2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe returns to the U.S. after 20 years

Initially available as the BMW M850i xDrive variant, BMW announced the 2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe. The introduction marks the series return to the U.S. after 20 years and signals the next era of power, performance and style.

The series number eight, like the BMW Z8 and with the current BMW i8, is reserved for exceptionally sporty cars that stir emotions. This particular car was designed to provide a thrilling driving experience.

Under the hood lies a 523 hp BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 engine that serves up unmistakable power delivery and the acoustics of from the eight-cylinder is every bit as captivating and emotionally thrilling as the car it powers.

BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 Power

The twin-turbo engine is the latest generation of the 4.4-liter eight-cylinder engine and features two twin-scroll turbochargers with charge air cooling located within the V-shaped space between the cylinder banks. It comes with high precision injection, fully variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing to create substantial boost, maximum power, torque, and efficiency.

Additionally, an aluminum alloy has been used to increase the strength of the engine block. The wire-arc sprayed iron coating for the cylinder walls serves to reduce frictional losses. Reinforced, Grafal-coated pistons and optimized piston rings have been designed to endure stress on the crank drive that comes with the extra output and torque.

Torsional vibration is minimized with the help of a viscous damper on the crankshaft.

The intake ports have been optimized for higher flow. The enlarged twin-scroll turbochargers and the variable valve and camshaft timing enable throttle losses during the gas-exchange cycle to be eliminated as far as possible and allow effective use of exhaust gas recirculation for lowering fuel consumption.

Electrically-controlled wastegate actuators are used to ensure an extremely quick build-up of boost pressure, while electric blow-off valves are integrated into the compressor housing to enhance the turbocharger sound during boost pressure release while at the same time as keeping emissions as low as possible in all operating conditions.

The air intake manifold has been redesigned and a connection between the air ducts for both cylinder banks ensures even pulsation during gas exchange, resulting in higher torque at lower engine speeds.

The multi-hole fuel injectors are positioned centrally between the valves and spray fuel at a maximum pressure that has been increased from 2,900 psi to 5,076 psi. This optimizes both the metering of the fuel and the engine’s emissions performance. The BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 engine also takes advantage of a new ignition system and engine management.

The new BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 engine now generates 523 hp between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque from 1,800 to 4,600 rpm.

Power is transferred to the wheels via the latest-generation eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission that boasts a wider gear ratio spread and sportier gear shifts operated by shift paddles on the steering wheel.

The Driving Experience Control switch can be used to activate both extremely sporty and distinctly comfort-oriented powertrain settings. In the SPORT and SPORT+ modes, accelerator response as well as the V8 engine’s power delivery and acoustics – which take on a particularly distinctive note in the SPORT+ setting – are all configured for an exhilarating driving experience.

Performance Unlocked for the Driving Enthusiast

The suspension system for the 8 Series Coupe has been fine-tuned to the powertrain technology. Moreover, all the vehicle dynamics-related systems have been linked up with one another via the high-speed data transfer system called FlexRay to create an overall package geared towards maximum performance.

Constant measurement of the driving situation data by sensors forms the basis for coordinated system responses. Within a split second, the control unit integrated into the braking system and DSC is able to adapt the powertrain and suspension functions to changing situations, such as varying road surface conditions, sudden braking, spontaneous steering maneuvers and extreme acceleration. Here, the steering, four-wheel-drive system, electronically controlled differential lock and active roll stabilization are all employed to assist the stabilizing effect of brake intervention on individual wheels and adjustment of drive torque.

Completing the all-around package for an engaging driving experience is the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system, which is fitted in a newly improved version that has been tuned for this specific model.

The system maximizes traction and handling stability during performance driving situations with its rapid, precise and fully variable distribution of drive torque between the front and rear wheels. All of the drive torque is sent to the rear wheels in situations when all-wheel drive is not needed.

The 8 Series Coope features a locking function on the electronically controlled rear differential that improves traction and power transmission when driving on road surfaces with different levels of grip. The locking effect produced by the electric motor allows the drive torque to be redirected from wheel-to-wheel as needed.

Suspension consists of a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle complimented by electromechanical steering and a powerful braking system.

Torsion struts on the front axle and a load-bearing strut have been incorporated on the rear axle to optimize stiffness and the connection of suspension components to the chassis. Independent rubber bearings – which increase camber stiffness – and additional damping plates at the rear axle further enhance the suspension’s baseline set-up.

Special wheel hubs and wishbones allow camber values on both axles to be raised as far as possible. This significantly increases the car’s ability to put down power through high-speed corners.

The design principle of the double-wishbone front suspension makes it possible to separate steering and damper functions. As a result, high lateral acceleration forces are possible without compromising ride comfort.

