Imagine you have stepped out of a BMW showroom after taking a hard look at 7-series. Now I imagine that you just bought a 7 series, then by the time you are at the end of this review, you might want to slyly scratch your head because to put things in perspective the new 8-Series 840i Gran Coupé is only 18 lakhs away and has a badge that sits above the 7-series. It’s also a car that lies somewhere between saloons and coupes; moreover, it is the car that comes with actually usable rear seats and the added practicality of more space without compromising on style and is silently fun to drive—dotted lines to the Audi Rs7 Sportback. BMW launched its first 8-Series cars back in 1990, and they’ve updated the models over a period, but the coupe and convertible body style options are timeless and let’s just say – elegant. The new 8-Series 840i Gran Coupé has a perfect structure like the iconic meticulously planned South Mumbai facades, with a precise amount of detail; a wide-low-slung stance coupled with a coupe-like slanted roofline, the front end with its widespread hood, brisk headlamps, and a kidney grille.
The 8-Series 840i Gran Coupé does catch your eye. Still, you won’t blink and rub your eyes in disbelief. It is a substantial 200.2 inches in length, nearly a foot longer than the 8-series coupe and convertible models and 3.0 inches longer than the previous 6-series Gran Coupe, and at a massive five meters plus, the 840i is incredibly long. It is 76 inches wide and 55 inches tall. These dimensions can help you imagine its road presence and stance. They even had to modify the BMW factory to take this rear track down; it’s so broad. Probably one of the broadest rear tracks on the BMWs. There’s so much detail in this car, and the energy just flows from the front to the rear, and from top to bottom. The 840i has a beautiful 20-inch MV spokes, jet-black styling, 728 m-performance wheels and a twin power turbo technology, a 3-litre, 6-cylinder engine that is pretty smooth and refined in everyday driving, and plenty powerful too, revving freely and emitting a superb sound. The turbocharged unit puts out 335hp and a muscular 500Nm of torque; Its wheelbase is 7.9 inches longer than the two-door 8’s, with that stretch devoted to improving space for rear passengers.
The 4-door format works nicely in the 8-series, it makes the 8-Series 840i Gran Coupé a beautiful looking car from the outside, but at the same time, its interiors are also fascinating and attractive. The 8-series’ interior looks quite different when you compare it to other BMWs due to its cascading console over here that seems separated from other interiors. Its dashboard is more swooping than the angular designs found in the Audi A7 Sportback and Porsche Panamera while being less vivid than that of the Mercedes CLS. The dashboard’s buttons are easy to notice and approach, you get configurable digital dials, and there’s a head-up display, which beams plenty of information into your sightline. The 840i is agile, and its steering has the right amount of heft, but it never really says what’s happening between the four tires and the road. There’s just none of the communication that older BMWs used to offer in spades. That’s missing.
It has a high-mounted 10.25-inch touchscreen; we do have wireless Apple CarPlay. We still have the rotary controls down here, beautiful glass finishing on the iDrive and the gear shifter technology is cool, and it all feels suitably luxurious. Every Gran Coupe features a Harman/Kardon audio system, several charging ports, and subscription-based services such as SiriusXM satellite radio and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Android Auto is still noticeably absent. The 8-series gets all the latest features that have made their way to newer BMWs, including voice control, gesture control for answering/ rejecting phone calls, changing volume levels. But I am still scratching my head as to why they forgot to package Android Auto in it!
The driving position is classic BMW, and you can put your long legs comfortably right in front of you. The seating is very comfortable, and the car has a dual sunroof that provides you with enough natural light in the cabin, it also has big cup holders, wireless charging, large central box, and plenty of USB ports. The four individual sport seats have headrests and come with loads of side bolstering. The frameless doors are a pretty cool feature of the 8-Series 840i Gran Coupé, and it is kind of rare on the BMWs these days. Well, you get two proper rear seats and an occasional middle seat that’ll be quite awkward to sit on for long periods. The space at the back-seat is comfortable for two adults, the headspace, toe room, and legroom are decent and generous, there’s plenty of space to move. It has a nice centre console at the back, 2 USB ports and air vents, a beautifully finished flip-down armrest with cup holders, and a nice sunroof. Overall, there’s not much to complain about the back-seats.
The 8-Series 840i Gran Coupé is also more practical than its coupe sibling. It has an electric boot with a sufficient amount of space; the boot is narrow, but I think it can easily fit a couple of large suitcases in its den. The 440 litres isn’t generous for a car of this size, but you have an option to fold down the rear seatbacks in a 40/20/40 configuration for more space. The 8-Series 840i Gran Coupé looks pretty sporty from the outside, and the driving dynamics look pretty aesthetic. I think this is one of the great vehicles to drive, and one can enormously enjoy driving this car. It has straight-6 engine mounted far back, a rear-wheel drive, low centre of gravity, and it also features a great steering wheel; everything in this car looks carefully engineered.
It has a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, and a pair of velvety engines highlight the 8-Series 840i Gran Coupé. The 840i features a 335-hp turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six-cylinder powertrain that feeds either rear- or all-wheel drive. However, the figures are hardly impressive in a world where performance variants with double that output are increasingly common. The 840i sends power to the rear or all four wheels via an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission with sport and manual shift modes, this setup allows for a 0 to 60 sprint time of 4.9 seconds in RWD guise, or 4.6 seconds in xDrive configurations. It feels more than quick enough for both city driving and highway cruising. The 8-Series 840i Gran Coupé does what it says on the label, and then some more. This car is an experienced cruiser thanks to standard adaptive dampers, which can alter the ride’s comfort and sportiness with your choice of Eco+, Comfort, and Sport modes. With Eco+ mode engaged, the Gran Coupe is a laid back road missile that gobbles up the miles in serene comfort. The Gran Coupe isn’t relatively as quick as the 8 Series Coupe on which it’s based, or as fickle as a Panamera 4S; it’s more effortless and leans a little more through turns. It feels beautifully balanced on rolling roads, though, and compared with an Audi RS7 Sportback it is way more fun.
The Gran Coupe’s handling is accurate, and the chassis produces a solid 0.95 g of grip on the skidpad. However, it does suffer from the same numb steering and a weak connection to the car’s front end that we’ve noticed in other large BMWs. The 8-Series 840i Gran Coupé is a refined luxury sedan with a composed ride, a quiet cabin, and high quality materials to make an exceptional daily driver. But if you just bought a 7 Series, we feel you.
FOR – Suave looks, exclusivity, performance
AGAINST – Not as involving to drive
To watch our full in-depth review of the BMW 8-Series 840i Gran Coupé, click here.