BMW’s most extravagant luxury vehicles are getting a makeover for 2023. The 8 Series coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe receive a freshened exterior appearance and updated tech package to keep the models competitive against the reworked 2022 Mercedes-Benz SL.
Given that the 8 Series is comprised of the three models, including the misnamed four-door Gran Coupe, it’s little surprise that it far outsells the Mercedes-Benz SL. But even if you factor in Mercedes-Benz GT sales, which includes a five-door variant, BMW still outsold it in 2021, moving 7,760 units to Mercedes-Benz’s 3,572 units.
It also outsold the Lexus LC at 2,782 units, but not when combined with the LS, which would bring the total to 6,521 units.
An extensive array of models
The 8 Series line-up is bewilderingly extensive, to say the least. It’s comprised of a 6-cylinder 840i coupe and convertible, a V-8-powered M850i xDrive coupe and convertible, as well as the 6-cylinder 840i Gran Coupe, V-8 M850i Gran Coupe and an Alpina B8 Gran Coupe.
But that’s not all.
BMW also offers the BMW M8 Competition Coupe, Convertible, and Gran Coupe — the top-of-the-line in BMW’s portfolio, as well as the 8 X JEFF KOONS, a limited edition of the BMW 850i xDrive Gran Coupe whose look is furnished by American artist Jeff Koons and offered in 11 colors.
Got all that?
High performance enhancements
For 2023, the highest performing 8 Series, the M8, will be available as the M8 Competition Coupe, M8 Competition Convertible, and the M8 Competition Gran Coupe, a 4.4-liter V-8 engine with twin turbos generating 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Power is funneled to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. Reaching 60 mph takes 3 seconds; top speed is 190 mph.
Competition models come with a standard Adaptive M Suspension that parses data from body movement, road surfaces and steering input to adjust each damper’s electromagnetic valves as well as an M Sport Exhaust System, 20-inch M Star-spoke wheels shod with performance non-run flat tires.
Other drivelines carry over unchanged, with 840i vehicles getting a 335-hp turbocharged straight-6, and M850i models receiving a 523-hp twin-turbo V-8. The BMW ALPINA B8 Gran Coupe gets a 612-horsepower 4.4-liter V-8, good for a 3.3-second 0-60 mph time, with a maximum speed of 201 mph and a specially tuned chassis.
Nevertheless, the 8 Series remains a top seller in the segment and its updates reflect the current trends in the industry.
So it receives an illuminated rendition of BMW’s iconic twin-kidney grille. It’s activated when the vehicle is unlocked or a door is opened. Thankfully, it can be turned off manually. Lighting aside, the grille also features redesigned vertical bars with a distinctive U-shaped profile.
BMW also added five new paint colors to the 8 Series’ palette: Skyscraper Grey metallic, San Remo Green metallic, Portimao Blue metallic, BMW Individual Frozen Tanzanite Blue metallic and Frozen Pure Grey. Of course, it also comes with two new optional 20-inch wheel designs.
In addition, the new model year brings a fresh option for the M850i xDrive coupe can be fitted with the new M Sport Package Professional trim, which adds a black kidney grille, black calipers for the standard M Sport brakes, M Shadowline headlights with dark inserts and a black M rear spoiler.
All M850i xDrive models will be offered with the classic BMW Motorsport logo on the hood, trunk, and wheel hub covers in place of the usual BMW logos to commemorate the 50th anniversary of BMW M GmbH.
Competition models also get optional heated, power adjustable M Carbon bucket seats featuring carbon fiber reinforced plastic surfaces; pronounced back, shoulder, and thigh bolsters, and integrated headrests with “M8” badges on the headrests and a memory driver’s seat.
In an age where no screen is big enough, it’s little surprise that the center-mounted display has increased in size from 10.25 to 12.3 inches. This is in addition to a 12.3-inch instrument cluster. The 8 Series screen are controlled using a console-mounted controller and the seventh generation of BMW iDrive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are standard.
The updates promise to make BMW’s 8 Series grand touring models even more grand for 2023. Production is scheduled to begin in March 2022, with the MSRP remaining unchanged from its 2022 $85,000 price tag.