Home / Home / BMW M8 Coupe Road Test Review – M Power at its Best

 

The BMW M8 Coupe is a part of the all-new 8 Series that has made its way to India and it’s a stonking replacement for its long-gone predecessor.

BMW M8 Coupe

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

 

“M” is truly the most powerful letter in the alphabet. And it’s been asserting its dominance in the performance space more than ever before. The new M8 Coupé — the first-ever M model for the 8 Series — brings more firepower than ever with the salvo packaged into a truly delectable offering, to say the very least.

The BMW M8 Coupe is not a compact sports car. It’s 4.9 metres long and two metres wide with properly bold lines making for a unique fastback design; that is, when viewed from the side, reminiscent of both the Mustang Fastback and BMW i’s 8. The more I look at it, the more I see elements that draw more of my attention. The sweeping front face looks part evil and part aggressive, with the not-too-large kidney grille meeting the narrowed-eye effect created by the BMW LaserLight clusters. It’s a gorgeous car to look at — from any angle. This example wears 20-inch wheels with 275 fronts and 285 rears, each with a thick 35 profile. The M carbon-ceramic brakes, marked by their gold calipers, add an almost equal amount to the style quotient as they do to the stopping power. It’s exciting to behold. And, as I get in, I almost anticipate what it would be like — having waxed lyrical about how good the M5 felt when I first drove it about two years ago. The closest I’ve gotten to this before, though, was my brief track jaunt in the M6 Gran Coupé and, much longer ago, my 850 CSi scale model car. They did nothing to prepare me for this, though.

BMW M8 Coupe

The driver’s seat is low in the BMW M8 Coupe. And I mean properly Porsche 911 low. The meaty steering wheel feels absolutely fantastic and, for some reason, even more purposeful than the M5’s. The lower centre of gravity and the sportier seating position, with wide haunches in the wing-mirrors, cause a shiver up my spine as I collect my thoughts and push the starter. The M TwinPower Turbo 4.4-litre V8 growls to life and settles into a refined idle soon after. The digital display behind the wheel has multiple modes. The “M Mode” even brings up an aircraft-style vertical twin-band rev-counter. Fascinating! Cocooned in those M Sport bucket seats, the M8 feels raring to go. And I oblige.

Burbling in “Efficient”, I slowly make my way out of the parking lot, wary of the rough road leading out and the 125-mm-odd ground clearance. The appreciably short wheelbase meant nothing made contact and I feathered the throttle on with rekindled excitement and a switch to “Sport”. There’s no frisson, no tell, just a mode change in the corner of the info-display. Yet, I can instinctively feel the M8 hooking in.

It’s fascinating how well-calibrated the drive modes are. The BMW M8 is literally different cars in one. In “Efficient” it’s still quick, but not urgent, inviting a little less footwork and promoting a relaxed driving vibe while getting up to eight km/litre when given space. “Comfort” makes it a proper relaxed and refined tourer with enough on tap, yet less shouting about what’s really on tap. In “Sport”, all it takes is a prod on the throttle and it leaps forward with authority. It’s sharp. And the 1.9-tonne weight seems to have evaporated.

BMW M8 Coupe

Deciding to explore the upper reaches of traction, I flick the wheel left. It darts to the other lane. Flick it back again and it quickly helps me discover its reflexes on the empty stretch of morning back-road. It’s sublime. The thick rubber offers a nice mix of grip, flex, and ride and that does wonders for how sharp, agile, responsive, and resilient the BMW M8 feels. It’s encouraging and engaging as much as it is exciting to drive. Then there’s “Sport Plus” and the “M Mode” button.

More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Automotive Correspondent at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible future.
t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia

 

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