Skip to main content

We Finally Know Exactly When the New 2021 BMW 8 Series Is Arriving

I still remember the first time I  laid eyes on the original BMW 8 Series. I was in Florida, on vacation, and we were leaving dinner. Like a jaguar stalking its prey in the dusk, it popped while the rest of the middling economy cars faded away. I was struck by its proportions and sleek design. I became, and forever will be, a fan. That same reaction happened when German automaker debuted the new 2019 BMW 8 Series, a flowing design that I desperately need to drive.

BMW has long used the “8” moniker to denote its range-topping automobiles, i.e. the Z8, i8, and original 8 Series coupes. The 8 Series’ return will not buck that trend in any way, shape, or price point.

The new 8 Series will be built in BMW’s plant in Dingolfing, Germany, the home of the new 7 Series production, and rides on BMW’s all-new OKL platform, which also underpins its plant stablemate. The exterior of the car has been designed to evoke the original’s sensual curves while still ensuring that it brings the company’s conceptual language forward.

“The car’s low-slung design, an elongated silhouette with a slim window pillar, a roofline with a distinctive ‘double-bubble’contouring, a long wheelbase, and wide track are the defining elements of the all-new BMW 8 Series Coupe’s proportions,” the company stated.

Customers will also be able to spec their 8 Series with an optional carbon fiber-reinforced plastic roof to both make their car more unique and give it a lower center of gravity for increased performance. Have no doubt, this car is aimed not just at grand touring, but the race track as well.

2019 BMW 8 Series
Image used with permission by copyright holder

At launch, only one engine will be available: a 523-horsepower, 4.4-liter, twin-scroll, twin-turbocharged V-8 with 553 lb-ft of torque. That is coupled to BMW’s eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, which has been tuned to provide faster gear changes, as well as increased economy depending on the user’s selection of the 8 Series’ driving modes. Also coming standard at launch is BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which can send 100 percent of the engine’s power and torque to the rear wheels when the situation doesn’t require all-wheel control, or when hooning about on your local racetrack.

However, first and foremost, the 8 Series is a grand tourer. Keeping the ride comfy is BMW’s Adaptive M Suspension, which adjusts the car’s dampening on the fly to either firm up when things get twisty or soften when blasting across the middle of Europe. The 8 Series also comes with active rear steering, which can turn the rear wheels up to 2.5 degrees of angle depending on the situation.

As with all grand tourers, the interior needs to resemble palatial accouterments, and indeed the BMW does. Inside, the cabin is driver-focused with all the controls angled perfectly for driver interaction. As for the driver’s throne, the sport seats come standard in Merino leather and feature decorative stitching with contrasting colors. These stylistic appointments are continued into the rear of the cabin, where BMW gifted the passengers with ample room, even for adults.

Additionally — and absolutely necessary for any luxurious grand tourer — is the car’s infotainment system. Based on BMW’s seventh-generation iDrive infotainment system, the 8 Series receives a handful of lovely assists, including a 12.3-inch instrument cluster behind the steering wheel,  a 10.25-inch central infotainment screen display diagonally across the dash, a full-color head-up display, gesture and voice control, and a standard 16-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system. However, for audiophiles, an optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System with 1,400 watts of power can also be spec’d in the 8 Series.

The time has come, however, to talk brass tacks. When the car arrives in U.S. showrooms on December 9, 2018, the standard M850i xDrive Coupe will set customers back $111,900, minus destination and handling. When you look at the 8 Series’ competition, it’s firmly at the lower end of the scale of some of the best grand tourers around. On the cheaper side, you have the fabulous Lexus LC500 which starts at $92,000. On the higher end, the superb Aston Martin DB11 V-8, which starts at nearly $200,000.

I’m not sure which one I’d have since I haven’t yet driven the 2019 BMW 8 Series. But looking at the possibility to relive that wondrous day in south Florida, I know where my heart is leaning.

Topics
Jonathon Klein
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jonathon is a former contributor to The Manual. Please reach out to The Manual editorial staff with any questions or comments…
BMW Motorrad launches three new, more powerful F-series on and off-road adventure motorcycles
New BMW Motorrad set to take the world by storm
Three versions of the 2024 BMW F 900 GS motorcycle.

BMW Motorrad's F Series adventure motorcycles include three great choices for riders who want one bike that will pretty much do it all without the extra weight and higher price tags of the brand's larger adventure touring bikes, such as the BMW R1300 GS. For 2024, BMW upgraded the F 800 GS, F 900 GS, and F 900 GS Adventure with new 895cc inline twin engines, "Rain" and "Road" riding modes, dynamic traction control, and more.

All three new BMW F Series GS adventure touring bikes will be available at BMW Motorrad dealerships in Q2 2024. Starting prices will be $10,495 for the F 800 GS, $13,495 for the F 900 GS, and $14,195 for the F 900 GS Adventure.

Read more
We finally know what the Tesla Cybertruck interior looks like
It's still a pretty ugly truck
Tesla Cybertruck parked indoors in front of a black wall with headlights and taillights on.

Tesla’s Cybertruck was announced in 2019 and originally scheduled to hit the road back in 2021, but it has faced five delays so far and might not make it into customer’s hands until 2024 at the earliest. As it should have started to roll off the production line two years ago, you would think we’d know the final design inside and out by now -- but that isn’t the case. Much of the truck is still shrouded in mystery, though one of those mysteries may have just unraveled.

A video has appeared that apparently shows the interior of the truck — or one of its late prototypes, at the very least. The minute-long clip, which was recorded by YouTube user “Vlad Vein,” shows the truck’s steering wheel, infotainment system, and several portions of its interior. The clip is in Russian, but it’s fairly obvious what is being shown off. The leaker shows the camera the entry keycard, what appears to be a yoke wheel, and goes on to demonstrate a little of what the central display can do.

Read more
BMW i5 first drive: The BMW 5 series goes fully electric (and we go hands-on)
Familiar form factor and a new electric drivetrain
BMW i5 front view

As with many other manufacturers, BMW feels the future is electric and is in the process of electrifying its entire offering. Following on from the i3 and the i7, the latest Bimmer to get the EV treatment is the highly popular BMW 5 series. And everything has gone pretty much as you would expect.

The rear-wheel drive i5 is a quick and punchy vehicle. Unlike previous gas-powered 5 series models, the phenomenal amount of torque generated by the i5's electric motor keeps the sedan pinned to the road at almost any speed. If the standard vehicle and its sub-6 second 0-60 times aren't enough for you, you can even opt for an M-package right out of the gate, adding a second motor, boosting power, and bringing all-wheel drive ("xDrive" in BMW parlance) into the mix. The M version has been named the M60 xDrive, nodding toward its four-wheel capability, while the basic electric model is the eDrive40.

Read more