BMW South Africa has made wind-in-the-hair motoring and sports tourer choices a lot more complex, albeit desirable, with the simultaneous launch of the 8 Series Coupé and Convertible alongside the Z4 roadster with both cars offering adrenalin junkie performance as well as the stuff pavement poser dreams are made of.
The new 8 Series came through its baptism of fire in the guise of the BMW M8 GTE at the FIA WEC endurance races and in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) held in North America.
Heading the model range is the BMW M850i xDrive Coupé, which is powered by a newly developed 390 kW V8 petrol engine.
The exterior design of the BMW 8 Series Coupé lives up to all the expectations created by the BMW Concept 8 Series. The car’s low-slung design, an elongated silhouette with a slim window graphic and a roofline flowing elegantly into the rear with distinctive ‘double-bubble’ contouring, a long wheelbase and a wide track are the defining elements of the BMW 8 Series Coupé’s proportions.
With exterior dimensions of 4 843 mm in length, 1 902 mm in width, 1 341 mm in height and a wheelbase of 2 822 mm, the two-door car adopts an extremely powerful stance on the road.
The low-down BMW kidney grille is hexagonal in shape, with its elements framed by a single-piece surround. The LED headlights are the slimmest of any BMW model to date and BMW Laserlight with variable road illumination and Selective Beam is optionally available.
At the rear, the interplay of horizontal and diagonal lines emphasises the car’s width and low centre of gravity. The LED taillights add to this effect by extending deep into the flanks.
An almost fully sealed underbody, active air flap control and Air Curtains including Air Breathers help to reduce the aerodynamic drag of the new BMW 8 Series Coupé’s streamlined body. Narrow exterior mirror bases also help smooth the airflow.
On the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe, an additional front spoiler further minimises lift at the front axle at high speeds.
The modern and minimalistic exterior design language is continued inside the new BMW 8 Series Coupé and the newly developed sports seats are upholstered as standard in Vernasca leather. Thanks to the low seating position of both rear seats, it has been possible to design the head restraints as an integral part of the backrests. The rear backrest can be split 50 : 50 as standard and folded down to increase the capacity of the 420-litre luggage compartment.
As usual with BMW, there are a legion of optional extras including the BMW Display Key, telephony with wireless charging, climate seats, the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, as well as glass applications for selected controls. Moreover, there is a choice of model-specific options from BMW Individual.
The debut 4,4-litre V8 engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology offers a 50 kW increase in output with no impact on weight compared to the engine it replacesand generates 390 kW, which is on tap between 5 500 r/min and 6 000 r/min.
Maximum torque of 750 Nm is available over a wide rev range from 1 800 r/min to 4 600 r/min and the BMW M850i xDrive Coupé accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3,7 seconds.
The engine transfers power to a new, improved version of the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, whose increased ratio spread, new transmission management and optimised hydraulic control produce sportier gear shifts while also enhancing its efficiency and smoothness. Shift paddles on the steering wheel are included as standard for manual gear selection.
The BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system maximises traction and handling stability even in highly dynamic driving situations. The electronically controlled rear differential lock fitted as standard on the BMW M850i xDrive Coupé gives the car an even sportier edge.
Torsion struts on the double-wishbone front axle and a shear panel fitted to the five-link rear axle optimise stiffness and the chassis components’ connection to the body.
The standard equipment for the new BMW 8 Series Coupé includes the Adaptive M suspension with lectronically controlled dampers. The standard specification for the BMW M850i xDrive Coupé also includes M Sport brakes along with 20-inch M light-alloy wheels with high-performance tyres.
Numerous driver assistance systems are available including Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, the Steering and lane control assistant, the Lane Change Warning and Lane Departure Warning systems, the Lane Keeping Assistant with side collision protection and evasion aid, BMW Night Vision, as well as the Crossing traffic warning,
The BMW Connected personal mobility assistant is available for seamless connectivity between the vehicle and digital devices and the services available for use in the new BMW 8 Series Coupé include hazard warnings obtained from interconnectivity with other BMW vehicles, ‘over-the-air’ software upgrading, the integration of Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business, as well as the BMW Digital Key, which allows customers to unlock the vehicle and start the engine using a smartphone.
The new BMW Z4.
The two-seater has been systematically designed for maximum agility, thrilling dynamism, plus supremely precise steering characteristics with instantaneous response. The new BMW Z4 combines its sporty on-road prowess with a wealth of highly advanced, top-class equipment features on the driver assistance, operation and connectivity fronts.
The car’s proportions provide the most striking evidence of how the classic roadster concept has been reinterpreted. Compared to its predecessor, the new BMW Z4 has grown in length by 85 millimetres to 4 324 millimetres, is 74 millimetres wider (now 1 864 millimetres) and 13 millimetres taller (1 304 millimetres).
The shortening of the wheelbase by 26 millimetres to 2 470 millimetres serves to sharpen agility, as do the notably wider tracks – 1 609 millimetres at the front (+ 98 mm) and 1 616 millimetres at the rear (+ 57 mm).
The body structure and chassis mountings both have high rigidity, while the new design of the front and rear axles gives the car a far sportier edge at the same time as guaranteeing high levels of comfort.
The Paris Motor Show hosted the show premiere of the new BMW Z4 in October 2018. Market launch starts this month with a choice of two model variants, including a BMW M Performance option.
The new BMW Z4 M40i is powered by a six-cylinder in-line engine delivering 250 kW. The BMW Z4 sDrive20i takes to the stage with a four-cylinder unit producing an output of 145 kW.
With its new-look mesh-design BMW kidney grille and – for the first time – a vertical headlight arrangement, the car is equipped with LED headlights as standard, while the optional Adaptive LED headlights add a matrix function for the non-dazzling high beam and cornering lights.
Inside, both driver and passenger settle into model-specific sports seats with integral head restraints and boot capacity is 281 litres whether the soft-top is open or closed – an increase of more than 50% compared to the outgoing model.
The 250 kW engine generates peak torque of 500 Nm and propels the roadster from 0 to 100 km/h in 4,6 seconds. The line-up of engines is completed by the 2,0-litre four-cylinder unit. In the new BMW Z4 sDrive20i, maximum output of 145 kW and peak torque of 320 Nm translate into a 0 to 100 km/h time of 6,6 seconds.
The chassis technology comprises a newly designed double-joint spring strut axle at the front and a five-link rear axle that is making its debut in a BMW roadster.
The Adaptive M Sport suspension, M Sport brakes and electronically controlled M Sport differential (all part of standard specification for the new BMW Z4 M40i, together with high-performance tyres) elevate the car’s sporty handling abilities to even greater heights.
Driver assistance systems include Collision Warning, Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function and Lane Departure Warning system all as standard. The list of options includes Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, distance information, the Lane Change Warning System, Rear Collision Prevention and the Speed Limit Info system with No Passing Info display and – for the first time in a roadster – the BMW Head-Up Display.
M850i xDrive Coupé R1 872 900
M850i xDrive Convertible R1 994 300
sDrive20i R755 900 (standard) R779 100 (MSport)
M40i R1 030 500