Munich - A few months ago, in a secret underground room at the Conrad Hotel in Algarve, Portugal, BMW pulled the covers off its new 8 Series Gran Coupe. The few of us that were allowed into the room were warned; no cameras, no phones, no leaks. They said this was still a pre-production car, an M850i with xDrive, however the car pretty much looked finished and in fact, I'm dead certain it's the exact car you're looking at in these pictures.

Nevertheless, pictures of the 8 GC were leaked onto the interwebs few weeks ago while still under embargo, but now we can officially tell you everything we know about the latest Gran Coupe from BMW.

Beefier Beemer

First up, let's discuss the scale of the thing. It's a huge car, think 7 Series in terms of presence and bulk, but sleeker, with a more raked stance and more muscular haunches for onlookers to gawk at.

Overall, the 8 Series GC is 231mm longer than its two-door brothers and sisters, with the wheelbase itself gaining an extra 201mm of length for added rear seating comfort. It's wider than the two-door models too, by 30mm, and it stands taller, some 61mm, when compared to a two-door hard-top model.

Sporting similar front and rear end treatments in terms of light clusters and grille designs, it's a menacing looking thing, and in darker colours might be, arguably, one of the best looking BMWs ever made.

You can opt for Laser Lights to make the front of the car look even hotter, and you can spec it up under BMW's Individual programme to build a truly unique, high-end limo.

M Specific

At launch, which takes place in South Africa in the fourth quarter of 2019 by the way, the 8 Series Gran Coupe won't come in full blown M8 specification, but you will be able to jump into M850i (with xDrive) model at the top of the range.

The M850i Gran Coupe is appointed with 20-inch M-sport alloy wheels as standard, an M-sport rear diffuser, M-sport brakes, and M-sport interior goodies such as a sporty steering wheel and M-sport seats. On the topic of seats, you get two individual chairs at the back so you and you passenger can ride in individual comfort. It reminds us of how Aston Martin presented he Rapide about a decade ago, but naturally the quality of the interior (the seats in particular) is of a heightened level in these modern BMWs.

In terms of models coming to South Africa, you'll be able to choose between petrols or diesels, and rear-drive or all-wheel drive.

Here's the confirmed SA line-up:

Model: BMW 840i Gran Coupe

Drivetrain: Six-cylinder in-line petrol engine with eight-speed Steptronic transmission

Engine capacity: 2 998cc

Engine output: 250kW between 5 000 – 6 500rpm and 500Nm between 1 600 – 4 500rpm

Performance:  0 – 100km/h in 5.2 seconds and 250km/h top speed

Claimed fuel consumption (combined cycle): 7.5l/100 km

Model: BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupe

Drivetrain: V8 petrol engine with eight-speed Steptronic transmission and BMW xDrive

Engine capacity: 4 395cc

Engine output: 390kW between 5 500 – 6 000rpm and 750Nm between 1 800 – 4 600rpm

Performance: 0 – 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and 250km/h top speed

Claimed fuel consumption (combined cycle): 10l/100 km

Model: BMW 840d xDrive Gran Coupe

Drivetrain: Six-cylinder in-line diesel engine with eight-speed Steptronic transmission and BMW xDrive

Engine capacity: 2 993cc

Engine output: 235kW at 4 400rpm and 680Nm between 1 750 – 2 250rpm

Performance: 0 – 100km/h in 5.1 seconds and 250km/h top speed.

Claimed fuel consumption (combined cycle): 6.3l/100 km

Dripping luxury

Like the 8 Series two-door models, the Gran Coupe is appointed with a high level of standard features, but you can go to town with the options list to create a truly bespoke vehicle.

Options include BMW Individual Merino leather trim with extended appointments and BMW Individual Merino full leather trim, active seat ventilation, soft-close doors, Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System and a Heat Comfort package.

As standard you also get (in the M850i) a range of driver assistance systems that include High Beam Assistant, Driving Assistant with Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, Lane Change Warning and Lane Departure Warning, Speed Limit Info, Rear Crossing Traffic Warning and Rear Collision Warning, as well as a Parking Assistant that includes Reversing Assistant all fitted as standard.

Added luxurious standard specification includes BMW's Display Key, Wireless Charging for mobile devices, a Head-Up Display and BMW's Live Cockpit Professional system with navigation.

BMW hasn't confirmed pricing as yet, but you can expect the car to be pitched at the wealthier among us. Oh, and of course, all models will come with BMW's well-known five-year/100 000km Motorplan.

Drive360