This particular BMW model came through its baptism of fire in the guise of the BMW M8 GTE Racing car. The production car now makes it possible to experience outstandingly dynamic performance in an exceedingly luxurious setting. Heading the model range is the BMW M850i xDrive Coupé (fuel consumption combined: 10.5-10.0 l/100 km), which is powered by a newly developed 390 kW V8 petrol engine.
Off the mark the New 850Mi Coupé’s drive is stupendously quick – it’s almost ravenous the way it puts down that power to the tarmac. This V8 has M-performance bi-turbos that make short work of just about any stretch of road by leaving you wondering where the rest of the two tonnes are hiding! Seamless, instantaneous gearshifts transmitted through an eight speed ’box and the all-wheel xDrive reveal ultra-sharp subtleties through the steering than say, a much lighter/smaller car.
Only to then switch back to the comfort mode where rapid turns to tame (like every day driver tame). This, coupled with the modern and minimalistic design inside the new BMW 8 Series Coupé, and you might think you are driving a much smaller vehicle in the BMW performance arsenal.
The expressive exterior emphasises the dynamic character of the car but not by much. As beautiful as the BMW 8 is, it seems to exude confidence rather than scream it. Large air intakes, M Sport brakes along with 20-inch M light-alloy wheels with high-performance tyres and an exhaust sound note to put the hairs up on your neck, lets you know you are still dealing with M-performance mastery.
An interesting option is the carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof, which is available for the first time on a series-production model that ostensibly lowers the car’s centre of gravity even further.
More about the powerplant reveals a new V8 power unit makes its debut in the BMW M850i xDrive Coupé. The 4.4-litre engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology serves up an intoxicating blend of prodigious power delivery and an equally impressive soundtrack, which is further enhanced by the flap-controlled sports exhaust system. Thanks to a 50 kW increase in output with no impact on weight compared to the engine it replaces, the new V8 is now able to generate 390 kW. Maximum torque of 750 Nm is available for prolonged forward thrust and get’s you from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds.
The standard equipment for the new BMW 8 Series Coupé includes the Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers. Numerous cutting-edge driver assistance systems are available to boost the comfort and safety of the new BMW 8 Series Coupé, in particular. The line-up includes Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, the Steering and lane control assistant, the Lane Change Warning and Lane Departure Warning systems, the Lane Keeping Assistant with side collision protection and evasion aid, BMW Night Vision, as well as the Crossing traffic warning, Priority warning and Wrong-way warning systems.
The inclusion of the BMW Operating System 7.0 display and control concept as standard on the new BMW 8 Series Coupé makes sure the driver is supplied with the right information at the right time. The customisable and personalised 10.25-inch Control Display is optimised for touch control allows fast access to all settings and functions. The BMW Connected personal mobility assistant is available for seamless connectivity between the vehicle and digital devices.
Optimised weight, a low centre of gravity, well-balanced axle load distribution, ideal wheelbase length and a wide track, plus a rigid body structure and favourable aerodynamic properties provide all the right ingredients to the ultimate BMW 8 Flagship experience, this and the fact that you can drive the ‘pinnacle of the motoring mastery as an every-day driver should you wish.
It’s priced at the best part of R2 million… gulp!