BMW M8 gets the Gran(der) Coupe makeover

BMW South Africa has already confirmed that the M8 Gran Coupe will arrive in the first quarter of next year

BMW has completed the M8 range by taking the covers off of the Gran Coupe in ‘standard’ and Competition forms.

Following the coupe and cabriolet derivatives launched back in June, the Gran Coupe’s obvious main difference lies in its four-door bodystyle that sees it being longer by 201 mm in overall length and 231 mm in wheelbase than the coupe, whilst the height has been raised by 61 mm and the width increased by 30 mm.

Like its fixed and drop-top siblings, the Gran Coupe receives a redesigned front and rear apron, M side vents, a wider lower air intake with larger side vents on the bumper, widened wheel arches, a double black bar kidney grille, aerodynamically optimised mirrors and quad exhausts integrated into the diffuser.

Unique to the Competition is a black outer finish for the grille, high gloss black mirror caps, black exhaust outlets that identifies the M Sport exhaust, optional 20-inch forged M light alloy wheels and the optional carbon fibre pack that sees a carbon finish being applied to the front intakes, diffuser and spoiler, mirror caps and side vents.

As with the coupe, the M8 Gran Coupe comes with a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof on both models, while a limited run model is the First Edition based on the regular model that sports an Aurora Diamond Green Metallic hue from the BMW Individual catalogue, Gold Bronze Metallic M8 badges, contrasting M light alloys and Gold Bronze door sills. Only 400 will be made.

Underneath its skin, the Gran Coupe boasts the same M tuned electro-mechanical power steering system with two modes; Comfort and Sport, as well as the revised chassis, M Adaptive suspension with three modes; Comfort, Sport and Sport+ and a steel X-brace plus aluminium transverse strut for improved rigidity.

Also standard is the Active M Differential incorporating an M Dynamic mode and a choice of two brake options; the M compound stoppers or the optional M carbon ceramics whose discs measure 400 mm at the front and 380 mm at the rear. Unique to the Competition though is a stiffer chassis and ball joints instead of rubber mounts on the rear axle.

Inside, the Gran Coupe’s interior mirrors that of the coupe and cabriolet with the same M touches and material options, though with full Merino leather in Taruma Brown on the First Edition. As expected, boot space is up on the coupe with a claimed capacity of 440-litres.

The similarities with the coupe and cabriolet, unsurprisingly, extends to underneath bonnet where the 4.4-litre bi-turbo V8 produces 441kW/750Nm in the M8, and 460 kW in the Competition with torque being kept unchanged.

Like its siblings and indeed the M5, the Gran Coupe’s sends its power to all four wheels via BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system with three drive modes; 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD, through an eight-speed sport Steptronic gearbox.

Although top speed is as ever pegged at 250 km/h or 305 km/h with the optional M Driver’s Package, the M8 will complete the 0-100 km/h dash in 3.3 seconds versus the Competition’s 3.2 seconds.

Heading for its official public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month, BMW South Africa has already confirmed that the M8 Gran Coupe will arrive in the first quarter of next year, but seemingly in Competition trim only.

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