Johannesburg - BMW has released South African pricing for its M8 Competition models as well as for the 8 Series Gran Coupe four-door range, ahead of their imminent release.

The latter will be the first to arrive, with shipments due in November this year, and buyers can expect to part with R1 377 590 for the cheapest version, which is the 840i Gran Coupe. BMW will also be offering an 840d xDrive for R1 462 916 as well as an M850i xDrive at R1 843 112.

You will, of course, pay considerably more if you want one of the new M8s - with the Competition Coupe set to retail at R2 958 053 when it arrives in the first quarter of 2020, and the M8 Competition Convertible priced at R3 089 486.

A closer look at the M8

While our friends abroad get to choose between two M8 flavours - a standard model and a Competition - only the hotter version will be offered in South Africa.

Both are powered by the same high-revving 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 as seen in the M5 models, with the standard M8 offering 441kW and the Competition model tuned to 460Nm. Peak power is produced at 6000rpm in both cases, but the engine will happily rev to the 7200rpm mark, and both models boast a maximum torque figure of 750Nm. Against the clock, the M8 Competition Coupe will sprint from 0-100km/h in just 3.2 seconds, while the Convertible will take 3.3s.

Power goes to all four wheels through an eight-speed, three-mode M Steptronic gearbox and M-tuned all-wheel-drive system, which has a rear-biased set-up. Also as per the M5, drivers can select a rear-wheel-drive-only ‘drift mode’. A host of M-specific chassis and styling components also set the M8 Competition apart from regular models.

Want something more practical? Consider the Gran Coupe

The BMW 8 Series range is also expanding to include a trio of four-door, four-seat Gran Coupe models.

It’s a really big car - the GC being 231mm longer than its two-door 8 Series siblings, with the wheelbase itself gaining an extra 201mm for improved legroom. It’s also 30mm wider than the two-door versions, and stands some 61mm taller.

As mentioned, South Africans get to choose between three engines.

The entry 840i Gran Coupe is fitted with BMW’s 3-litre straight-six turbopetrol, which produces 250kW and 500Nm. The 840d xDrive Gran Coupe gets a 235Nm, 680Nm version of BMW’s 3-litre straight six motor, as well as all-wheel-drive.

Also featuring four-wheel-propulsion is the range-topping M850i xDrive Gran Coupe, which gets BMW’s new 4.4-litre V8 turbopetrol engine that pushes 390kW and 750Nm. All three engines are paired with BMW’s familiar eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The M850i is further set apart by 20-inch M-sport alloy wheels, an M-sport rear diffuser, M-sport brakes, and M-sport interior features.

Getting behind the wheel

IOL and Drive360's Willem van de Putte is currently attending the international launch of the BMW M8 and 8 Series Gran Coupe in Portugal, so be sure to watch out for his driving impressions in the Drive360 supplements in the coming weeks.

IOL Motoring