Coupé-tastic: BMW Brings Back the 8 Series

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Fair warning: this post will include more photos than a normal news item. Why? Because BMW is once again applying an 8 Series badge to the trunklid of a slinky two-door.

I like big coupés, and I cannot lie.

While other manufacturers are busy running away from any machine not imbued with a tall ride height or a pickup bed, BMW is launching a fabulous-looking thing in a segment long left for dead by just about everyone else.

The new BMW 8 Series Coupe launches with two model variants, one of which will be available on this side of the pond. The M850i xDrive Coupe sees a BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 engine between its fenders, generating 523 horsepower between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque as early as 1,800 rpm.

Two twin-scroll turbochargers with charge air cooling are located within the V-shaped space between cylinder banks. Four valves per cylinder help the 4,395 cc gasoline engine breathe the big coupé up to speed. The 840d xDrive with an inline six-cylinder diesel developing 320 horses remains in der motherland.

Funnelling all this power through all four wheels to the ground is an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, said to deploy wider ratios and unique shifting properties. Paddles on the steering wheel are included for when drivers feel like dipping into manual gear selection, while a Launch Control function allows drivers to accelerate from a standing start with maximum available traction while inducing frowns from the denizens of their highfalutin neighborhood. Bank on hitting 60 mph in about three-and-a-half seconds.

This coupé does look similar to the concept machine flaunted at last year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy. Twenty-inch wheels are wrapped in 35-series rubber up front, 30-series in the back. Watch those potholes in proletariat parts of town, folks. Curb weight is listed at 4,478 lbs. We pause now for several pictures.

Also from Germany is the equally wonderful Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, available in three flavors: S 560, AMG S 63, and an AMG S 65 with twelve cylinders of biturbo luxury and a price tag that can easily crest $275,000.

The 8er is just over 191 inches long with a 111-inch wheelbase. To give you a sense of scale, that’s a full six inches shorter than the Dreadnought-Class Mercedes. The BMW is also a couple of inches closer to the pavement.

Bayerische Motoren Werke hasn’t released pricing for its own take on the uber-coupé, but it’s a safe bet the machine will start close to the Merc’s opening bid of $124,500.

Here are some more pictures. Can you tell I like big coupés?

[Images: BMW]