By on July 7, 2020

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Fast Facts

4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (600 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 553 lb-ft @ 1,800-5,600 rpm)

Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive

15 city / 21 highway / 17 combined (EPA Estimated Rating, MPG)

16.0 city, 11.0 highway, 13.8 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $130,000 (U.S) / $151,274.73 (Canada)

As Tested: $154,295 (U.S.) / $170,754.53 (Canada)

Prices include $995 destination charge in the United States and $2,580 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

There are certain flagship luxury cars that suggest the driver has “made it” – assuming “making it” means climbing the corporate ladder to the point that owning and driving a large, imported luxury sedan with a six-figure price tag is no sweat, financially speaking.

The Lexus LS, BMW 7 Series and 8 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class have typically been the cars most people think of when the phrase “flagship luxury sedan” is spoken. And rightfully so – those are all worthy vehicles. But sometimes, the boss likes to cut loose.

Which is why the LS has an F Sport trim, and Merc has an AMG S-Class, and so on. As you no doubt know, “M” is the magic letter when it comes to BMWs.

Because words don’t seem to matter to marketing departments anymore, the M8 Gran Coupe is not a coupe, not in the way that coupes are traditionally thought of. “Coupe” used to mean two doors, but not anymore, and BMW isn’t the only offender. This car, like other “coupes” on the road, is actually a four-door. Normally, we’d call it a “sedan.”

(Get BMW M8 pricing here!)

Thankfully, it’s easy to forgive BMW its misadventures in marketing and its willful disregard of the English language, all because the M8 is so sublime.

Six hundred horsepower certainly helps, but this isn’t just (say in Mongo voice) “car good because car go fast.” In fact, the M8’s beauty is in its balance.

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

Driven softly, and the 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 — which puts out 600 ponies and 553 lb-ft of torque — is a gentle giant, merely hinting at what lies beneath, should it be provoked. The exhaust burbles in the background, insinuating what the car is capable of, should the throttle be opened wide enough. Selecting the correct drive mode will crank up the volume on the lovely tailpipe symphony, with your right foot serving as maestro. You can also control the exhaust’s volume via interior button.

Sport and Sport + modes are the fun modes here, giving the car a more aggressive character, and you can even dial up a setting that turns the all-wheel-drive M8 into a rear-wheel drive car. An M mode lets you customize settings.

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

Selecting Sport mode gives the driver the option to turn off or adjust certain assist systems and tightens up suspension and steering responses; it also changes up the cockpit displays, including the head-up display. Sport + is for the track, Sport for the winding country road. I dialed Sport mode up as much as I could.

A double-wishbone front suspension and five-link rear suspension underpin the M8, with strut tie bars employed to help combat torque steer. The steering is speed-sensitive, variable-ratio, and electromechanical.

Any performance car needs stout brakes to pair with its grippy rubber, and the M8 boasts drilled and ventilated brake rotors, front and rear – 395 mm in front, 380 out back. Available carbon-ceramic brakes are 400 mm at the front. Front calipers are fixed and have six pistons, while the rear calipers are floating, with a single piston. The brake-by-wire system can give different pedal feedback and response in Sport mode.

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

The rubber mounts to 20-inch wheels, with 275-wide tires up front and 285 mms in back. Best hope you don’t run over a nail – these 35 profile tires are not run flat.

All told, it’s a potent package. This is a car that’s quite content to cruise on the freeway, but you can turn Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde quite easily, whether you’re taking a detour on a curvy back road or merely dropping the hammer to pass some pokey highway cruisers. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, but never at the sacrifice of luxury.

It sounds great, it’s fast, it handles well, and the only real trade-off is that even in comfort mode, the ride can be a tad stiff (although comfort and normal modes do mitigate most pavement imperfections well enough). It also looks just like a BMW is supposed to these days.

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

The twin-kidney grille is smushed a bit, more horizontal than vertical, but the car’s pedigree remains unmistakably Bimmer. Creases in the hood hint at the engine’s capabilities, and the sloping roofline gives BMW some cover to use the term “coupe”, while also cutting into rear headroom a tad. Just a tad, though: I got my six-foot tall frame into the rear for the photo shoot without any noticeable discomfort. The number is 37.1 inches, for those curious, and it’s a 3.5-inch increase over a two-door BMW 8, although a skoosh less than the AMG S63 sedan.

