The return of the BMW 8 series
BMW’s new large coupe is raw but yet refined, says Mark Smyth
The BMW 8 Series disappeared from the market in 1999 after a run of just nine years. Nearly 20 years later it is back and will go on sale in SA towards the end of the first quarter of 2019. However, it will be a very different car to the last 8 Series. I had a colleague in Cape Town who owned one, with the registration Bull-WP. The plate summed up the car as much as him because the 8 Series was indeed a bit of a bull, with a V8 or V12 engine under that enormous bonnet and a character that was less flagship BMW and more Olympic shot-putter. The new one will, of course, give rise to additional models, according to Sarah Lessmann of the 8 Series project management team. This will include a Gran Coupe and a convertible later in 2019. There will be high-performance M8 versions too. A surprising piece of news is that BMW has decided that it is no longer size that counts. We were surprised to find that the wheelbase of the new 8 Series is a full 30mm shorter than that of the old 6 Series. ...