On top of all of the debuts and exciting reveals at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the finalists for the World Car of the Year awards were revealed. Each category has three finalists and the winners will be chosen and shown at the 2019 New York Auto Show. In the Luxury Car of the Year category, the BMW 8 Series made the cut as a finalist.
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It’s a bit of an odd choice, if we’re honest. The BMW 8 Series is a superb car and one that I personally love but it’s not a luxury car in the traditional sense. While it is luxurious, it’s not exactly a luxury car, as it’s a two-door coupe that’s rather small on the inside. The interior is lovely, with sumptuous materials and class-leading technology but it’s not exactly spacious, considering its a coupe. Its back seat is also laughably small. I can’t remember the publication, nor the author, but I read that the 8 Series’ rear legroom was insulting to legs. That’s about right.
Still, as a premium GT car, the BMW 8 Series is technically luxurious, so it makes the top three best luxury cars of the year. When you consider the other two finalists, it’s even more impressive.
Oddly enough, both of the other two finalists in the segment are from BMW’s Bavarian neighbor, Audi. Both the Audi A7 and Q8 are the other two finalists and both of which are more traditionally luxurious. The A7 is fantastic on the inside, has great rear seat space and a large trunk. The same can be said of the Audi Q8, just with even more rear cargo space. So if you’re looking for luxury, both of those cars might suite your needs better than the 8er.
Having said that, if you want something that’s both luxurious and sporty, it’s hard to pass on the 8er. It comes in two flavors in Europe at the moment: the BMW 840d and M850i. In the US, you can only get the top-dog M850i. It’s also available as either a coupe or convertible, the latter of which trades the luxury of interior and trunk space for the luxury of open-top driving.
The BMW 840d is the efficient 3.0 liter turbocharged diesel model that packs a hefty enough torque punch to make it surprisingly quick. It also looks just as good as the more powerful, sportier M850i. The latter is the one you want, though. With its 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 making 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, the BMW M850i can rocket to 60 mph in just over three seconds. It also sounds great and is perfectly comfortable enough.
So while it’s not the most traditional of luxury cars, we see why the BMW 8 Series would be considered a finalist for World Luxury Car of the Year.