It’s a mostly handsome machine, although a bulbous booty makes the car look a bit squat when viewed from the rear. At least the quad exhaust tips and decklid spoiler show passers-by what the car is all about.

Inside, you get the usual BMW techno look, with the center infotainment screen rising above the center stack in a way that looks only halfway integrated. The once much-maligned iDrive system continues to become easier to use, and most controls are laid out logically enough. Quietness and comfort are as to be expected from a luxury car of this price, even one with a performance bent. That means the M8 keeps outside noise at bay and the seats are all-day comfortable.

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

None of this comes cheap. Getting in the door alone costs $130K. BMW didn’t have a Monroney handy on this one, but based on the online configurator, the options list added up to around $20K. That includes $1,950 for the brown paint, $3,500 for the interior leather, $1,100 for the Driving Assist Package (lane-departure warning, blind-spot detection, drive recorder, park assist, park distance control), $1,700 for the Driving Assistance Professional package (Active Driving Assistant pro, traffic-jam assist), $850 for Comfort Seating (heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, sunshades), $2,300 for night vision with pedestrian detection, $5,400 for M Carbon exterior package, $3,400 for Bower&Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound audio system, and $8,150 for the carbon-ceramic brakes. Upholstery-color Alcantara headlining is a no-cost option, and owners can spend $2,500 for the M Driver’s Package (a day with your car at a BMW high-performance driving experience).

As-tested, with fees (including the gas-guzzler tax): $154,295. That gas-guzzler tax is well earned, thanks to a 15 mpg city/21 mg highway/17 mpg combined rating from the EPA. I did not have an opportunity to measure observed fuel economy.

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

It’s always hard for those of us without deep, deep pockets to look at a car priced well into six-figure territory and justify the cost. I mean, a dwelling can cost less.

Yet, many of these cars manage to feel worth it, either in terms of luxury, sport, or both. This is one of those cars.

It’s a balanced package that allows for easy commuting while also offering ferocious performance. And it mostly blends – I didn’t notice much extra attention being paid to me while testing, even accounting for the pandemic reducing the amount of people who were out and about.

If you’re a CEO who’s successful enough to afford this kind of automobile, and you want to avoid the stares of the hoi polloi and have a smooth ride to work when you aren’t smoking tires, your ride is here.

[Images © 2020 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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29 Comments on “2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Review – For the Fun CEO...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Ick. Instead of this depreciation monster, you could max out a Model S, giving you a quicker car and $50k left in the bank.

    BMW will sell dozens of these.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      They will sell dozens for sure, but they will lease a considerable amount.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree. There’s a reason why the Model S is the go-to car for rich folks.

    • 0 avatar

      Against this 4-door bodystyle I agree, but BMW will sell you an 8-Series as a convertible or actual 2-door while Tesla won’t.

    • 0 avatar
      Rick Astley

      And you would look exactly like the thousands of other Model S’s out there. I can generally count double digits for each Tesla model per drive, every day of the week for all of the 6 mile commute each way to work (downtown Bellevue, near Amazon/Microsoft/Google).

      If traffic is bad, I can sometimes get to double digits in a single color of a single model Tesla. You know, because their exclusivity caters to a diverse color pallet.

      If you’re buying a Model S for exclusive looks, that ship sank a loooooooooong time ago.

      BTW, genuine question: Do Teslas come from the factory with functioning turn signals? The evolution from Prius to Tesla on the taxpayer’s dime continues the tradition of the car picking the driver, and all that that implies.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Well, to be distinct I guess you could repaint the Model S in a unique color, which makes the driver feel special and solves the paint problems which come for free with a Tesla.

      • 0 avatar

        Rick Astley: “the tradition of the car picking the driver, and all that that implies.”

        What’s up with that? Car picks the driver? Unless it’s a Tesla with FSD and you decide to dress as a fire truck for halloween I suppose.

        Enough with the idiotic stereotypes about drivers of various cars. Lots of people with Priuses that buy them because they’re the cockroaches of the highway. It’ll cruise at 80MPH and still get good mileage. Rarely if ever has problems. Even the brakes last an incredibly long time. But no, because someone owns one they must be a member of some group you hate.

