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2020 BMW 8-Series Overview

William Kinton
Automotive Editor - August 1, 2019

A year after its resurrection from the dead, the 2020 BMW 8-Series returns with a much-expanded lineup. Instead of only being offered as a V8-powered coupe, it's now offered with a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that slots in for the base model.

Additionally, the 8-Series is now offered as a convertible and a four-door Gran Coupe. While the coupe and convertible are available now, the Gran Coupe likely won't hit showrooms until September.

Choosing Your BMW 8-Series

BMW offers the 8-Series in three body styles: Gran Coupe, coupe, and convertible. Each of these configurations is offered in two trims: 840i and M850i xDrive. Pricing starts at $85,895 including destination for the 840i Gran Coupe and goes all the way up to $122,395 for the M850i xDrive convertible.

Opting for a coupe costs $3,000 more than a Gran Coupe, while a convertible is a $12,500 premium. Across all body styles, moving up to the M850i costs $24,000 more than an 840i.

Engine Choices

The BMW 8-Series has two engine choices. Base 840i models receive BMW's venerable 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder, while a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 powers 850i xDrive models.

Engine TypeHorsepowerTorqueBest 0-60 mph TimeFuel Economy (Combined)
3.0L Turbo Inline-6335 hp368 lb-ft4.4 secondsNot Yet Rated
4.4L Twin-Turbo V8523 hp553 lb-ft3.5 seconds25 mpg

All 8-Series models are equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive ("xDrive" in BMW parlance) is optional on 840i models for an extra $2,900 regardless of body style, but it's standard on V8-equipped models.

While AWD 840i models can be expected to suffer a slight penalty in fuel economy, they sprint to 60 mph a few tenths of a second faster than their rear-wheel-drive counterparts. Additionally, the convertible and Gran Coupe models have a penalty of a few tenths of a second over the coupe due to their extra weight.

Passenger & Cargo Capacity

The 8-Series coupe and convertible offer seating for four, while the Gran Coupe can seat five. While the front seats are made for comfortable long distance cruising, the rear seats are almost useless for adults.

Coupe versions feature 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space, convertibles get only 12.4 due to the folding roof, and the Gran Coupe's fastback hatch design opens up 15.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

The Gran Coupe also offers 3.4 more inches of rear head room and 7.1 more inches of rear leg room compared to the coupe.

Safety Features

Despite its hefty price tag, the BMW 8-Series only comes standard with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, and adaptive LED headlights.

Other advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and park distance control are part of a $500 package, while BMW's extended traffic jam assistant that provides partially autonomous driving is part of a $1,700 package.

The 8-Series hasn't been rated by the IIHS or NHTSA at this time.

Connectivity

The BMW 8-Series comes standard a 10.25-inch center screen, a head-up display, and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster that uses BMW's iDrive 7 infotainment system. Navigation, wireless charging, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, HD radio, satellite radio, two USB ports, and BMW remote services are also included.

As a note, the 8-Series does have Apple CarPlay compatibility, but unlike every other brand on the market, BMW offers it as a subscription service. The first year is complimentary, but owners have to pony up $80 per year after that, or they can pay $300 upfront for a 240-month subscription.

840i - From $85,895

While BMW is known to nickel and dime buyers for almost everything, the 840i is well equipped with luxury features like leather upholstery and soft-close automatic doors. The leather-wrapped steering wheel, 14-way power front seats, and armrests are all heated, as are the power-folding side mirrors. Also standard are remote start, keyless entry, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Buyers must first choose between the standard Sport Design or the $4,850 M Sport Design that adds an aerodynamic kit, shadowline exterior trim, multi-function seats with greater adjustability, and a sporty steering wheel.

As one would expect with a luxury car, seating surfaces can be upgraded to premium Merino leather, and standalone options range from glass control interfaces ($650) to infrared night vision ($2,300).

The full suite of active safety features requires the $500 Driving Assistance Package 2 and the $1,700 Driving Assistance Professional Package. If buyers want to add ventilation to the front seats and heating to the back seats, they have to tick the box for the Comfort Seating Package ($1,900).

M850i - From $109,895

The major differentiator between the 840i and the M850i xDrive is the engine. Additionally, the M850i is offered with most of the equipment from the M Design and Comfort Seating Package, so it adds an adaptive suspension, sport exhaust system, unique aerodynamics, 16-way power front seats, and ventilated front seats over the 840i.

Even here, the safety equipment still costs extra through the two aforementioned packages. Buyers can make the M850i a better track day machine with the Cooling and High Performance Tire Package ($1,850), which adds high performance tires, black wheels, a more powerful cooling fan, and an additional engine oil cooler.

A notable new standalone offering is the $3,000 M Carbon Roof on the coupe, which lowers the weight and center of gravity for better handling.

Compare 8-Series Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

While the price difference is hefty, it's worth springing for the M850i xDrive if you can swing it. The powerful V8 meshes well with the character of the 2020 BMW 8-Series, making it feel more like an exotic supercar than a high-end sports car.

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