BMW 8-Series Coupe Debuts At Le Mans
BMW has finally unveiled the much awaited 8-Series coupe at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The 8-Series Coupe by BMW will make its official launch this year in November and will be manufactured at the BMW Dingolfing plant that also manufactures the new 7-series. Developed parallel to the BMW M8 GTE which had already proven its potential in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), the BMW 8-Series is quite an important product for the German luxury automaker in order to develop new products for the future.
Talking about the new 8- Series, Sarah Lessmann - Global Product Manager, BMW said, “Everyone in the project had the vision of BMW getting back to sports cars, and not just sporty cars. We have a broad range of competitors, but comparing the 8 Series to only one just doesn’t feel right. There is a big gap [between the S-Class Coupé and the 911] and we decided the 8 Series shouldn’t quite be in the middle of those: it takes the best out of everything, and defines its own gap. Performance-wise, we’re close to the 911, but we also offer elegant and luxurious materials to match the best of the S-Class. The 6 Series was a derivation of the 5 Series, but here we have a stand-alone car, design-wise, performance-wise and component-wise. We could start from scratch to define how a sports car should be.”
Adding further, she also said, “We decided to go for a special set-up, so customers will find their car made on point. There is no choice for the chassis components: it’s a perfect set-up. You don’t just have the driving experience of a sports car, but the true V8 engine sound – there’s no sound generator: it’s pure. The old 8 Series was less a sports car and more a technology showcase to present all the things BMW could do at the time. The 8 Series is the perfect name for a car which is something new, and something that is outstanding across the rest of our portfolio.”
Measuring 4,843 mm in length, 1,902 mm in width, 1,341 mm in height and increased 2,822 mm of wheelbase, the luxurious coupe provides more space to the rear passengers inside. In terms of looks, the upcoming BMW 8-Series gets BMW’s signature kidney grille with a hexagonal outline that widens towards the bottom and a single-piece surround that encompasses various elements of the car, the slimmest LED headlights till date offered on any BMW car as standard, Both light tubes to generate the daytime driving lights as well as the low and high beam and surfaces curved inwards on the far side of the front wheels as they bulge outwards above the rear wheels. At the rear, the BMW 8-Series offers sharply tapered glasshouse, side window graphic as tightly-angled version of the Hofmeister kink 'counter-swing' and long & heavily raked rear window. The slender all-LED rear light clusters 'L' shaped taillight bar as well as twin exhaust tailpipes with a trapezoidal contour positioned either side of the rear apron's lower section are the other highlights of the upcoming BMW 8-Series.
Like the exterior, the interior of the BMW 8-Series also offers smooth transition. The features include full leather trim for the instrument panel and door shoulders as standard, electroplated surfaces of the side air vent surrounds and the accent strips in the vicinity of the door openers, a stylish looking 'closed clasp' at the door openers along with the gear selector and the iDrive Controller, Driving Experience Control switch and the engine start/stop button at the centre console arranged within a newly designed function cluster with active haptic feedback. Other than these, control unit for the light functions consisting of a block of buttons positioned at the bottom of the instrument panel between the steering wheel and the driver's door, latest-generation display and control concept consisting of a high-resolution instrument cluster behind the steering wheel with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches and a 10.25-inch Control Display are the interior highlights as well. A host of comfort features have also been offered on the BMW 8-Series including newly developed sports seats, visually integrated and adjustable headrest into the backrests, electrically adjusted seats, memory function for both driver and front passenger seat and semi-electric folding function has been included for the front seat backrests located on each seatback and facilitates convenient entry and exit for the rear passengers which is activated using a high-quality leather strap.
For international markets, the 8-Series will initially be offered in two versions- the range-topping M850i xDrive and the 840d xDrive. While the M850i xDrive will come powered by a 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine that produces 532 bhp and 750 Nm of torque, the 840d xDrive has been powered by a 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder diesel producing 320 bhp and 680 Nm of peak torque. Both models are equipped with an eight-speed gearbox with improved gear ratios. The range-topping M850i xDrive is capable of doing 0-100 kmph in just 3.7 seconds with a limited top speed of 250 kmph and the 840d xDrive can do the same in 4.9 seconds. Also, the V8 engine has been tuned significantly with the addition of new, enlarged twin-scroll turbochargers that increase power by 68 bhp compared to previous versions. Apart from this, both the engines also get BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system, though with a rear-biased set-up. Although a mild hybrid version is expected to be under consideration, BMW is yet to give official confirmation about it.
When launched, the BMW 8-Series will takes against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe in the market. Other than the coupe, BMW is also preparing to introduce other 8-Series models including a future four-door coupé likely to be launched late next year and a cabriolet version to be introduced later. However, a Concept M8 Gran Coupé was shown at this year’s Geneva motor show by the German luxury automaker.
Stay tuned to V3cars.com for further updates on the BMW 8-Series models.
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