I HATE BEING LATE. BEING ON time has been hardwired into my brain since I was a kid. Even now I tend to step out of the door more than a few minutes before I need to. But today, I was late. Super snapper Rohit had told me to reach the shoot location, on the other side of town, at 7:30am. But having spent all night hooning the 8 Series Gran Coupe, the blaring alarms were ferociously snoozed. I thought I could make up time on the road, so I smack the snooze button once again and catch a few precious winks before cursing myself for last night’s shenanigans.
It was a fun night though strangely quiet except for the distant bark of a few street dogs and the rising and falling of the 840i’s revs. The 8 almost blends into the darkness in this Black Sapphire paintwork. We auto journos are so used to getting cars in flashy colours that an inky black finish feels refreshing and as it reflects the city lights; it gives me a chance to notice the 8 Series’ muscular bodywork.
The bonnet extends forward for a few hundred metres, or so it feels, before it dips toward the kidney grille which is (thankfully) not extended down to the road like other Bimmers that cost this much money. It gives the 8 Series a front end that looks ready to pounce, not one that’s ready to eat you alive. There aren’t any unholy gaping aero elements anywhere on the 8 Series, at least on this variant. The ‘M Sport Edition’ has larger vents in the front bumper and a sharper rear end. But I personally prefer the more rounded styling of this variant, especially from the rear. It reminds you of a time before ‘in your face’ was the design brief for every new vehicle. The ducktail spoiler is flicked up just enough to still be considered understated, it wraps around the boot-lid to flow into the taillights, which themselves are sculpted beautifully. The sleek taillights, and the strip of chrome uniting the exhaust tips also exaggerate the 8 Series’ width. Not that it needs it though. Because this 8 Series Gran Coupe is 30mm wider than the already massive 7 Series and almost as long! Thankfully, the 8 Series’ size is well balanced by the low roofline and its squat stance. The 8 Series really has a harmonious, glorious silhouette. And this beauty continues when you open the frameless doors too.
Of course, the cabin is incredibly well-built, as is the case with all BMWs, but the 8 Series takes it one step further. For starters, the entire layout is a departure from what we’ve seen carried from the 3 Series to the 7 Series — the stubby centre console is replaced by one that flows into the central tunnel, the central infotainment display is tucked into the dash instead of being a floating unit, and there’s enough leather on the inside to cause a riot. There’s also a lot of piano black in the cabin and though I’m not too fond of it, it works well with the blend of the beige leather and the silver aluminium strips.
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