It’s refresh time for BMW’s range of Porsche-chasers – the 8 Series. Coupe, convertible, four-door Gran Coupe and M8 all get minor updates, the most exciting of which is that the M Sport styling pack is standard now on even the lowliest models.
A dash of M never hurt a BMW and so it is here: the new more aerodynamic and body-colour front and rear aprons and side skirts take sporting intent firmly up a notch.
M Sport spec also ensures all models start out in life with specific M design highlights such as new steering wheel and standard Merino leather on the inside, and, outside, double-spoke 19-inch alloys and blue brake calipers. Mirrors and spoilers are also tweaked, on the V8 variants at least.
The updates will be of most interest to buyers of the entry models – the six-cylinder diesel and petrol models – while other versions further up the 8 Series food chain continue to have their own style and options.
Top 8s as before are the M8 in coupe, convertible or Gran Coupe form and, not being underendowed with tasty 8 accoutrements already, limit their updates to eight new paint choices, new wheel options, new leather options, Shadow Line lighting and the larger 12.3-inch screen that all models in the line-up also receive.
There are no mechanical changes to any of the models. Which means the M8 in coupe or Gran Coupe form still boasts a twin-turbo V8 of 625PS (460kW) and a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds, with the convertible just a tenth behind.
Pretty racy performance but then the 8 Series’ connection with motorsport has always been a strong one – something that BMW is noting with an option available on all new 8 Series models. It’s a small thing but we think a tasty one: it’s the substitution of the familiar BMW roundels by the BMW Motorsport logo with its staggered semicircles in blue, purple and red. It’s been done to mark the 50th anniversary of BMW M GmbH.
And if it’s something a bit special you’re after, you soon will be able to buy the 8 Series Jeff Koons edition, an M Sport 50th tribute and follow-up to the M3 GT2 Art Car he designed for BMW in 2010. The US artist known for his vibrantly coloured and mirror-finish stainless steel sculptures of flowers and rabbits was let loose in the BMW paint shop and the result – unveiled on 17th February – promises to be stunning (BMW says “highly expressive”) with its 11-colour multi-layer finish.