While the 8 Series is considered BMW's flagship coupe, its exterior design is surprisingly restrained. Sure, my tester gussies things up with an utterly perfect $5,500 Wildberry Metallic paint job and a $4,100 M Carbon Exterior Package that adds useless carbon fiber to various corners, but the overall aesthetics are on the sedate side, with just a few sharp edges fore and aft and a whole bunch of smoothness between those points. It's a good look that won't leave you talking about the car to every passerby -- unless, of course, you get yours in techno-purple.
I said this of the M8 Competition, and I'll say it again: The 8 Series is big. This coupe does a great job of swallowing up every available inch of asphalt between the yellow lines. While that's good in the sense that it feels like you get your money's worth of car, there are some obvious downsides. Even with 360 degrees of parking sensors, the leading edge is mighty susceptible to parking berms, and parallel parking attempts leave me wondering if I've lost the ability to judge what cars can fit in what spaces. If someone on the highway errs too close to the dashed lines, I find myself sweating a bit more than usual.
The Good ~ Smooth when it wants to be ~ Deft handler when it wants to be
The Bad ~ Rear seats assume you lack legs ~ Meh steering ~ Brobdingnagian footprint
The Bottom Line The BMW M850i is almost too much car, but its ability to flex as both a grand tourer and a performance coupe is undeniable.
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