2021 BMW 8-Series Gran Coupe
Having a grand touring coupe or convertible at your disposal is a luxury few can justify, but perhaps the four-door version of BMW’s 8-series—the 2021 8-series Gran Coupe—is practical enough to rationalize buying it. In comparison to the 8-series coupe and convertible (reviewed separately), the Gran Coupe offers a far more usable rear seat, and with those seats folded flat, the four-door has the two-doors beat on cargo-carrying ability. The base 840i comes with a silky-smooth turbocharged inline-six engine and rear-wheel drive; xDrive all-wheel-drive models are also available. Performance peaks with the M850i model, which houses a 523-hp twin-turbocharged V-8 under its hood; unfortunately that model also comes with a six-figure price tag. Whichever you choose, the 8-series Gran Coupe is a sleek and luxurious tourer with the added flexibility to help validate the expense.
What’s New for 2021?
The 8-series Gran Coupe sees few changes for 2021, but SiriusXM satellite radio, lane-departure warning, and a dark gray headliner are all now standard equipment. Sonic Speed Blue is no longer available as an exterior color, and you can no longer order the black Merino leather with matching black piping. BMW has also removed the cool Night Vision feature from the options list.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
A smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission and a pair of velvety engines highlight the 8-series Gran Coupe. The 840i features a 335-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder powertrain that feeds either rear- or all-wheel drive. The M850i boasts a 523-hp twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 and standard all-wheel drive. While the base engine doesn’t pack the wallop that the V-8 does, it’s still plenty quick and produces a pleasant timbre when rushed. Those looking for more bootstrap concept substantial thrust won’t be disappointed by the M850i, which has a detuned version of the engine in the BMW M8 Gran Coupe (reviewed separately) that makes up to 617 ponies. Both the 8s provide a splendid ride and playful handling responses. While the steering delivers little feedback when the road turns twisty, the big Bimmer compensates with strong brakes and the aforementioned powertrain refinement.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Like the 8-series coupe and convertible, the Gran Coupe’s interior is lavishly outfitted—albeit sedately styled. All models have a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, customizable ambient lighting, a large head-up display, leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, and wireless charging. The cabin can be further upgraded with fancier headliners, glass switchgear, and multifunctional seats with increased adjustability. The driving position is very comfortable thanks to a well-placed dead pedal. Forward visibility is excellent, but the rearward view through the steeply angled fastback’s glass is restricted. Legroom is more generous in the back seat of the Gran Coupe than in its two-door counterparts but—thanks to the car’s sharply angled roofline—headroom is tighter. The four-door 8-series is also more practical than its coupe sibling. We managed to fit up to 15 carry-on suitcases inside with its rear seat stowed versus the 11 total bags in the coupe. Both body styles held five suitcases in their trunks, while the convertible held one fewer for four total.