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  • 2019 BMW 8-Series Overview

    Anthony Sophinos
    Automotive Editor - September 19, 2018

    Back in the 1990s, BMW gunned for personal luxury coupe supremacy with their highly advanced 8-Series. It was supposed to carry the torch that the 1980s 6-Series had proudly and successfully held aloft. Yet, somehow, the success of that earlier car eluded the hapless Eight, never reaching the revered, iconic status its predecessor managed to cultivate. With the new 2019 BMW 8-Series, the German automaker wants to quietly sidestep their 90s attempt at a flagship coupe. This all-new 8-Series is BMW's first attempt at a full-boat flagship luxury coupe since those heady pre-Y2K days, and the brand has pulled out all the stops to bring buyers a lavish, extravagant motorcar. Stylish and indulgent, the new 8-Series offers fans of the blue-and-white roundel an enticing alternative to competing high-dollar luxury coupes.

    What's New for 2019

    The 8-Series is all-new for 2019.

    BMW 7 series

    Choosing Your BMW 8-Series

    BMW M4

    The 2019 BMW 8-Series starts at $112,895 (including a $995 destination charge), and is initially offered exclusively in M850i xDrive guise with all-wheel drive. Additional powertrains and a convertible variant will eventually make their way onto the ordering sheet.

    Coming along with the M850i badging is a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine, a familiar BMW motor that has been heavily revised and upgraded. Power output stands at 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, the latter fully available at just 1,800 RPM. Fuel economy estimates have not yet been issued by the EPA, and BMW has been mum on the subject as well.

    Hooked up to that V8 is an eight-speed automatic transmission, dubbed Steptronic in BMW parlance. As with the engine, the transmission isn't new but sees a number of technical improvements designed to reduce engine speeds during cruising as well as improve fuel efficiency and shift quality. To help the car respond better to conditions, the transmission works in cahoots with the navigation system; if the navigation detects traffic at an upcoming intersection, for instance, it relays that information to the transmission, which in turn downshifts earlier to take advantage of engine braking.

    Launch control is standard and lets buyers consistently fire off zero-to-60 mph runs in 3.6 seconds. Multiple drive modes let drivers tailor the character of the car to their own whimsies – Comfort for regular driving, Eco Pro for times of thrift, Sport for tempered fun, and Sport Plus for full-scale back road warfare. Paddle shifters are standard equipment for those who want additional control over their machine.

    Those paddles are just one item on a lengthy list of standard features. Without checking a single box, buyers are spoiled with Merino leather with decorative color-contrasting stitching, an automatic power trunk, a 16-speaker Harmon-Kardon audio system, active park assist, back-up assistant (which takes control of the steering in a reverse maneuver), an electronically locking rear differential, active body roll stabilization, four-wheel steering, and a number of M-design bits like door sills, pedals, and floor mats.

    Highlighting the interior, though, is the 12.3-inch digital display cluster and 10.25-inch center display. This infotainment unit uses the latest iteration of BMW's iDrive software, which now boasts sharper resolution, a revised haptic touch pad, customizable menus (which are stored in the cloud and can be carried over to other BMWs), and a variety of available apps and widgets. The digital cluster is arranged so that the tachometer and speedometer sit outboard, while the large middle space is reserved for navigation and routing. Switching drives also changes the exact look and feel of the cluster. Other technology embedded into the car's digital muscle are remote cloud-based services, SOS emergency notifications, over-the-air navigation updates, and 20 GB of system memory.

    BMW M4

    A flagship coupe isn't quite a flagship without the proper cutting-edge safety features, so BMW has also blessed the 8-Series with a full roster of active safety features as standard. There's adaptive cruise control, a surround-view and multi-view backup camera, a head-up display, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

    A number of options offer buyers the opportunity to further amplify the luxury of their 8-Series. For those looking for more safety features, there's the $1,700 Driver Assistance Package that includes traffic jam assist, steering and lane control assistant, evasion aid, and emergency stop assistant. The BMW Individual Composition Package costs $3,350 and lets buyers choose from a vast selection of special paint and interior trims to truly individualize their 8-Series. For $900, the Comfort Seating Package bundles heated and ventilated front seats, heated armrests, a heated steering wheel, and remote engine start function that also offers the ability to pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin before setting out. And for those who want to squeeze the most performance out their new Eight, there's a Cooling and High Performance Tire Package for $1,850 that equips the car with high-performance tires, a larger radiator, and an auxiliary oil cooler.

    Standalone options include a carbon fiber roof ($3,000), glass controls ($650), alcantara headliner ($650), and night vision ($2,300). There's eight exterior colors to pick from and six interior shades.

    CarsDirect Tip

    We'd splurge on the Cooling and High Performance Tire Package to add a further degree of sporting pretense to our 2019 BMW 8-Series, and we'd also get the Comfort Seating Package to help stay comfortable during Mother Nature's inevitable mood swings. Those two options together would cost $2,750, for a price of $115,645.

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