BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe joins the flagship M range
BMW has taken the wraps off its four-door Gran Coupe version of the BMW M8 Competition, a sleek, low, four-door coupe with models like the AMG GT 4-door and Porsche Panamera Turbo in its crosshairs. Ostensibly, the Gran Coupe is mechanically identical to the M8 Competition Coupe and Convertible, but with an extra pair of doors, and an extra 200mm of wheelbase to help fit them in.
Despite the bigger dimensions, the Gran Coupe packs some serious performance numbers, reaching 100kmph in just 3.2sec and 200kmph in 11sec. Top speed is the usual 250kmph as standard, but specify the M Driver’s Package and this will rise to a heady 306kmph. Propelling the five-metre long M8 Gran Coupe to such impressive numbers is the same 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine seen throughout the upper echelons of BMW M’s range. As in the M5, X5 M and X6 M Competition models, the engine’s peak power is rated at 616bhp at 6000rpm.
BMW’s trademark combination of Double-VANOS and Valvetronic systems are standard, as is the increasingly commonplace hot-vee turbocharger arrangement, which sees the exhaust exit within the vee of the block and straight into the two turbochargers mounted adjacently. As well as spooling those turbos quickly, the hot-vee arrangement also reduces the engine’s size, aiding packaging under the bonnet.
Power is sent via an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission to all four wheels. On the rear axle, BMW M has fitted its torque vectoring M Active rear differential, which is able to shuffle power to either of the rear wheels depending on conditions and the selected driver mode. Also like the M5 and other M8 Competitions, the front axle is able to be physically decoupled from the drivetrain, making it totally rear-wheel drive for purists, and protagonists.
BMW has not mentioned weight figures for the M8 Gran Coupe, but will likely be more than the 1960kg weight of the M8 Coupe, this is despite the on-paper performance figures being identical to those of the Coupe. Helping the Gran Coupe keep its weight contained is a standard CFRP (carbonfibre reinforced plastic) roof, and the carbonfibre core chassis.
The M8’s other bespoke technical features include an Integrated Braking System (which condenses the master cylinder, braking input mechanism and brake control tech into one system) adaptive dampers and variable ratio steering are also part of the package. You will however notice an absence of all-wheel steering, air suspension or active anti-roll systems, such as you might find in some rivals, all helping to keep that weight figure under control.
Aesthetically, the M8 Competition Gran Coupe is precisely as you might expect, with an identical nose forward of the a-pillar attached to the Gran Coupe’s somewhat lumpen body shape. The rear bumper, complete with four 100mm exhaust outlets is bespoke and that rear end is finished off with a small lip spoiler atop the very exaggerated, almost ducktail-like bootlid. Inside, the same rules apply, with an interior that’s identical to the M8 Coupe and Cabriolet, bar the extra rear seating provision.