        Teslas are not cheap. In order to buy one, someone has to have a good income and probably pays a lot of taxes. Another byproduct of the car being expensive is that you pay more in tax. So someone that pays huge amounts of taxes gets to keep a little bit more of their hard earned money. What’s the problem. If tesla is smart enough to hire accountants that find all of these government subsidies, what’s the problem? What are they supposed to say, something like “yeah, there are millions of dollars in government money we could get, but we want to donate it to the govenment”? that isn’t the way things work. Besides, all of those subsidies are equally available to every other car company. What do you do when you do your taxes? Tell the accountant to not take any deductions and give the maximum amount to the government? If you get upset about Teslas subsidies, maybe you should take a look at the amount of money SpaceX is saving everyone on launch costs.

      • 0 avatar

        You act as if there isn’t a reason for the carbon credits programs. Denial isn’t going to fix the problem. We perpetuated a + feedback loop and there’s no reason to think that it’s all just going to be okay.

    • 0 avatar

      Quicker for ONE, maybe TWO, acceleration runs, if fully charged with the batteries pre-warmed. It quickly deteriorates to pathetic from there.*

  • avatar

    iDrive hasn’t been maligned by anyone in over a decade. Why even mention it? Lazy.

  • avatar

    That roofline, where have I seen that roofline?

    Ah, here it is…

    I may have saved you a $100K :)

  • avatar

    Isn’t the Mercedes CLS more the competitor for this car than the S AMG?

  • avatar

    Ok does the range bother anyone?

    I understand the fuel economy – who cares. [And we won’t discuss curb weight.]

    But performance engine + same-size fuel tank = not very impressive touring range.

    Say 19mpg observed on a road trip with a relatively heavy foot. 20.1 gallon tank less ~2 gallon ‘reserve’ yields less than 350 miles per tank. (Depending on location and time of day, could become inconvenient on a ‘grand touring’ excursion.)

    Mercedes does the same thing with the S Class performance models.

    Nice car, and no quibbles with the pricing. But for $150K can we find some room for a larger fuel tank?

    [Same issue applies to commuting – the difference between filling up ‘once a week’ and ‘every 4 workdays’ is yuge.]

    • 0 avatar

      This. And I’ll say it again: there’s a whole list of reasons why the Model S is a go-to ride for rich guys, and this is one of them. The Tesla’s range isn’t all that much less, and you can “fill it up” in your garage every night.

      • 0 avatar
        Rick Astley

        Where are you “touring” where your trip requires overnight recharging? Because it certainly isn’t somewhere far, or with decent mileage if you need an overnight stop each time your range anxiety spikes.

        Sounds like the type of “tour” which used to be done with a horse drawn carriage.

        It’s “touring” because you can actually do a road trip in it. If you’re looking for 500+ miles of range in a vehicle, then you’re looking at a pickup with dual tanks or a
        commercial long-haul vehicle.

        350 miles per tank is perfectly adequate for this type of vehicle.

  • avatar

    I’ve read from several sources that the 8 series was originally to be the next 6 series, until BMW execs decided they needed a new flagship car and turned the 6 into this during development by making planned options standard and maybe altering suspension and other hardware bits.

    I don’t know if that is true or not, but the entire car just gives off that vibe. It is too expensive for what you get.

  • avatar

    Question for the B&B:

    Where do all the off-lease high priced and unreliable German cars go in their second/third/fourth lives? OK big depreciation but who can afford to fix them?

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    The size of those brakes is very impressive.
    Just how great a weight do they need to haul down from speed? This is no Lotus.

  • avatar

    This is cartoonishly overpriced.

    The profile from the side looks like a Stinger knock-off in the front and an Infinti knock off from the rear.

    The base price of an 840xi gc is $91k with destination, once you upgrade from the base 320i wheels that are standard.

    The Stinger loaded is $52k before any discounts.

    You’d have to be awfully bad at math or a rube to get the BMW over the Stinger.

  • avatar

    Think of it as $100,000 less than a Bentley Continental, at least in the coupe version.
    Actually, the M850 is less than half the price of the Bentley.
    It begins to look like a bargain to me, and certainly a car I will look at when the time comes. Admittedly, the BMW doesn’t have a whiff of the British Empire about it, and the Queen doesn’t drive a BMW, but still, $100K is still a lot of money.

  • avatar

    I love the prominent duckbill styling of the rear decklid, rather than the continually sloped-down styling of the Audi S7, MB CLS, and others in this 4-door “coupe” segment. I even wrote about it here :)

  • avatar

    thank you so much for this cool share. I love this car a lot. .

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