2020 BMW 8 Series Review

8 Series

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2020 BMW 8 Series Overview

BMW introduced a new generation of the 8 Series in 2018. For 2020, a 4-door Gran Coupe joins the lineup. BMW also adds an entry-level, 6-cylinder 840i, which joins the V8 M850i.

The 840i is available with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or xDrive, which is BMW-speak for all-wheel drive (AWD). Powering those wheels is a 3.0-liter straight-6 turbo that makes 335 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to get the 2-door coupe from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds with RWD and 4.4 seconds with xDrive. The convertible goes from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds with RWD and 4.6 seconds with xDrive.

The M850i gets a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to get the coupe to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and the convertible in 3.8 seconds. All M850is come with xDrive. All 8 Series BMWs, regardless of engine, get an 8-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters. All are also limited to a 155-mph top speed when equipped with performance tires. While the 840i hasn’t gotten an official fuel-economy rating yet, the M850i coupe returns 18 mpg city, 25 highway, and 20 combined. The convertible returns 17, 26, 20.

Electromechanical power steering, active dampers, and 18-inch alloy wheels come standard. The M Sport package unlocks 19- or 20-inch wheels, along with an aerodynamic kit and interior upgrades. Inside, standard features include a head-up display (HUD), soft-close doors, adaptive LED headlights, keyless entry, wireless-device charging, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, a heated steering wheel, and a WiFi hotspot. Also standard is an ambient lighting feature, for which the color can be changed via the iDrive 7 system that centers on a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch center display. Convertibles get a power fabric soft top that can raise or lower in 15 seconds at up to 30 mph; a nifty optional feature for the convertible is a neck warmer that blows warm air to allow for top-down driving in the colder months.

Options include a Bowers & Wilkins stereo, glass controls, and a Comfort Seating Package with ventilated front seats. All 8 Series BMWs come with leather upholstery. Standard colors include black, ivory white, and cognac. Buyers can pay extra for a higher-grade leather in ivory white, cognac, or two-tone hues like Night Blue and Black, Tartufo and Black, or Fiona Red and Black.

The 8 Series is too expensive to go through the usual run of official crash tests, but all versions come standard with frontal-collision warning with city-collision mitigation as well as a system that tightens the seatbelts and closes the windows in the event of an accident. The system also features fatigue and focus alert, along with post-crash braking. Selecting the Driving Assistance Professional Package adds a lot more in the way of safety features, including active blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, a surround-view camera, parking assist, rear cross-traffic alert, active cruise control, lane-keep assist with active side-collision protection, and an evasion aid, which reacts to situations when the driver’s view may be obstructed.

BMW's 8 Series competes with the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GT or S-Class.


Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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