Both compression and rebound are adjusted continuously and independently to reduce roll tendency and allow the dampers to stabilize the wheels as much as possible, avoiding traction losses caused by bumps and ruts in the road surface. Damping characteristics can be adjusted via the Driving Experience Control switch.

In order to achieve maximum precision during performance cornering, the steering the BMW 8 Series Coupe becomes more direct with speed. As a result, on winding roads the car feels particularly agile and easy to control.
The variable steering ratio also allows the driver to maneuver at low speeds with minimal steering wheel movement.

Active steering of the rear wheels by up to 2.5 degrees considerably enhances the cornering ability of the BMW 8 Series Coupe.

The rear wheels are steered in the opposite direction to the front wheels at speeds up to 45 mph. At higher speeds, the steering angle of the rear wheels matches that of the front wheels, ensuring the car adopts the course determined by the driver quicker and more accurately. At the car’s traction limit, it feeds in a stabilizing steering input to complement the triggered braking intervention. At the same time, the maximum speed at which the rear wheels are steered in the opposite direction to the front wheels is increased to 55 mph.

Active roll stabilization is optionally available and further enhances the car’s sporty handling characteristics. Electric swivel motors on the front and rear anti-roll bars ensure fast and precise compensation for lateral forces during dynamic driving maneuvers. The system is controlled through a constant analysis of vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering wheel position, wheel and body acceleration and variation in height levels. The reduced body movement also means that fast evasive maneuvers can be executed with great assurance.

The suspension technology featured in the 8 Series Coupe is oriented towards maximum performance and completed by four-piston, fixed-caliper brakes in the front complemented by single-piston, floating-caliper brakes in the rear.

Twenty-inch cast aluminum wheels are standard. They come fitted with 245/35R20 tires at the front and 275/30R20 tires at the rear. The high-performance tires were developed by the manufacturer specifically for the 8 Series Coupe.

Style Focused on Emotional Engagement

The 8 Series production car lives up to the expectations set by its Concept unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2017. The design is a result of result of a new styling language focusing on emotional engagement.

The front of the car features a jetting design with large air intakes that promise performance. Standard features include full LED headlights with BMW LaserLight technology, making them the slimmest headlights of any BMW model to date. Complimenting the front lights, the all-LED rear light clusters extend deep into the flanks of the rear end that emphasizes the car’s width and low center of gravity. The quarter windows have been elongated and are complemented by a heavily raked rear window which is a classic design queue.

The aggressive styling is further enhanced on the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe with the optional M Sport package.

The 8 Series Coupe features a covered underbody with an active air flap control and adjustable kidney grille slats. The Air Curtains including Air Breathers help to reduce the aerodynamic drag of the BMW 8 Series Coupe.

The roof of the all-new BMW 8 Series Coupe mimics the design of the traditional sports coupes by featuring a central cut-out that recalls the “double-bubble” styling of classic racing cars. An optional carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic roof is available.

Further weight savings can be achieved with the optional Carbon Package comprising air intake bars, exterior mirror caps, a rear spoiler and a rear diffuser insert all made from carbon fiber.

The interior has been designed to enjoy the driving experience and keep a focus on the road ahead. The car’s center console rises towards the instrument panel at the front which controls the audio, air conditioning, and other controls. The console separates the driver and front passenger areas.

Apart from the gear selector and the iDrive Controller, the center console also accommodates the Driving Experience Control switch and the engine starts/stop button, all arranged within a newly designed function cluster with active haptic feedback. Light functions now consist of buttons positioned at the bottom of the instrument panel between the steering wheel and the driver’s door.

Merino Individual Leather upholstery and folding rear seats as standard.

The newly developed sports seats offer high levels of long-distance comfort and excellent lateral support.

Other interior features include large door pockets, large glove compartment, two cup-holders under the center console’s trim finisher and a large storage compartment under the armrest.

Available via the BMW Connected App, the BMW Digital Key offers unrivalled flexibility, as the driver can share it with up to five other people. The BMW Digital Key will initially be available for selected NFC-capable smartphones when it is launched.

The Remote Software Upgrade feature keeps the vehicle up to date with the latest software. All updates can be loaded over the air, similar to smartphones. The upgrades can be loaded onto a smartphone via the BMW Connected app when connected to a domestic Wi-Fi network or imported directly via the BMW’s built-in SIM card, which happens automatically for important vehicle upgrades.

The BMW Digital Key employs Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to allow the all-new BMW 8 Series Coupe to be locked and unlocked from a smartphone too, dispensing with the need for a conventional car key. The smartphone simply has to be held up to the door handle to open the vehicle and, once inside, the engine can be started as soon as the phone has been placed in the Wireless Charging or smartphone tray.

About the author

Nicole Ellan James

As an automotive journalist and avid car enthusiast, Nicole Ellan James has a passion for automotive that is reflected in every aspect of her lifestyle. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @nicoleeellan
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