The 2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe was designed in parallel with the BMW M8 GTE race car, racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The concept for the BMW 8 was first introduced in 2017 and the M8 Gran Coupe earlier in 2018. The production version of the BMW 8 Series Coupe is a little less edgy than its conceptual was, but retains the sharper nose, tight wells, and fastback-coupe curves. The hood retains the contoured speedy nature it had on the concept, with similar lines and a long, dominating appeal. The headlamps are not as narrow but fit better with the slightly taller grille, and the rear fenders aren't as bulgingly muscular as was found on that concept. This adds sleekness to the 8.
Underneath, the large intakes at the front of the 8 Series Coupe are aided by airflow-controlling covers that almost completely enclose the underbody. Air curtains and breathers behind the grille control airflow there and aerodynamic points such as narrow exterior mirrors mounted to the side window weather strips also smooth out air movement.
Inside, BMW aimed for a driver-focused design for the 8 Series Coupe. A wide centre console rises into the instrument panel to separate the driver and front passenger. Controls are arranged to be clear and easy to master, keeping the driver focused on what's outside of the vehicle. A new "function cluster" in the centre stack provides driver settings that give haptic feedback when activated or changed. Drivers will also note that the lights are now controlled to the left of the steering wheel, below the instrument cluster. That matches today's industry norms. Other features in the new BMW 8 Series Coupe's interior include Merino Individual leather on the sports seats and standard split-folding rear seating. Options such as BMW's multifunction seating and M-series upgrades will also be available.
The new BMW 8 Series Coupe will be introduced first as the M850i xDrive, premiering the latest TwinPower Turbo V8 engine. This 4.4-liter eight-cylinder engine is the latest-generation of the twin-turbocharged V8, featuring twin-scroll turbos with charge air cooling inside the V-shaped space between cylinder banks. Fully variable valve control, precision fuel injection, and a Double-VANOS variable camshaft are also part of the new engine, taking cues from earlier engine debuts in other BMW vehicles. The new engine in the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe generates 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque from 1,800 rpm to 4,600 rpm. Several new technologies went into the new engine design, including a wire-arc sprayed iron coating for the aluminum cylinder walls, Grafal-coated pistons and rings, thermal shielding, and electronically-controlled wastegate actuators to build boost pressure. It allows the BMW M850i to achieve 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) times of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h).
The engine mates to a newly-improved automatic transmission designed to shed weight and offer a wider gear spread. Optimized hydraulics control offers faster gear shifts and twin-damper systems isolate vibrations to reduce slip at the torque converter's lockup. The eight-speed Steptronic Sports transmission has a controller programmed specifically for the M840i's performance metrics, utilizing intelligent networking to relay information from various sensors to the transmission controller and engine computer.
The all-wheel drive (xDrive) system on the BMW 850i xDrive Coupe sees some improvement over previous renditions. Torque variation between axles and wheels is computer controlled to maximize traction and handling stability. This happens during both adverse road conditions and performance driving. Power is split according to demand via a multi-plate clutch networked with the aforementioned powertrain and chassis systems. Drive torque is normally defaulted to rear-wheel only in most everyday driving situations to maximize efficiency. In addition, that rear axle can lock to force torque evenly between its wheels when traction demands it.
The suspension and chassis systems onboard the new 8 Series Coupe were optimized through BMW's racing program and the M8 GTE. Braking is also designed after that program's experience, utilizing special M-branded calipers and wheels, which are exclusively Frozen Cerium Grey metallic and fitted with 245/35R20 tires at the front and 275/30R20 tires at the rear, all specifically developed for the 8 Series Coupe.
BMW will announce more information on the 8 Series Coupe and the M850i xDrive Coupe as its official launch date approaches. That is expected to be in the third quarter of 2018.