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2020 BMW M8 Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader March 2020

The 2020 BMW M8 is an extremely comfortable missile. It's a high-speed cruiser where all the surrounding sights are morphed into one long multi-colored streak. The M8 is right at home in the most upscale areas of the richest cities, but it can also go to the nearest track to break the lap record.

Let's dissect the name for a moment. The number 8 refers to the 8 Series, a collection of coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe cars based on the same platform as the full-size 7 Series luxury sedan. And the letter M signifies that BMW's performance specialists have been hard at work raising the power levels, tuning the suspension, finessing the aerodynamics and strengthening the brakes. The result is an M8 version of each body style.

The 2-door coupe and convertible have small rear seats. The best way to avoid any complaints is to use them for weekend bags and employ the trunk for golf clubs or something. The longer, wider and taller Gran Coupe rectifies that situation with human-sized rear accommodations and a couple of extra doors to gain access. It also has a hatchback and folding rear seats instead of a trunk.

In any M8, there's an intoxicating mix of speed and civility.

The regular 2020 8 Series range is reviewed separately.

What's New for 2020?

The M8 versions of the BMW 8 Series are all-new this year. The 8 Series itself is still fresh, having launched only last year in coupe and convertible forms. The Gran Coupe body style makes its debut for 2020. See the 2020 BMW M8 models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Power
  • Handling
  • Technology
  • Refinement

What We Don't

  • Rear three-quarter vision is compromised whenever there's a roof
  • No Android Auto smartphone integration

How Much?

$133,995 to $156,495

Fuel Economy

In every 2020 M8 model is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8. The regular versions are endowed with 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. The Competition variants make the same torque but are tuned to generate 617 hp.

An 8-speed automatic transmission (with shift paddles beneath the steering wheel and a launch mode) directs that muscle to all four wheels. The engine has a stop/start mode to save a little fuel while the car is standing still. At lights or in traffic, for example.

Fuel consumption estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency are 15 miles per gallon in the city, 21 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg in combined driving. These figures are for every variant, regardless of body style or engine output.

Standard Features and Options

The 2020 BMW M8 performance/luxury car comes in 2-door coupe and convertible versions, or as a 4-door Gran Coupe.

The M8 coupe ($133,995) starts out with 20-in alloy wheels, carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof, Icon adaptive LED headlights with Laserlight technology and automatic high beams, adaptive brake lights (that glow brighter with heavier braking), M Compound brakes, M-tuned adaptive suspension, active M differential, rear spoiler, forward-collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking and daytime pedestrian detection, rain-sensing wipers, front and rear parking sensors, soft-closing doors, keyless entry and ignition, remote start, selectable driving modes, dual-zone automatic climate control, extended leather upholstery, heated and ventilated 16-way power-adjustable front sport seats with driver's-side memory settings, power-adjustable steering column, ambient LED cabin lighting, powered trunk lid, heated front armrests and steering wheel, 12.3-in digital drive information display, head-up display, 10.25-in infotainment touchscreen, wireless charging, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth phone and audio, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, navigation with real-time traffic updates, 32 GB of multi-media storage, satellite and HD radio and a 16-speaker/464-watt Harman Kardon surround-sound system.

The M8 Competition coupe ($146,995) has extra hp, plus an M Sport exhaust system, stiffer engine mounts, firmer suspension, Track driving mode (which also brings up a specific screen in the driver's display) and higher-quality leather upholstery.

The M8 convertible ($143,495) swaps the CFRP roof for a multi-layered fabric power-folding top that can open or close in 15 seconds at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. It also has model-specific rollover protection, a wind deflector and a 12-speaker/408-watt Harman Kardon surround-sound system. Other than those exceptions, the convertible is equipped much like the coupe.

The same rules apply to the M8 Competition convertible ($156,495).

Equipment in the 2020 M8 Gran Coupe ($130,995) differs from the 2-door coupe in that it has quad-zone automatic climate control, useful seating for two passengers in the back and a powered lift gate.

The M8 Competition Gran Coupe ($143,995) follows the same kind of variations on the established themes.

Even at this financial level, it's possible to spend more on a new M8 with several options. The Driver Assistance Professional package includes adaptive cruise control with stop/go, partial autonomy with the Traffic Jam Assistant, blind spot monitoring, automatic lane changing, evasive steering assistance, self-parking for parallel and perpendicular spaces and a 360-degree camera system.

Other options include night vision, fade-resistant M carbon ceramic brakes, an M Driver's package that pairs a day's tuition in high-performance driving with a raised top speed of 189 mph and a 16-speaker/1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system.

Competition versions also offer leather/simulated suede (Alcantara) upholstery. Convertible models may be ordered with neck-warming air vents in the front seats.

In ascending order of practicality, the M8 convertible has 12.4 cu ft. of trunk space. The M8 coupe enjoys a decent 14.8 cu ft. The Gran Coupe improves things with 15.5 cu ft. while adding some flexibility with split folding rear seats.

Safety

There hasn't been any independent crash testing for the 8 Series in the United States or Europe. That's usual for low-volume/high-luxury cars.

However, every M8 has an array of features that include driver fatigue monitoring, automatic pre-tensioning of seat belts and automatic closing of windows and sunroofs if a collision is imminent. There's also an automatic brake drying feature. The takeaway here is that an M8 will protect its occupants to an extremely high degree.

Behind the Wheel

Just to be contrarian, let's start with the slowest M8 variant, which is the non-competition convertible. It goes from standstill to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. This puts it among some illustrious company, such as Ferrari and Porsche sports cars. Yes, it's the slowest M8. The other M8 models are one- to two-tenths of a second faster.

In normal conditions, the all-wheel drive system sends most of its power to the rear wheels, with the ability to send all of it rearward. When the traction and stability control is turned off in the Competition's Track mode, the M8 can be coaxed into tail-out slides.

The coupe and Gran Coupe versions have CFRP roofs that help keep weight in check and lower the center of gravity (compared with a metal roof), which enhances the handling. Every version has the M Sport active differential, enabling drivers to apply the power at corner exits sooner than they might in cars without this feature.

The Gran Coupe M8 brings the opportunity to scare another couple of passengers -- or, perhaps, impress them -- with its driving skills, as well as its gorgeous cabin and exquisite optional Bowers & Wilkins audio system.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Aston Martin Vantage -- The Vantage has less power (503 hp) compared with the M8 and starts at a higher price (around $156,000). It has somewhat snug accommodations, but it is an Aston Martin. It also comes as a coupe or convertible.

2020 Mercedes-AMG S 63 -- Whether you choose coupe or cabriolet, these 603-hp machines are as polished as they are powerful.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe -- As a rival to the M8 Gran Coupe, this really is a supercar with seating for four. The range-topper has 630 hp.

Used Bentley Continental GT -- The Continental GT is available in coupe or convertible form. These cars are quite heavy and don't have any more power that the M8. For example, the W12 GT Speed has 616 hp. Nonetheless, they exude an amazing amount of presence and exclusivity.

Autotrader's Advice

If every summer is going to be filled with track days, then think about the carbon ceramic brakes, costing (gulp) $8,150. Definitely select the Driving Assistance Professional package, too. And, if you're buying an M8 convertible, the neck-warming air vents are a must. Find a BMW M8 for sale

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2020 BMW M8 Review - Autotrader
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