BMW’s previously announced new variants of the 8 Series coupe are going into production today. That’s three of them, at least. Offering more room or more power. And there’s one more variant expected to bring the total number in the 8er lineup to six.
It’s the start of production for the 8 Series Gran Coupe, the M8 Competition Coupe and the M8 Competition convertible.
The 8 Series Gran Coupe was announced just the middle of last month. It’s a much longer and much wider version of the standard two-door coupe, giving 8 Series buyers who want a usable back seat much more of one. That’s 201 mm more rear legroom and 231 mm longer overall. Helping add to the Gran Coupe’s rakish roofline, the car has grown wider, too. Adding 30 mm to the coupe’s rear haunches to give the car a very muscular stance on top of the cab-rearward styling. That rear stance gives it the widest rear axle of any BMW, an odd claim to fame for the midsize performance car – it’s still shorter than a 6 Series GC.
BMW says it’s expecting the 8 GC to be the most popular of all 8s. Making up more than half of the volume of the 8 Series family. Where are those cars going? A third are headed to the US, with the Middle East region taking second spot for demand and the UK in third.
It launches with three engine choices, a 4.4L 530 hp V8, 340 hp inline six, and a 320 hp diesel. Expect only the V8 here.
The M8 Competion coupe and convertible take the already quick M8 and turn the volume up a notch. The 4.4L twin-turbo V8 is massaged to be the most powerful in any current BMW. That means 625 hp and a 0-100 km/h time of 3.2 seconds.
BMW is planning to build around 60 M8 versions at the plant every day. The Dingolfing, Germany, plant gives each car a final quality inspection that includes a run on a dedicated break-in course before they get put on a truck. The same facility builds all the versions of the 8 Series, as well as the 5 and 7 Series cars. Where are the M8 competition cars going? Yup, more than a third are headed to the states, with BMW saying that “no other market comes close.” The cars are evenly split, though, between buyers who want their 600+ hp with a metal roof and those who want it with a view of the stars through the open top.
While production of the new models has started, still no word on Canadian availability or pricing. But BMW has said that the next variant of the 8 will be an M8 Gran Coupe. Which probably isn’t much of a surprise.