It's back. The BMW 8-Series returned this year as the German automaker's large GT car. History has a way of sounding the same to us.
New for 2019 but evolving into 2020 with Gran Coupe and M8 additions, the 8-Series lineup hails from the Dingolfing plant in Germany where the 7-Series is built.
Regardless of body style the 8-Series is low, wide, and angry with taut lines and a sleek roofline. It looks every bit the nearly $90,000 (to start) that it costs.
Swathed in leather and soft-touch materials, the 2019 BMW 8-Series is an opulent grand tourer. (Nathan Leach-Proffer/For Motor Authority)
Inside, the 8-Series is a luxury grand tourer worthy of a sprint to the Hamptons with real wood, leather, metal, and soft-touch materials throughout the cabin. The convertibles have a thick insulated soft top and a hushed cabin while storming down back roads at high speeds.
Power ranges from a turbocharged inline-6 with 335 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque sent to the rear wheels to a twin-turbo V-8 with power output anywhere from 523 hp and 553 lb-ft to 617 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque sent to all four wheels. Regardless of power output or drive wheels, a slick 8-speed automatic transmission handles shifting duties.
Power outputs vary from a 335 hp turbo-6 to a fire-breathing 617-hp twin-turbo V-8 in the 2019 BMW 8-Series. (Nathan Leach-Proffer/For Motor Authority)
In its slowest form, the 8-Series sprint from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds, but that can drop as low as 3.1 seconds in M8 guise. While top speed is limited to 155 mph an M Driver's Package can raise that to 189 mph—for typical grocery store runs, or something.
Like every other modern BMW, the 8-Series has a dizzying number of performance settings, steering wheel controls, and gearshift-mounted buttons to help configure power distribution, suspension settings, and transmission settings.
At more than 4,500 pounds, the 8-Series is no lightweight. It's both heavier and wider than the 6-Series it replaces, but it's far sportier thanks to its CLAR architecture that it shares with the 5- and 7-Series cars. It features mixed materials including steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, and even magnesium. The double-wishbone front suspension and five-link rear suspension, both with adaptive dampers, provide a comfortable ride and can tackle a racetrack at speed.
2019 BMW 8-Series Convertible - Best Car To Buy 2020
The latest BMW 8-Series does a far better job of balancing luxury and performance than the outgoing 8-Series with lots of power, luxurious interior, and stunning good looks.
Is all this enough to make the rebirth of the BMW 8-Series Motor Authority's Best Car To Buy 2020?
Check back with us Jan. 2 when we announce the winner of this year's award. We'll also announce the winners from our sister sites, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. The Car Connection will also reveal the best vehicles in 15 categories to help you choose the best the cars, trucks, and SUVs for your needs. Finally, be sure to vote for our annual Driver’s Choice awards and tell us what you think is the best in every category.