Size matters – but does 200mm make a difference? This seemingly small measure is what differentiates the 2020 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupé from the M8, minus the GC nomenclature. However, 200mm means this M8 can accommodate an extra pair of doors and seating for five. With four in the back things are habitable. Headroom is not great, but if you wiggle them around a bit, two 6-foot adults could handle a long journey back there. You can try and shoehorn a fifth in, but they have to straddle the central armrest and make everything a little too cosy in the back seats.
Enough of the practicalities, this is an M car and all I care about is how this massive twin-turbo V8 powered 625bhp brute performs. With xDrive 553lb ft, and 0-100 banished in a supercar worthy 3.2 seconds, the numbers look good near identical to the two-door, making it BMW’s equal-fastest production model.
The xDrive means the power can be utilised, even on the road and in almost any conditions. However, weighing in at 2,055 kilograms means that this is a car which you have to consider the laws of physics in. The way speed builds is borderline scary and you’ll swear that the speedometer is making things up as the numbers rapidly approach and fly past legal limits. With a bewildering number of settings for the steering, engine, suspension and exhaust, you’ll have to find what suits you. With everything in the most aggressive settings things are a handful and the car bounces up and over bumps. Knock the suspension back into comfort and leave everything in full attack mode with the traction control in M Dynamic Mode and you’ll be having a fabulous time. The traction control system in MDM means you can apply proper slip angles on the throttle and let the xDrive system display a true sense of humour. You can, of course go to fourth base and engage rear-wheel-drive mode, but with the weight and all of that power I was not brave enough to explore this on a wet British country road, there is no way to have 100% of the power being sent to the rear with any assistance systems engaged, you are on your own.
The M8 Competition Gran Coupé does handle surprisingly well for a car of this size, I would argue that it is a viable alternative to the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door which is worthy praise, indeed. There is a surprising amount of feedback in a car this size, but do not expect it to be as engaging as a BMW M2 CS, this is still designed to be a comfortable daily driver. This is where the M8 Competition Gran Coupé excels. The way it can be transformed from a taught speed freak into a sedate city cruiser with undeniable presence is astonishing and impressive in equal measure.
As great as a cruiser/daily driver the M8 Competition Gran Coupé is, it cannot disguise its large dimensions. The M8 coupe felt like a big car with a surprisingly small cabin and the M8 Competition Gran Coupé is not much different. On the road is looks large, I caught a glimpse of the reflection of myself in a shop window and laughed at how gargantuan the car looked. I also noticed that the car is a very good looking thing, to my eye anyway. The interior is a fantastic place to soak up the miles with all of the latest tech you could come to expect from a car priced at more than €130,000.
I would strongly recommend the M8 Competition Gran Coupé. It offers supercar performance, saloon car usability and a compelling breadth of ability. The biggest problem with the M8 Competition Gran Coupé is the BMW M5 Competition. It fulfils the same philosophy at a much lesser price. If I had the choice and did not have to consider price, the striking design and imposing face of the M8 Competition Gran Coupé would have my vote, but both would be a pleasure to own.