As BMW got us used to, along with the launch of a new model comes a cavalcade of videos, showing it from a number of perspectives that the car maker considers relevant. With the BMW 8 Series, the Germans wanted to show the world that a big coupe can handle better than you’d expect while also having a different, luxurious face carefully hidden beneath the sheet metal. In the video below, BMW host Nicki Shields goes over the driving dynamics of the 8.
Actually, that might be a bit of an overstatement. She talks a bit about the power and torque figures and the differential at the back but doesn’t really go into further details. The BMW M850i xDrive is powered by a 4.4-liter V8 twin-turbo engine otherwise known by fans of the brand as the N63. In this latest iteration it makes 530 PS and 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) of torque, numbers which are absolutely incredible. The torque figure is actually on par with the current M5.
The figures are impressive on their own but they only tell half the story. The gearbox was also optimized, now being lighter and with a newly developed controller and a gear ratio spread that has been increased from 7.07 to 8.59. As a result, the car is more efficient, particularly when driving in higher gears. At the same time, the transmission now shifts gears even sharper, courtesy of the optimized hydraulics control. A new generation of torsion dampers that reduce rotational irregularities within the powertrain help to optimize both driving comfort and shift smoothness.
Last but not least, the BMW xDrive system comes with an electronically controlled differential lock standard on the M850i. The locking effect generated by an electric motor limits speed compensation between the inside and outside rear wheel when cornering, making it possible to power out of bends. Governed by the DSC system, the locking function for the rear differential also improves traction and power transmission when driving on road surfaces offering differing levels of grip for the left and right rear wheels by preventing a wheel from spinning out.
The locking effect produced by the electric motor allows as much as 1,500 Nm (1,106 lb-ft) of drive torque to be redirected from the faster turning to the slower turning wheel. Those are all things that Nicki should’ve pointed out in the footage below. She does mention the G-meter inside the instrument cluster which is pretty cool. Nevertheless, seeing the 8 Series alongside the M8 GTE makes it worth your time.