2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Competition is 617hp of four-door luxury

Chris Davies - Oct 8, 2019, 5:01 pm CDT
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2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Competition is 617hp of four-door luxury

Don’t get hung up on whether a four-door can legitimately be called a coupe: focus instead on just what the 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe and M8 Gran Coupe Competition bring to the table when it comes to going fast and doing so in luxury. Slotting in alongside the existing BMW M8 Coupe, the new Gran Coupe variants throws in bigger rear seats and the extra doors to better access them, but doesn’t compromise on performance for that.

So, the 4.4-liter S63 M TwinPower Turbo V8 is tuned for 600 horsepower at 6,000 rpm in the M8 Gran Coupe, while the M8 Gran Coupe Competition squeezes 617 hp from it. Torque clocks in at 553 lb-ft, arriving between 1,800 and 5,600 rpm in the M8 Gran Coupe, or between 1,800 and 5,860 rpm in the Competition version.

It’s enough for a 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds in the standard car, shaved down to 3.0 seconds in the 2020 M8 Gran Coupe Competition. Top speed is 155 mph, though the electronic limited can be increased to 190 mph if you check off the M Driver’s Package option.

Either way, there’s an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission, with automatic and manual modes, and a set of steering wheel paddles. A Drivelogic button switches the gearbox through different shift speeds, from comfort through to track-focused. It also takes into account navigation data, so that it won’t upshift between two close corners.

M xDrive rear-biased all-wheel drive is standard, with an electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch before the Active M locking differential on the rear axle. Normally, all the power goes to the rear wheels, with the M8 Gran Coupe only pushing it to the front axle if there’s a shortage of traction. Turn off the specially-tuned DSC, meanwhile, and you can activate 2WD mode which locks the car into rear-wheel drive only.

Compared to the M8 Coupe, the M8 Gran Coupe is 9.1-inches longer, 1.4-inches wider, and 2.3-inches taller. Most of the extra length goes into the wheelbase – 7.9-inches, in fact – and predominantly in the name of improving rear seat comfort. Shoulder, leg, and headroom are all up, but BMW says that curb weight has only increased by 185 pounds.

Underneath it all there’s a retuned chassis system. Double-wishbone front and five-link rear suspensions get unique bushings, swivel bearings, and strut tie bars over the standard 8 Series Gran Coupe. Adaptive M Suspension is standard too, with a choice of three modes – Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus – while the M8 Gran Coupe Competition firms it up even more. Both get electromechanical M Servotronic steering with a variable ratio, that’s also drive mode dependent.

Indeed there’s no shortage of settings and customizations on offer, and so BMW added a single setup button to the center console to more readily surface those choices. It covers everything from engine and suspension characteristics, to how the steering and braking behave, and the three 4WD modes. An M Mode button controls driver assistance settings, the instrument cluster layout, and the head-up display, with Road and Sport modes on the M8 Gran Coupe and an extra Track mode on the M8 Gran Coupe Competition.

M compound brakes with drilled, ventilated discs – 395 mm at the front, 380 mm at the rear – are standard, with fixed, six-piston calipers up-front and floating, single-piston calipers at the back. M Carbon ceramic brakes are optional. The M8 Gran Coupe gets 20-inch M light-alloy wheels as standard, while the M8 Gran Coupe Competition switches them to 20-inch forged M light-alloy with a gloss-milled 3D structure and bicolor design.

BMW adds an M Carbon Roof as standard, and the antenna has been integrated into the rear glass so that you don’t get the little shark fin as on other cars. Icon Adaptive LED Headlights with Laserlight are standard too, either side of an active grille, while at the rear there’s a quad-exhaust system with adjustable sound.

Inside, red detailing helps distinguish the cars from their non-M counterparts. Seating for five is standard, with 3D quilting to the leather; you probably don’t want to be sat in the middle rear seat, mind, since the center console extends back from the front. It does mean that rear passengers get individual left and right climate controls, air vents of their own, and USB-C ports. Ambient lighting is standard.

On the tech side, frontal collision warnings with city collision mitigation is standard. Blind spot detection, lane departure warnings, the surround view camera, drive recorder, parking assistant, active park distance control, rear cross traffic alerts, and speed limit information are part of the optional Driving Assistant Package.

BMW also offers the Driving Assistance Professional Package, which includes active cruise control with stop & go, lane keeping assistance with active side collision avoidance, and extended traffic jam assistance for limited access highways. It’s controlled through the 12.3-inch Live Cockpit Professional driver display and a 10.25-inch center touchscreen, via a new iDrive controller with haptic feedback, cloud-based voice control, and gesture control.

M Sport seats with extended Merino leather, carbon fiber interior trim, the head-up display, Harman-Kardon Surround Sound audio, and Apple CarPlay are standard. There’s also wireless charging for your phone and WiFi hotspot. The M8 Gran Coupe Competition adds BMW’s Individual Full Merino Leather/Alcantara interior and M Color seat belts.

Fifty of the 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe First Edition will make it to the US from March 2020, based on the Competition trim. It’ll be finished in Individual Diamant Green Metallic with GOLDBRONZE trim, while inside there’ll be BMW Individual Ivory White/Tartufo Full Merino leather with contrasting Individual Piano Black trim. GOLDBRONZE 20-inch forged M Star-Spoke wheels will be included. Only 400 will be made worldwide.

As for the 2020 M8 Gran Coupe, that will be priced from $130,000 plus $995 destination. The 2020 M8 Gran Coupe Competition, meanwhile, will be from $143,000 plus $995 destination. Production will begin in November 2019.


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