MUNICH, GERMANY - You’ve seen the BMW M8 in its Coupe and Convertible forms and you’ve also seen the 8 Series Gran Coupe in its normal civilian clothing - and now you no longer have to imagine what the two look like combined.

BMW has just whipped the covers off its M8 Gran Coupe, as well as its ‘Competition’ variant, both designed for those who seek the ludicrous performance of the M8 in a more passenger-friendly format. Wait, isn’t that what the M5 does? Let’s rephrase then, the M8 GC is for those who want the company’s top engine with four doors and swoopy 8 Series styling - although for that privilege it will certainly come at a premium over the M5.

Like its siblings, the M8 GC is powered by the M Division’s 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, which is offered in two states of tune. In the standard version it produces 441kW and in the Competition model it’s good for 460kW, with a torque figure of 750Nm being applicable in both cases. Peak power is produced at 6000rpm, but the engine will happily rev to the 7200rpm mark, BMW says.

Despite being 95kg heavier than the two-door M8s, these Gran Coupes actually match their siblings from 0-100km/h, with the standard model taking 3.3 seconds and the Competition managing 3.2s. Top speeds are governed to 250km/h, but order the M Driver’s Package and you’ll get that raised to 305km/h - just make sure you’re on the Autobahn.

There’s a soundtrack to go with that too. While the regular M8 GC gets a model-specific exhaust system with M Sound Control, the Competition comes with the M Sport exhaust as standard, which promises even more dramatic engine acoustics.

The V8 engine is paired with an eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox and M-specific, rear-biased all-wheel-drive system, which includes an Active M Differential to regulate the torque split between the back wheels. Drift mode? You betcha. The driver-configurable AWD system has a rear-wheel-drive mode that can be used for controlled drifting - and only experienced drivers need apply.

All M8 models ship with an M-specific chassis with adaptive damping, while the Competition model gets its own specific tuning that was formulated with a greater focus on track driving, and it also gets stiffer engine mountings.

Take a closer look at the M8 Gran Coupe in the video below:

Distinctive touches

From a design perspective, the Gran Coupes have a 200mm longer wheelbase than the two-doors, which means a lot more space for occupants in the back. 

Furthermore, all M8 variants get a unique blend of cabin features that includes carbon fibre trim strips, sports seats with integrated headrests and 3D quilting, M steering wheel as well as M-specific read-outs for the Head-Up Display and digital instrument cluster.

Of course, the M8 GCs also get an M-flavoured exterior styling package, and buyers can furthermore opt for a First Edition, which gets a glossy black treatment for the grille surround and model badging, as well as bi-colour paint finish, black rear spoiler and black chrome exhaust tips, among other garnishes. But hurry, just 400 of these are being built.

IOL Motoring