E31, that replaced the graceful and beloved 6 Series (E24) six-cylinder coupes. The E31, which ceased production in 1999, was a powered by either V8 (840Ci) or V12 (850i) engines.

The M850i Coupe and M850i Convertible introduce the new 8 Series (codenamed G15), but six-cylinder 840i and super high-performance M8 Competition versions are believed to be following.

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