The 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Is For The Real Sedan Heads

All photos: BMW

If you want a nice and good and fine four-door BMW, you get a BMW 5 Series. If you want a nice and good and fine version of that four-door but want it with only two doors, you get a BMW 8 series. If you want a nice and good and fine four-door version of the two-door version of the BMW 5 Series, you get this, the 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. And no, we don’t care how silly that is, because this really does look good.

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(I know this is all confusing, but bear with me now. We’ve been talking about the BMW 8 Series for a while, however this all bears repeating. It barely makes sense to me and I’m swimming in car nonsense all the time. The BMW 6 Series was a nameplate resurrected by BMW for the 2004 model year to serve as sort of a coupe-y version of the BMW 5 Series, and which ran for two generations, including coupe, convertible, and fastback variants, until 2018. That car has been replaced by what is essentially a car filling the same niche in every, known as the BMW 8 Series. But it’s the same idea. Anyways, hi, hello, let’s all just relax and get through this.)

There’s this notion out there that just because your car has four doors, it is a sedan, and thus it must be a bit rounded around the edges. It must be a bit squatter, a bit chubbsier, if it were. We don’t make rules like that for anything else. We don’t say, “oh, your car has four tail lights? Well then it must be painted mauve.” But the sedan rule is sadly the code of the yard in which we live. So if it has four doors, and really looks athletic as hell, it must be called a Gran Coupe, in BMW parlance.

All that is a bit of a red herring, though. Because this isn’t really just a BMW 5 Series with a shrink and then another stretch. It’s a unique design from the windshield back, so sayeth BMW in its press release:

From the a-pillar back, the 8 Series Gran Coupe design differs from that of the Coupe to both increase interior space and deliver a vehicle with strong presence and authority. The windshield features less rake than in the Coupe to allow the roofline to raise to a higher point above the front seats, providing increased headroom for both front and rear passengers. The roof then merges into the rear trunk lid with fin-like transitional lines to create the visual of a long and flowing body. The rear glass is mounted with increased rake to increase the size of the trunk opening and also acts to from a fixed part of the body’s structure to increase torsional rigidity and reduce noise entering the cabin. The subtle flying buttress design of the rear glass surround requires that the finishing folds of the metalwork be done by hand, a unique feature of the 8 Series Gran Coupe that allows for a truly elegant design to be delivered to each and every owner.

Presenting a unique design from the windscreen back, the new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupes are 9.0 inches longer, 1.2 inches wider, 2.2 inches taller than the 8 Series Coupe [and] feature a wheelbase which is 7.9 inches longer.

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BMW says that the sedan version of the BMW 8 Series is nine inches longer with a 7.9-inch longer wheelbase, 1.2 inches wider, and 2.2 inches taller than the BMW 8 Series coupe. Even the front seats have a thinner profile, to afford backseaters about 7 inches of leg room over the coupe.

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(Though, curiously, BMW doesn’t provide a handy comparison of the rear legroom in the 8 Series Gran Coupe to the 5 Series Sedan. Hm.)

But for all the petty squabbling over the name, let’s just talk about the car for a second. It really is the sort of proportions that all modern sedan makers should aspire for. I mean, as all of SUV-and-crossover-dom does a subversive slide into what really is just a regular car, why not have regular cars be long and low and look muscular as hell?

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Photo: BMW

I mean, just look at this thing. It’s all odd bulges and crevasses. It’s a bit like the same effect you get from looking at the underside of a stealth fighter.

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The inside looks pretty great, too, with the rear especially looking like two cobras swaddled up in New York Yankees gear – truly, an evil combo if there ever was one:

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As for the front, well, it’s pretty standard upper-level BMW circa now:

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And since it’s an upper-level BMW from circa now, you get BMW’s upper-level-BMW-circa-now engines as well, namely the B58 turbocharged inline-six with 335 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque (available in both rear-and-all-wheel-drive, naturally), and a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 pumping out a heaping 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

Both will get you moving just fine, I’m sure, and both route the power through the company’s eight-speed “Steptronic Sport” automatic transmission. Though you already knew that sort of stuff, if you were paying attention to the BMW 8 Series at all before just this moment.

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I didn’t crop this photo because for the life of me I’m trying to fathom where it was taken. A concrete factory? An art museum? It’s so brutalist it is physically hurting me. Ow.
Photo: BMW

Anyways, if you’re a true 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe obsessive, because sure that’s a thing, go check out BMW’s whole rundown of the car here. They talk about the flappy paddles for the transmission and the wheels and how they’re still going to try to sell you on electric steering, nearly 20 years later.

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They also have a ton of super high-res photos, which you can peruse to your greatest pleasures. What do you think I’m gonna do, spend my night here uploading a million huge photos of a nice BMW sedan (prices starting at an eye-watering $84,900, of course, and that’s with only six pistons in the engine, it’ll be $108,900 if you want eight of those)?

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Look, I said the thing was pretty. I didn’t say it would change your life. Just click the link if you really want it.

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About the author

Michael Ballaban

Deputy Editor, Jalopnik. 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross.

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