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In-depth reviews

BMW 8 Series review - Interior, design and technology

It looks brutish and aggressive on the outside, but the design wraps a technological tour-de-force

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.2 out of 5

Price
£84,095 to £134,955
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It’s fair to say there’s not much revolutionary about the 8 Series concept. It’s a brutish two-door coupe with a long nose, swooping roofline and powerful haunches – characteristics which have been admired by performance car enthusiasts for well over half a century.

When it was launched we initially thought it looked quite brutish and perhaps a little fussy by BMW standards, but since then we’ve seen BMW’s iconic kidney grille grow and some controversial designs hit the road so the 8 Series has softened in comparison.

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Whatever trim level you choose, the 8 Series still has plenty of presence on the road. 20-inch alloy wheels fill the arches, and the sense of the exotic is heightened by the standard LED lights or optional laser headlamps. The front grille is typical BMW with a broad double-kidney treatment and big air vents, while the side view is pure muscle car. 20-inch alloy wheels fill the arches, and the sense of the exotic is heightened by the standard LED lights or optional laser headlamps. The front grille is typical BMW with a broad double-kidney treatment and big air vents, while the side view is pure muscle car.

Under its skin the 8 Series uses BMW’s modular CLAR platform with Carbon Core tech that integrates carbon-fibre into the structure. Other features of the platform technology package include GPS-controlled shifts for the auto transmission, and an advanced start-stop system using cameras as well as sensors.

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Inside the 8 Series has a very contemporary feel, with plenty of buttons and touchpoints similar to a 5 Series. It’s beautifully finished though, with peerless craftsmanship and extremely high quality materials. It’s also packed with all the tech you’d expect of a luxury grand tourer.

If you want to personalise your 8 series, then BMW has a range of equipment packs to choose from. However, they are quite costly, so you'll need to be careful with your specification.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The core of the infotainment system is built around BMW’s 12.3-inch live cockpit digital dashboard and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen - which received an extensive update during the mid-life facelift of 2022. These are backed up by a standard-fit head-up display that projects vital info onto the windscreen. It’s all very highly specced and operates via BMW’s extremely slick latest iDrive system with its knurled control knob situated next to the transmission shifter. The only bugbear is the absence of Android Auto, but BMW included it from mid-2020 so watch out for that if you’re buying used. In all other respects it’s a masterclass in intuitive connectivity, although it might lack the wow factor compared to the new SL’s interior.

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Which Is Best

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Executive editor

Paul was employed across automotive agency and manufacturer-side sectors before joining Auto Express in 2020 as our online reviews editor. After a brief sojourn at a national UK newspaper, Paul returned as executive editor where he now works closely with our commercial partners.

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