By on June 14, 2022

2022 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe

4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (617hp @ 6,000 rpm, 553 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm)

Eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive

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

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

Base Price: $130,995 US / $157,701 CAN

As Tested: $163,095 US / $166,805 CAN

Prices include $1000 destination charge in the United States and $3201 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Is it possible to be both overwhelmed and underwhelmed? Does the whelming up and down cancel itself out, leaving one with just the right amount of whelm? Or is there some sort of exponential curve, resulting in either a surplus or deficit of whelmification? 

The red squiggly lines provided by the good people behind Microsoft Word tell me that I’m stretching the bounds of both language and reason here – but reason may not have been in the room when the folks in Munich plotted this 2022 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe. Heck, we can quibble on the language there, too, when considering the traditional definition of a coupe. But looking at the specs and the window sticker can lead one to conclusions that are occasionally not delivered upon slipping behind the wheel, thus leading to my conundrum.  

Six hundred and seventeen horsepower. Forget for a moment that some engineers in Auburn Hills stumbled upon fifteen trailers full of superchargers a few years back and consider what that number represents. The trio of unobtanium supercars that lined every kid’s bedroom walls in the Eighties – the Porsche 959, Ferrari F40, and Lamborghini Countach – never produced more than five hundred horses. No modern kid is putting a poster of a BMW M8 on their walls, and yet this sedan (dammit, it has four doors I’m calling it a sedan) can absolutely smoke any of those icons. 

Sixty? The publications that can afford testing gear are generally quoting 0-60 in under three seconds, with quarter-mile runs in the tens. All-wheel drive paired with that kind of power can certainly launch hard, and in my week with the M8 Competition, I did enjoy a few raucous starts here and there – where appropriate. I didn’t find a safe place to switch into the rear-drive mode, seemingly best for drifting and other forms of making very expensive Michelin-scented smoke. Trust me, I’d have loved to – I even spoke to an older gentleman at a garage sale (my wife and I were child-free one Saturday morning) ask me to – in his words – “light ‘em up” in front of his house. I doubt his neighbors would have appreciated it. 

Unlike many other new BMWs, the M8 Comp doesn’t look hideous. Neither is it a paragon of modern design, but I do feel it’s attractive from many angles. The rear quarter view is especially appealing, with the low-slung roofline drooping over the haunches of the rear fender line, then finishing with the upturned flourish of the duckbill spoiler. The signature twin-kidney grille is thankfully not afflicted with the bilateral hydronephrosis so engorging the face of the 4-series and any number of BMW crossovers. 

Interior comfort is quite good, with decent leg and hip room front and rear. You’d think that headroom would be compromised considering the “coupe” styling, but the only concern was with the actual ingress/egress, as my kid whacked her head upon exiting the rear seats a couple of times. Those rear seats, interestingly, allow for three-abreast seating with a trio of seatbelts – however, the unlucky soul cursed for the middle will be straddling an uncomfortable hump festooned with controls for seat heating in their nether regions. 

I’m getting more and more used to the typical BMW infotainment system. It still takes some unlearning of gestures found in many other cars – as I’m half-German I’m all too familiar with the attitude of “our way is right – all others are wrong” that permeates both my paternal heritage and the control logic of iDrive. The 12.3-inch display is bright and clear, and inputs are snappy.  

My issue with the M8 Competition comes when you aren’t stomping on the loud pedal. In most typical driving, it doesn’t feel special. It doesn’t feel like it’s the supercar that it really could be. Rather, it seems as if it’s a 5-series sedan with a firm suspension and big seat bolsters.

While there’s no question it can be frighteningly quick both off the line and around the bends, the big Bimmer reveals no joy in the way it hustles. The steering is light and uncommunicative. The suspension – no matter how the dynamic suspension adjustments are tweaked – doesn’t encourage me to push any harder.  

Add that to the price – and the THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS worth of options on my tester – and I’m struggling to find the love for the big M8. I’m not really sure who buys this car. It’s not as plush as many other luxury sedans in this price range, nor is it as fun to drive as the sports cars for which you could spend the price of a small house. 

In short – while the 2022 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe can put up some impressive performance numbers, it doesn’t feel like it wants to.

It may be sold by a brand that dubs its vehicles the “Ultimate Driving Machine”, but it doesn’t make me want to get out and drive.

That’s not the good kind of whelmed.

 [Images: © 2022 Chris Tonn] 

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20 Comments on “2022 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe Review – The Ultimate Something Machine...”


