The 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Is a Sublime Tourer With 600 HP

BMW also debuted the 617-hp M8 Gran Coupe Competition. Neither car is a coupe, though.

daniel kraus—www.daniel-kraus.com

Take solace in the fact that the 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe and Gran Coupe Competition have more horsepower than is sensible, a hair-raising drift mode, and a wonderfully cloistered interior even if they're not built for purists like the Bavarians of old. We've had our own issues with BMW losing that plot this decade, but with the M8 Gran Coupe, we're nodding enthusiastically.

In some ways, the M8 Gran Coupe and M8 Gran Coupe Competition can be thought of as coupe-ified versions of BMW’s new spine-tingling M5, just bigger in every regard. The two four-doors both ride on their own versions of BMW's modular CLAR chassis and share the same engine, though the Gran Coupes borrows styling and engineering from its two-door sibling. Good: the M8 Gran Coupes are better looking than the M5s. Bad: BMW could be competing with itself here.

BMW
BMW

Compared to the (actual) 8 Series coupes, BMW scaled the two M8 Gran Coupes by 9.1-inches in length, 1.4-inches in width, 2.3-inches in height, and 7.9-inches in either’s wheelbase. The proportion manipulation gives each car a more livable interior for those retired to the rear seats, which has seen space increased by 7.1-inches in legroom and 3.5-inches in headroom. Neither M8 Gran Coupe’s rear is what you’d call palatial, but given the standard two-door M8’s rear seats are little more than cargo shelves, we’re not complaining. 

Like their M5 and M5 Competition stablemates, the grand touring M8s feature a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 coupled to BMW’s M 8-Speed Steptronic automatic transmission and sends power to all four wheels. Ratings for the M8 Gran Coupe and M8 Gran Coupe Competition are 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, and 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, respectively. 

60 mph is snapped off in just 3.1-seconds for the M8 Gran Coupe and 3.0-seconds in the M8 Gran Coupe Competition. Each car is electronically limited to 155 mph but that can be raised to 190 mph when customers select the optional M Driver’s Package, which also includes an invitation to BMW’s M School driver’s training either in California or South Carolina. As mentioned, BMW’s all-wheel drive system is capable of transforming the cars from grippy AWD tourers to hooligan drifters with a push of a button thanks to BMW’s active differentials. 

BMW

As standard, each M8 Gran Coupe comes with the brand’s Adaptive M Suspension which “uses data from body movement, road surface conditions and steering input to adjust each damper individually within milliseconds using electromagnetic valves. This ensures that the new BMW M8 Gran Coupe is both track-capable and comfortable on the road.” The M8 Gran Coupe Competition receives different suspension logic to make the car more track-oriented, including stiffer settings, more direct steering inputs, negative front camber for sharper turning, and “rear toe-link ball joints instead of rubber bushings” for better rear tracking. 

Stopping the big bois are M-compound brake discs with fixed 6-piston calipers in the front and floating 4-piston calipers in the rear. Optional carbon-ceramic units are also available. The standard BMW M8 Gran Coupe comes with alloy wheels shod with non-run-flat tires, while the M8 Gran Coupe Competition forged lightweight alloys and high-performance tires. 

As you’d expect, the interiors of either are similar to what you’d find in the standard 8-Series Gran Coupe, with a host of trims, leathers, aluminum and carbon fiber appliques, and the audio and safety systems that BMW is known for. 

Now let’s talk turkey. The 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe starts at a price of $130,000, which isn’t an inconsequential sum. It is, however, $6,500 less than the Mercedes-AMG GT 4, the BMW’s closest rival. That, to us at The Drive, is a pretty good deal then. Bump up to the M8 Gran Coupe Competition and you’ll have to throw down $143,000. Each goes into production in November of this year and will likely be on dealership lots by early next. 

Lastly, neither are coupes. This is the pedantic hill we’ll die on. Fight us.