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

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.

The design is quite brutish and perhaps a little fussy by BMW standards, but it has plenty of presence on the road, and certainly looks more athletic and sporty than the S Class Coupe. 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 latest CLA 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.

Inside the 8 Series has a very contemporary feel, although again it’s not radically different like the i8. It’s beautifully finished though, with peerless craftsmanship and extremely high quality materials. It’s also packed with all the tech you’ll find in an equivalent range-topping 7 Series saloon.

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. 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.

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