Photo Comparison: BMW 8 Series vs BMW 6 Series

6 Series, 8 Series, News | June 16th, 2018 by 26
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Almost immediately after the new BMW 8 Series was revealed, various angry enthusiasts took to the internet to proclaim their disappointment. While most of the …

Almost immediately after the new BMW 8 Series was revealed, various angry enthusiasts took to the internet to proclaim their disappointment. While most of the motoring world is gawking over the 8er’s beauty, many enthusiasts feel that BMW fell flat, not advancing its design far enough from the previous 6 Series Coupe, the car that the new 8 Series spiritually replaces. So we decided to do a comparison of the designs of both cars, to see if there was any merit to that.

Firstly, the BMW 8 Series is different than the 6 Series, dimensionally. Before we even get into design, the new 8er is actually shorter than the 6er, as well as wider and lower. So it’s immediately sportier looking, despite being more upscale and luxurious as well. And before we begin comparing these two, something must be said because it seems that many BMW fans are ill-informed about what the 8 Series is.

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Many think it’s just a replacement for the 6 Series but it isn’t. The 6 Series was basically a coupe-version of the 5 Series, in terms of chassis, technology, engines, price and status. The 8 Series is the brand’s flagship, so it will have the best chassis, powertrain, performance and cabin technology that BMW has. It’s the absolute best BMW can do, in terms of engineering, performance and luxury. So the 8 Series is absolutely not just a 6 Series replacement with a name change. Now, onto the comparison.

From the front, it’s immediately recognizable that the 8 Series is lower and wider than the 6 Series. Its grilles are much wider, its headlights are more angular, more aggressive and also prettier, and its hood is more aggressively sculpted. The 6 Series is still a pretty car but it has nothing on the 8 Series, in terms of sheer drama and excitement.

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In profile, the 8 Series looks more muscular and sportier, mostly thanks to its swollen rear wheel arches that swell just underneath the C-pillar, where the edge of it meets the trunk lid. That gives it wide rear hips, which makes it look squat and powerful. Its roof is also far more aggressively raked than the 6 Series, which looks top-heavy compared to its successor. The 8er is just the prettier car of the two.

Where the 8 Series really walks all over the 6 Series is at the back. You can mock its gigantic Kidney Grilles, which is possibly deserved, but its taillights are stunning and far prettier than those of the 6 Series. Again, the 8 Series low lower and wider, which just makes it look so much more like a proper sporty GT. The 6 Series looks fine but the 8er looks like a proper flagship GT while the 6er looks like a BMW coupe.

Inside each car is where the 6 Series tries to claw back a bit. The cabin of the 6 Series is still very handsome, with its one-sided waterfall effect, wraparound dash and traditional gauges. However, the 8 Series still looks a bit better inside. If you look at it side-by-side with it and the original E31 8 Series, the similarities are striking. Plus, its new digital gauges look great, its new knurled aluminum knobs and switches make it seem more premium and it looks a bit more cohesive.

The BMW 8 Series is better looking than the 6 Series is almost every single possible way. Don’t take that as the 6 Series Coupe is ugly. In fact, we all mourned its departure, especially yours truly, as it was BMW’s prettiest car. Before the 8 Series, that is, as it pushes the game forward. Are there similarities? Of course, as BMW is always going to keep traditional brand cues in its big coupes. However, the 8 Series has been improved leaps and bounds over the 6 Series and it’s hard to argue its beauty. It very well could be the prettiest BMW in ages.

26 responses to “Photo Comparison: BMW 8 Series vs BMW 6 Series”

  1. JustSomeDude says:

    You used very bad pics of the 6. From the side the 8 doesn’t look like a BMW. It’s almost Italian looking – which is not a bad thing, but it’s just not BMW enough. The inside is so unimaginative – like an early 2000s design, but with very nice materials.

  2. Alexander S says:

    You know I like new 8 is more. One thing where I don’t see progress is interior. It’s almost the same for me.

