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26 Apr 2022

What We Dislike
It's not as nimble as its two-door brethren
You can feel its heft around bends

The refreshed BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is a powerful four-door coupe driver that offers thrills and spills on the go.


The last time I drove a four-door coupe on long twisty roads was in 2017 in Mallorca, Spain. I had a terrible go at it even though the car did its best to make me feel like good driver. The car was fast, handled well and it sounded good. But somehow, for some reason, I better handled and enjoyed the car more on roads around town than on the switchbacks.

It could have been the size of the car. Big cars, even while low-slung, naturally can't match the agility of smaller, more focused ones. Or it could really just be a simple case of me being a horrendous driver.

Less horrendous now

Massive output comes from this V8 powerplant
Thankfully, it isn't the case this time round with the refreshed BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe M850i, a four-door coupe that is unabashedly long, wide and low. Add 523bhp and 750Nm of twisting force from the juicy 4.4-litre V8 powerplant into the mix, and the car can be rather tail happy around the alps of Munich where I tested the car.

Still, despite my occasional clumsiness, the 8GC is never vague, always taut around every corner and provides ample bite on the bitumen to make every turn a delightful and thrilling one. It feels sharper and more steadfast than the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG, and certainly sportier and more communicative than the Audi RS 7 Sportback.

Car may be heavy, but it holds its own very well
Yes, there is no denying the fact that the BMW 8GC feels less responsive than cars such as the Aston Martin Vantage, Lexus LC or the Porsche 911, but that would be a rather unfair statement, considering how these cars are completely different compared to the 8GC M850i.

But yet it's hard not to make such bold comparisons because the 8GC manages to stand out really easily in its class that having to bring in more focused rivals seems inevitable. Every flick of the steering, every prod of the throttle and every change in the eight-speed automatic gearbox are so quick, smooth and accurately modulated that it doesn't take long for a pint-sized driver like me to get used to the car and have the confidence to throw it around corners with absolute reckless abandon.

More of others, too

8GC looks good from every angle you view it from
More than just its capability of driving soundly, the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe looks good from every angle you'd care to view it from. From an eye-catching and luxurious style that will attract stares from passers-by to a luxurious yet promising cabin that will satisfy even the most demanding critic, the Bimmer that you see here is an all-rounder that looks as impressive as it drives.

You get some light styling changes up front that requires a keen eye to notice. For instance, the bumpers have been amended, together with the illuminated revised grille with new struts. As a result, what you get is a successful design that hasn't been disrupted to stray too far from what has always been a beautiful and coherent sheet metal.

Cabin is decidedly sporty, functional and comfy
Also a beauty is what you experience on the inside. In the cabin, driving position is very comfortable while visibility out from the main windscreen is superb - something that plays a very important part when it comes to driving something long, wide and expensive.

Needless to say, the cabin remains to provide a very contemporary feel. It's beautifully decorated, fit and finish craftsmanship is peerless and you get extremely high quality materials used in here. It's also packed with all the tech you'll need that controls the 12.3-inch infotainment system.

Space wise, head and legroom is obviously generous for two at the back and it'll easily swallow more than both of your luggage and briefcases without any fuss with the 440 litres worth of boot space.

4.4-litre V8 power!

The 8GC is a sensible and matured car that will make you feel like a hero behind the wheel
Of course, when you get down to it, it's all about whether or not such a car makes sense to you in Singapore. It obviously makes sense to me while I am driving in Munich, with its muscular and rapid disposition that endows the car with the ability to finish the 0 to 100km/h sprint in just 3.9 seconds.

Still, it's the sort of car that you'll have to try it out to see if it fits your needs when it arrives here some time in the third quarter of 2022. It's not going to be cheap, neither is it going to make sense, but trust me when I tell you that this 8 Series Gran Coupe M850i isn't just a car that defies convention, it's one simple case that won't make you a horrendous driver.
 
 
Considering a four-door coupe? Here are some other options you can also consider:

Kia Stinger is a tarmac dancer with its V6 engine

Improving the stellar Stinger formula with the facelifted 2.0-litre variant

Audi A5 Sportback Quattro has an umatched versatility

Peek a sportier look in the CLA200 AMG Line

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