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BMW's 2020 8 Series Gran Coupe challenges the Panamera to a duel

It's the third and final 8 Series variant.

BMW stepped out of the traditional auto show circuit to unveil the 2020 8 Series Gran Coupe. The four-door model is the third and final variant of the second-generation 8 Series, and it's aimed directly at other swoopy German sedans like the Porsche Panamera and the Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door.

The 8 Series Gran Coupe fills the gap left by the 6 Series Gran Coupe in the BMW hierarchy. It's closely related to the 8 Series coupe but it's 1.2 inches wider, 2.2 inches taller, and nine inches longer. It was previewed by the M8 Gran Coupe concept unveiled during the 2018 Geneva auto show, and its design hasn't changed much in its transition from a design study to a production model. We think the long hood and the fastback-like roof line make the Gran Coupe one of the most aggressive-looking BMW sedans in recent memory.

The Gran Coupe is more family-friendly than its two-door counterpart, but it remains a four-seater; the center console makes it impossible to comfortably (and legally) fit a third passenger on the rear bench. It nonetheless offers 15.5 cubic feet of trunk space, which is nearly a full cubic feet more than the 8 Series coupe.

When it arrives in showrooms, the 8 Series Gran Coupe will be offered in 840i and M850i flavors. Power for the 840i comes from a turbocharged, 3.0-liter straight-six that makes 335 horsepower from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 368 pound-feet of torque between 1,600 and 4,500 rpm. The M850i benefits from a turbocharged V8 rated at 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. If those figures ring a bell, it's because the other 8 Series variants are offered with the same powertrains.

The six-cylinder model comes standard with rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, and it's offered with all-wheel drive at an extra cost. The eight-cylinder shifts through the same eight-speed, but it's only available with BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system. Hitting 60 mph from a stop takes 3.7 seconds with the V8, which isn't bad for a 4,758-pound sedan.

BMW will begin 8 Series Gran Coupe production in July, and deliveries will start in September. The 840i carries a base price of $84,900 with rear-wheel drive, while the M850i starts at $108,900. Neither figure includes a $995 destination charge.

Expect a 617-horsepower, V8-powered M8 Gran Coupe to join the line-up a little bit later in the production run. At the other end of the spectrum, BMW will likely release a plug-in hybrid variant of the Gran Coupe sooner or later to keep its promise of electrifying every single nameplate in its portfolio.

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