  3. Arunabh says:

    Very hard try to convince that 8 is better looking than last 6. I actually thank this comparison because this made me realize even more what stunning effort 6 series was back in 2011.

    The 6’s design was around simple purposeful lines and that stood out through out its lifetime.

    The 8’s cuts, slashes, scoops, creases plastered all over the body incoherently may create a sensational start and is likely to woo inexperienced eyes but there is no doubt that these details will age the design more quickly and people with taste for aesthetics will eventually find out that it’s more gimmick than anything else.

    If the purpose of the new 8’s design was to get people talking about it than BMW has, largely, succeeded. There is no better way to market any product than getting the people talk about it. To quote Madonna’s famous words : there is no such thing as bad publicity.

    • Giom says:

      My view is exact opposite to yours. There are creases, sure. But they follow the contours in the way light would’ve reflected off them naturally. I think the Eights design is simpler, less gimmicky. Except the rear, that part is over-styled imo.

      • Arunabh says:

        I respect your opinion, Giom. But, styling is a subjective matter. I found it all very fancy and gimmicky. Just as what I felt about gesture control technology which it eventually turned out to be.

        Jaguars, Volvos, Mazdas or even Kia have got what you can call coherent designs.

        • Giom says:

          Interesting how two (or all) people can perceive the same thing so differently. This, I’m sure, makes the job of the car designer very challenging – or impossible to please all.

          • disqus_NdrthOMZ62 says:

            2nd. generation 6er (to me) was a disappointment, following the avant garde 645i, though Gran Coupe is gorgeous. This is an improvement, and, with a full range of 500+ hp. beauties, fully worthy of return of 8 Series nomenclature.

  4. raleedy says:

    Not better. Not at all.

  5. disqus_NdrthOMZ62 says:

    Like it – aggressive, evolutionary, detailing more rounded/organic, less boxy/squared-off. Big improvement. Just can’t afford it.

  6. Domenic Messina says:

    I own a 1995 840CI. The styling of my 23 year old 8 series blows the new model away. What a letdown from the concept car!

  7. Russell says:

    Despite the ongoing assertions from BMW and from BMWBlog, there is absolutely nothing other than marketing slogans to show that this is not a direct replacement for the 6. The 6 was always the pinnacle of BMW’s engineering for Coupes and Convertibles. It was always built with a combination of 5 & 7 chassis parts (don’t forget the chassis code for the 6GC is F06, an extension of the 7er family), and especially now that the 5 & 7 share much of their floorpan technology, the 8 is exactly what the 6 was. In my opinion the E63 and F13 should have been called 8ers, and this one is a worthy successor. The change from F13 to G15 is less than E63 to F13.

    My problem with the 8 is that it loses too many BMW characteristics in one leap – the double headlights, the separated kidney grilles and the Hofmeister kick are so important to the “BMWness” of a design, but this car minimises all three at once. I’d still have one… :-)

    • This isn’t a combination of 5 and 7 Series bits. It uses the absolute best chassis technology bmw has, with carbon core, which is more advanced that the 5, it has a unique engine, 8 series-specific suspension geometry and kinematics, it’s the only Series production BMW to be offered with a carbon fiber roof, the list goes on and on. Both the 6 and the 8 have two doors. That’s really they’re only similarity.

  8. jason bourne says:

    The number of controls they install in steering wheels today is ridiculous. Today’s cars are more about tech than driving.

  9. maxnix says:

    If you can afford the maintenance and insurance, M6 are very much a bargain now.

  10. Dailybimmer says:

    The 6 series used to be Bmw’s halo car for the last decade, since 2003. Now it’s the 8 series. Is it enough to be on par with the big 4 Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren and Lamborghini? Not really. Something is missing, his name is M1.

  11. chu says:

    Anyone see Ford Mustang from side profile?

  12. rct123 says:

    Wish it didn’t look so much like a Mustang or an Infinti. 6-series was bloated but looked more like a BMW.

  13. jamiethom says:

    Definitely not as nice as the concept, very much more like the 6 series, rear end is a tad messy and not attractive IMHO…

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