  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    Thank whatever deity you’d like that the grille looks normal.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I’m sure that come mid-cycle refreshing, Bucky Beaver will make an appearance!

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The twin deities of low hoods and aerodynamics managed to squash the kidney beans. Unfortunately, they provided more ammunition for the German headlight design war. Replacements will cost the same as a fully optioned Corolla. War is heck.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    This pretty much sums up my experiences with the car. Very nice, very expensive, very….meh.

    It’s definitely eye catching when you see one on the road, but if I had $125,000+ burning a hole in my pocket, this surely wouldn’t be in my top 5. There’s just nothing that special about it to justify the price. At $65-$70k I bet they’d sell a ton of these. Not at $100k+

    This review also confirms why BMW took the very unusual decision to cut the MSRP by almost $20,000 for the 2022 model year…

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I feel the same, and I’d add that I would actually rather own and drive an $85k 840i Gran Coupe than this stiff, loud, ‘roided-out version. At that price it seems like a perfectly appropriate, prettier-than-2022-normal German sedan.

  • avatar

    I think I’d save $40,000 and Audi RS7 before this thing. The AMG GT coupe looks way better, and is also $40,000 less.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Not bad, but I’ll see your RS7, raise you a CT5-V Blackwing, and save $80,000. And I’ll get a manual.

      (Besides, if you’re going to go for a stupid-expensive Audi, the ONLY choice is an RS6 Avant. In Tango Red. With the Carbon Optic package. Bonus: it may be the only Audi that actually holds its’ value.)

    • 0 avatar
      carsofchaos

      Agreed on the AMG GT coupe, I was stuck in traffic behind one yesterday here on 34th in Manhattan and was thinking “that’s a damn fine looking car.” This BMW….not so much.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    Bi-turbo Mercedes wagon of recent yore. Sorted.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I am not normally a fan of BMW styling, but I like the look of this car. A hundred-sixty large, though? Nope.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Styling is a little busy on the sides – they couldn’t leave the front fenders alone, could they? But compared to the wretched monstrosities they are spitting out right now, this actually looks really good.
    I didn’t think it was possible to fall out of love with BMW, but when they became the Ultimate Crossover Machine afflicted with a desperate need for braces for those front teeth, it happened. If BMW wants to wreck their crossovers with six foot grilles, go right ahead. But leave your performance cars alone!
    But the prices of these M8 Competitions? Yeah…they’ll sell dozens.

  • avatar
    wjtinfwb

    Decent looking but… 150 grand? If I’m dropping 150 grand, it’s not going to look like my neighbors 428i Gran Coupe. I’ll save a few Deutsche Mark’s and go for a Panamera GTS for the most well-rounded schnitzel-wagen. The CTS Blackwing is very tempting but the interior struggles in comparison to the Porsche.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “The CTS Blackwing is very tempting but the interior struggles in comparison to the Porsche.”

      Well, yeah, it’s $70,000 cheaper. But you could always take that money and pick up a very nice, lightly used 718 Boxster. Double win!

  • avatar
    IBx1

    It’s an automatic 5-series.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    German roulette – buying a cpo BMW with a 1 year warranty and things start going sideways in 16 months. And not the sideways you want.

    Those water pumps still failing at 60k miles and cost $1800 to replace?

  • avatar
    stuki

    No doubt there exists people out there who believe 617hp is somehow “better” than 350. Despite using the car only in places and a manner where 350 would be not only plenty, but in fact even “better” objectively speaking.

    I suppose the same guys figure size 48 shoes are similarly somehow better than size 41. Never mind their feet being sized to fit the latter…

  • avatar
    Danddd

    The only ultimate driving machine BMW has now is the 2 Series.

  • avatar
    JLThom

    not entirely sold on the validity of this review. i find that with this vehicle & most other similarly priced luxury-sport street machines – switching to “Sport/Sport+” mode (drastically) changes the driving dynamics & behavior of the vehicle.

    i have a 750 Li xDrive. leave it in Normal mode most times for daily driving commute. you have press hard on the go-pedal to wake the TT-V8 up. it’s ho-hum – boring.

    but put it in Sport/Sport+ and the engine revs up at the slightest tap on the accelerator pedal. the suspension also tightens up to flatten-out the ride on most curves & turns too. it easily rockets up to 60-70 mph on city streets. and is an absolute “blast” to drive on the highway.

    so…you have an M8 Competition GC & you didn’t bother switching it to Sport mode at any time while driving?! Come on, dude!

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