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2021 BMW 8-Series Overview

Willis Kuelthau
Automotive Editor - October 9, 2020

What's New

Only recently revived after a 21-year absence, the 2021 BMW 8-Series returns with minor changes. Base models gain an anthracite headliner and lane departure warning.

Last year, BMW introduced the high-performance M8, but we don’t expect a redesign for the standard 8-Series anytime soon. Sitting atop BMW’s ladder of sports sedans, the 8-Series is a stylish alternative to established cruisers like the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Choosing Your BMW 8-Series

The BMW 8-Series comes in two trim levels: 840i and M850i. Pricing starts at $85,995 including destination for the 840i and climb to $109,895 for the M850i.

There are also three body styles available: the four-door Gran Coupe, the two-door coupe, and a convertible.

Engine Choices

The 8-Series retains its two-engine lineup for 2021. 840i models use a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine, while the M850i gets a considerably more powerful 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8.

Engine TypeHorsepowerTorqueFuel Economy (Combined)
3.0L Turbo 6-Cylinder335 hp368 lb-ft25 mpg
4.4L Twin-Turbo V8523 hp553 lb-ft19 mpg

All-wheel drive is standard on the M850i and costs an extra $2,900 on base trims, which come standard with rear-wheel drive. Both engines use an eight-speed automatic transmission with wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

The M850i is blistering in a straight line, with a 0-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds in the coupe.

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

Seating in the 8-series varies by body style. Families of five will want the Gran Coupe, as the coupe and convertible ditch the rear middle seat.

The Gran Coupe wins out on cargo space as well, with 15.5 cubic feet of space behind the seats. The coupe manages 14.8 cubic feet, but convertible drivers will have to get by with just 12.4 cubes. These are decent numbers for a sedan, though they pale in comparison to hatchback shapes like the Porsche Panamera.

Safety Features

For 2021, the 8-Series adds lane departure warning to its list of standard safety features, joining automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and automatic high beams.

The $1,100 Driving Assistance Package further add a surround-view camera system, an automated parking system, parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring. Opt for the $1,700 Driving Assistance Professional Package to get adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist on top of those.


Tech is front and center in the 8-Series, with a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen that can also be operated by a console-mounted controller with haptic feedback. Maps and gauges come up on a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and a head-up display, wireless charging, and four USB ports come standard. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and offers wi-fi capability.

840i - From $85,995

Joining the formidable 7-Series at the top of BMW’s sedan lineup, the 8-Series is as luxurious as it is quick. The seats are upholstered in Vernasca leather, and the front row is heated and 14-way power adjustable. In addition to the front seats and the steering wheel, BMW put heating coils in the armrests – because why not?

A moonroof, remote start, four-zone automatic climate control, and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system all come standard. On the exterior, buyers will find 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, soft-close automatic doors, a power tailgate, heated and power-folding side mirrors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Standalone options are numerous and mostly luxury-oriented, from glass controls ($650) to a Bowers and Wilkins surround-sound audio system ($3,400).

M850i - From $109,895

Most of the price premium for the M850i goes toward the 4.4-liter V8 under the hood, but it gets a few upgrades to go with the extra power.

All-wheel drive is standard and complemented by an adaptive M sport suspension. The exterior gets the M treatment as well, with 20-inch wheels and an aggressive body kit. The interior remains mostly the same, but gets upgraded Merino leather upholstery and 16-way power front seats with ventilation.

Track enthusiasts will want the Cooling and High Performance Tire Package ($1,850), which adds an additional engine cooler and stickier rubber. The M850i gets a few exclusive exterior options like a carbon fiber roof panel ($2,800).

Compare 8-Series Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

The Gran Coupe is the best value of the 2021 BMW 8-Series lineup, and it’s a striking luxury cruiser. The 8-Series is best in a straight line thanks to its considerable weight – for cornering performance, look to the M8 instead.

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