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First Look At The 2nd Generation BMW 8 Series (G15)

In less than 5 months after its global debut, Malaysia sees the first BMW 8 Series reaching her shores. In an event that was aptly themed in conjunction with heritage, The 8 was officially launched in March of 2019 at the Kuala Lumpur And Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH). 

The 8 which is the newest member to the premium automaker’s portfolio of luxury vehicles promises to set new benchmarks in the luxury coupe segment, employing the latest technology of the group. For Malaysia, The 8 is introduced in the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe variant. 

“At the BMW Group, we’ve always had our sights on the future, and the First Generation BMW 8 Series is testimony to that. First introduced in 1989, the luxurious sports coupe was bold and ahead of its time in terms of performance, innovation and luxury. It was the first BMW vehicle to introduce electronic drive-by-wire throttle, Dynamic Stability Control and Integral Active Steering with the use of multi-link rear axle technology. Three decades on, we have taken the future-looking legacy of the BMW 8 Series and we are bringing this luxurious sports coupe into the modern era to set standards for the future.” quoted Mr. Harald Hoelzl, Managing Director of BMW Group Malaysia.

On The Outside & Inside

Pure dynamism, luxury meets sports, passion and character – these are the descriptive terms of The 8’s design language. What stands out immediately, noticeable from a distance is the plus sized hexagonal kidney grille, which spots an aggressive look compared to the smaller sized classic take of the 1st Generation 8 Series. The design of the hexagonal kidney grille lines then blends in seamlessly towards the headlights where the slimmest headlights of any BMW model to date is housed – the BMW Laserlight. 

These sleek fluid lines continues to the side profile of The 8, tracing the flow of air exiting the Air Breathers. The surface of the 8 curves inwards at the far side of the front wheels, and flares outwards above the rear wheels creating a muscular shoulder line when combined with the strikingly tapered glasshouse. The lines further runs to the rear where an interplay of horizontal and diagonal lines emphasises the car’s width and low centre of gravity. Adding to the low stance effects are the LED taillights which extends deep into the flanks.

The BMW M Performance model is instantly recognisable by its exclusive exterior appointments in Cerium Grey, an M rear spoiler and illuminated door sills bearing the model name. The BMW M850i XDrive Coupe also comes with an additional front spoiler to enhance the overall aerodynamics of the front axle at high speeds. Other sporty appointments includes the 19″ M Sport brakes along with blue painted M callipers shielded slightly by the 20″ M light-alloy wheels in y-spoke style 728 M.

The 8 was designed to reduce the aerodynamic drag, and this has been achieved through the active air flap control with adjustable kidney grille slats and Air Curtains including Air Breathers. The 8 is also almost fully sealed along the underbody.

The 8 offers a selection of 6 exterior colours – Carbon Black metallic, Black Sapphire metallic, Sonic Speed Blue metallic, Barcelona Blue metallic, Sunset Orange metallic and Mineral White – and these are matched with Black, Cognac or Ivory White BMW Individual Merino full leather trim sports seat within. 

On the inside, the design language is continued but with an added touch of relaxingly luxurious ambience. It all feels luxurious and the use of high-quality materials emphasises this further. Coupled with the M Sport package appointments such as the M leather steering wheel, the M pedals, the anthracite BMW individual headliner, M driver’s footrest and special floor mats, these adds the sportiness to luxury in a seamless match. Creature comforts includes for the first time ever, active seat ventilation where cooled air is guided along the body to the seats built-in fans for effective temperature control of the seat cushions and backrests.

Under The Hood

Under the hood of the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe lies the latest generation 4.4-litre eight-cylinder V8 which according to BMW has been radically revised and optimised. The engine power is further enhanced by two twin-scroll turbochargers with charge air cooling located within the V-shaped space between the cylinder banks. On the top engine blocks sits the VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. All these means that the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe is capable of delivering maximum output of 350kW/530hp between 5,500 – 6,000 rpms and maximum torque of 750Nm between 1,800 to 4,600 rpms. The century sprint on paper reads 3.7 seconds. 

This new generation V8 engine is paired with another latest -the new generation 8-speed Steptronic Sports Transmission producing sportier gear shifts while enhancing its efficiency and smoothness. This is done through increased ratio spread, new transmission management and optimised hydraulic controls.

The BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system boasts rapid, precise and fully variable distribution of torque between the front and rear wheels, maximising traction handling stability even in highly dynamic driving situations. In parallel, the rear-biased set-up guarantees a driving experience for which BMW sports cars are renowned for. 

Under It All

Weight optimisation, a low centre of gravity, well-balanced axle load distribution, ideal wheelbase length and a wide track, plus a rigid body structure and favourable aerodynamic properties provides all the right ingredients in achieving maximum sports performance. The BMW M850i xDrive Coupe is also fitted with Adaptive M Suspensions as well as (standard) the Integral Active Steering – which acts to reduce the car’s turning circle when manoeuvring, increasing the agility at moderate speeds and optimises poise and assurance when changing lanes and cornering at high speeds. 

Digital Add Ons

Apart from the usual active cruise control with Stop & Go Function, Driving Assistant Professional, Lane Departure Warning, Lan Change Warning, Pedestrian Collision Warning, Crossing Traffic Warning (front and rear), Emergency Stop Assistant, steering and lane control assistant, Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection and Evasion Aid (which now reacts to pedestrians), the highlights goes to the debuting BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. Dubbed the perfect co-driver, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is an intelligent, digital character that responds to the prompt “Hey BMW” – which could further be customised for greater individuality, for example giving it a name saying “Hey Rudolph”. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant also learns routines and habits and is subsequently able to apply them in appropriate context. And apart from providing assistance, it is able to even provide casual conversations. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will benefit from constant technical upgrades and be able to learn more preferences and favoured settings. 

Another debut on The 8 is the BMW Digital Key, which employs the Near Field (NFC) technology to allow The 8 to be locked and unlocked from a smartphone just by simply holding up the smartphone to the door handle. Once within the car, the engine can be started as soon as the phone has been placed in the Wireless Charging or smartphone tray. Via the BMW Connected App, the Digital Key enables the driver to share the key with up to five people. 

The retail price (on the road, without insurance, and with BMW Group Malaysia’s latest 5 Years Unlimited Mileage Warranty, Free Scheduled Service Programme and BMW Tyre Warranty Programme) for the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe is RM 1,088,800.

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