Say what you will about BMW and its obsession with big-grilled SUVs, but the Bavarians still know how to make a pretty saloon. A worthy replacement for the defunct 6 Series Gran Coupe, the more practical 8er enhances the grand tourer recipe by adding two extra doors and a third rear seat, albeit the one in the middle is “suitable for use on short journeys.”
Longer and wider than its two-door cousins, the 8 Series Gran Coupe is being featured in a series of videos putting the spotlight on the M850i xDrive temporary flagship version. Why is it a provisional range topper? Because it’s only a matter of time before BMW will unveil the M8 Gran Coupe to take on another performance luxury big “coupe” that’s actually a saloon – the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Four-Door Coupe.
Should you want rear-wheel drive, BMW will be more than happy to sell you the 840i with a tail-happy arrangement, but the diesel-fuelled 840d along with the hotter M850i and M8 will come exclusively with AWD. Interestingly, the Germans say this is the only model in its segment to be derived from a two-door sports car, having been developed alongside the regular 8 Series Coupe and the M8 GTE race car.
Having a much longer roof than the coupe and convertible allowed BMW’s engineers to develop a generous panoramic glass roof exclusive to the 8 Series Gran Coupe and measuring about 1.5 square metres (about 16.1 square feet). With the focus being on passengers sitting in the back, the large and swoopy saloon also benefits from four-zone automatic climate control as well as sun blinds for the rear side windows and the rear glass.
All in all, it’s comforting to know high-end automakers such as BMW are not moving away from saloons. Yes, with the launch of the X2 and X7 there are now more SUVs than ever before, but saloons are still important, and this 8 Series Gran Coupe is a great example even though it has a name we’re not entirely happy with.