BMW M850i Gran Coupe — BMW’s high-performance Gran Tourer

By Jim Prueter

(August 29, 2021) After a 22-year hiatus BMW revived the 8-Series as its new flagship model, sitting high atop BMW’s lineup in terms of design, luxury and status. The Gran Coupe reviewed here is a four-door sedan version of the two-door 8-Series, which is available as a coupe or convertible.

The Gran Coupe is offered in three trim levels: the 6-cylinder 335-horsepower 840i Gran Coupe; our tested M850i xDrive Gran Coupe, heavily powered by a 4.4-liter twin turbocharged 523-horsepower V-8 engine with standard all-wheel drive; and the massive 617-horsepower M8 Competition Gran Coupe. We achieved a quick zero-to-60 mph of just 3.7 seconds and clocked just 11.2 seconds in a run through the quarter mile. The engine is paired with a silky smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission.

Outside, the design proportions and styling are nothing short of sensational – long, low with muscular rear shoulders, frameless doors, and a long sloping hood with performance bumps ending at the expressive BMW signature kidney shaped grille. It’s such a beautiful, fine specimen. I found it implausibly sleek, substantial and the object of long contemplating looks of aesthetic gratitude from passersby.

Inside, the cabin is expectedly luxurious, distinctive in all its embossed-leather, heavily bolstered fabulosity. The Gran Coupe seats four, although there are three seat belts in the rear. Front seats are spacious, comfortable and supportive, however the rear leaves much to be desired; headroom is critically compromised because of the sharply angled roofline.

There’s a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, along with a 10.3-inch touchscreen that operates the infotainment system and is mounted like an iPad high on the dashboard. It operates via touch inputs and a console-mounted rotary knob and redundant operational controls on the steering
wheel. Apple CarPlay, a Harman/Kardon audio system, SiriusXM satellite radio and a Wi-Fi hotspot are all standard. Oddly, Android Auto is absent. Our test Gran Coupe came equipped with the optional Bowers & Wilkins stereo.

Our test Gran Coupe came equipped with the optional Bowers & Wilkins stereo.
Standard driver-assist technology includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. More advanced equipment costs extra.  

Overall, the M850i is a flat-out heart-pounding four-door sports car that’s comfortable, gorgeously styled and immensely attractive inside. Build quality is exceptional, and materials first rate. With acceleration that will push you back in your seat, it handles magnificently, cornering like it’s on rails while pampering with indulgent luxury.

Vital Stats
Base Price:  $99,900
Price as Tested: $112,945
Engine/Transmission: 523-hp twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 and all-wheel drive paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
EPA Fuel Economy: 17/24/19 – MPG – City/Highway/Combined
Seating: Five

Crash Test Safety Ratings: The 8-Series Gran Coupe has not been crash-tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Where Built: Dingolfing, Germany

Competes With:
Audi RS7
Audi S7
Mercedes-AMG GT63
Porsche Panamera

Fab Features
Powerful engine
Exceptional ride and handling
Lustful styling