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BMW 8 Series revealed in full. Image by BMW.

BMW 8 Series revealed in full
Le Mans debut for elegant new BMW 8 Series Coupe.
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Yes please!

I've not said anything yet.

Who cares? That's gorgeous.

Indeed it is. This is the brand-new BMW 8 Series Coupe, finally revealed in production-ready format before it hits British showrooms at the end of the year. It gets its public debut at this weekend's Le Mans 24-hour race in France, to make sure we all associate it with the BMW M8 GTEs racing there...

Oh, is there an M8?

There will be, that's for sure, utilising the 600hp xDrive four-wheel-drive powertrain of the current BMW M5, but that's not being talked about as yet. At launch, there will be two other versions offered. The entry-level car is called the 840d xDrive, priced from 76,270 on-the-road. That's powered by the venerable 3.0-litre straight-six turbodiesel, making 320hp and 680Nm of torque. BMW quotes 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds, a 155mph limited top speed, combined economy of 46.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 160g/km. As the name suggests, it will have xDrive all-wheel drive as standard. An eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission is also included, with shift paddles and launch control.

That same transmission is used on the second launch variant, the M850i xDrive. This is powered by a comprehensively upgraded twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre petrol V8, closely related to that of the M5. For the M850i it puts out 530hp and 750Nm of torque, enabling a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds. BMW quotes 28.3mpg and 228g/km emissions for this model and it costs from 100,045 on-the-road.

Crikey, doesn't leave much room for the M8!

That should be special, shouldn't it? Still, BMW hasn't exactly scrimped on chassis tech for the regular models, as both come with the company's Integral Active Steering (four-wheel steering) as standard. Active roll stabilisation is optional, though. Given the size of the car, a focus on weight reduction is welcome, with plenty of aluminium in the construction of the 8 Series, along with magnesium and carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). Oh, nearly forgot: the xDrive strategy means the 8 Series is rear-wheel drive unless more traction is deemed necessary by the system's brain.

What's the interior like?

Fairly stunning. The frameless doors allow access to a 2+2 layout upholstered in gorgeous leather, of course. The big news, though is the introduction of BMW Live Cockpit Professional as standard, featuring a high-res 12.3-inch display screen in place of traditional instruments and another large screen in the middle of the dashboard. This all runs BMW Operating System 7.0 and includes an adaptive satnav system, a hard-drive-based multimedia system with 20GB of storage, two USB ports, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Needless to say, the standard specification of this range-topper is comprehensive.

So, when can I buy one?

BMW dealers in the UK will be happy to take your order right now, for delivery later this year.

Shane O' Donoghue - 18 Jun 2018

2019 BMW 8 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 8 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 8 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 8 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 8 Series. Image by BMW.

2019 BMW 8 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 8 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 8 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 8 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 8 Series. Image by BMW.    - BMW road tests
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