The BMW 8-Series is available in different trim levels 840i, M850i xDrive, both in coupe or convertible versions, and the M8. The base model comes equipped with a 3L intercooled turbo 6-cylinder engine making 335HP and the higher trim gets a 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8 engine making 523 hp. That power is sent to rear wheel or all-four wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox, the M850 is only available in all-wheel drive. The result is startling and immediate acceleration when called upon. BMW is conservatively claiming a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds on the M850, putting the car in the same league as many supercars when it comes to acceleration and performance. And of course, with all-wheel drive, acceleration comes in all weather conditions, pleasant or otherwise.

At the base leave you get features such as 18-inch wheels, soft-close doors, 14-way heated power seats, and high end materials in the interior. The M850 has a bevy of standard features. Included are 20-inch wheels, power-folding, heated side mirrors, 20-way powered multifunction front seats, Marino leather upholstery with Nappa leather finish around the dashboard, and an anthracite headliner. The stereo is a 600-watt Harman Kardon surround sound system with 16-speakers including two subwoofers. SiriusXM radio is included for a year as is HD radio with multicast FM station reception.

The infotainment system is also top notch, featuring a 10.25" central information display that can be operated by BMW's iDrive system, via the touchscreen, or simply by voice commands. A heads up display is also standard along with two USB ports, 20GB of media storage and a navigation system. Other electronic goodies include dynamic cruise control, a rearview camera, a power operated trunk lid, automatic climate control, up to 11 predefined selectable interior light designs, rain-sensing wipers, 3-stage heated front seats, a wireless phone charger, a built in wi-fi hotspot and soft-close automatic door operation.

Editors' Review

Some well-heeled folks don't buy BMW's M vehicles because they want stonking power or immense handling prowess – they buy them because they're the most expensive variants on offer. No one is immune to vanity. Normally, I'm fine with that, because it means OEMs will keep makin' the things. But the 2020 BMW M8 Competition might want to be offered with a warning sticker: "Sacrifices must be made."

While the 8 Series is technically considered a grand tourer – a comfortable, powerful two-door meant for long journeys – the 2020 M8 Competition leans hard on the last part of its name, making many GT-flavored cuts in order to squeeze out every inch of performance. My tester's adaptive suspension has a Comfort mode in name only, communicating expansion joints and bad roads through the chassis with vigor at all times. Some people are fine with a harsher ride if it means better handling, but people who want something that can be soft should stick with the 840i or M850i instead.

GTs usually carry enough sound deadening to fill a standard-size concert hall, keeping the interior whisper quiet so occupants can focus on music or conversation or whatever. While the top half of the M8 Competition is more than happy to make any wind-related noise disappear, that's not the case for the bottom half, where tire roar is constant and hard to ignore. Granted, the M8 is wearing Pirelli P-Zero performance summer tires, and fat-ish ones at that (275 millimeters up front, 285 in the back), but a little more Dynamat probably wouldn't hurt its track times all that much.

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The Good ~ Sharp looks ~ Sharp handling ~ Peachy powertrain

The Bad ~ More car than most places can handle ~ Diminished GT credentials

The Bottom Line If you don't live on a racetrack, the 2020 BMW M8 Competition might be just a bit too hardcore for most.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 9
  • Features 9
  • Design 9
  • Media 8.5

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