The Grand Tour finally got the BMW M850i right

8 Series, News | March 26th, 2019 by 7
BMW M850i Sunset Orange gallery 13 830x553

Personally, I feel like I’m on a bit of a mission to set the record straight about the BMW M850i. Almost every review about the …

Personally, I feel like I’m on a bit of a mission to set the record straight about the BMW M850i. Almost every review about the 8er I read seems to criticize its lack of steering feel, purity or communication. It’s all hogwash, though, because the 8 Series isn’t designed to be a scalpel sharp driver’s car. It’s a sporty GT car, designed to be comfortable, luxurious, fast and, when the mood strikes, fun. Yet, there are few reviews that get that notion right. The most recent episode of The Grand Tour is one of them.

In the latest episode from The Grand Tour, they take, well, a grand tour from the western coast of Georgia (the country) on the Black Sea to the eastern coast of Azerbaijan on the Caspien Sea. On this trip, they each take an expensive, fast GT car and the BMW M850i is among them.

BMW M850i Sunset Orange gallery 26 830x553

As a longtime Aston fan, Jeremy Clarkson takes the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, while Richard Hammond takes the Bentley Continental GT and the ever-so-pragmatic James May takes the BMW M850i.

While Clarkson and Hammond make fun of the 8er for looking like a Toyota and having a boring interior, May ends up falling in love with it over the course of the trip. Despite costing nearly half of what the other two cars cost, the BMW M850i never failed to do anything the others could. In fact, it was faster in a straight line than the Bentley in a drag race. It was faster than the Aston, too, as the race was in the wet and the rear-drive Aston couldn’t hook its tires up to save its life. Though, that is an advantage of the 8er over the Aston — it’s fast in any weather, not just in perfect conditions.

BMW M850i Sonic Blue34 830x553

This episode, though, shows off just how good the 8er is as a proper GT car. It’s not designed to be a precision machine, that’s what the upcoming M8 is for. However, during their massive road trip, the M850i was comfortable, good looking, fast and fun and proved to be an excellent touring companion. Which is exactly what it’s for.

7 responses to “The Grand Tour finally got the BMW M850i right”

  1. maxnix says:

    In this day of avoiding beautiful “flyover country” the concept of Grand Touring is lost on 99.5% of the citizenry.

  2. Eddie says:

    I love the 8’s exterior but BMW basically still keeps its tried and true interior. MB always changing their interiors. Time for a refresh. I like how the Tesla model 3 does not have vents. Vents also date a car.

    • Weiman says:

      I hate how the Tesla model 3 has.. like no interior design at all. Well designed vents, knobs and gauges are definitely more pleasing to look at than a huge rectangular screen.

      • Eddie says:

        It has to do with personal tastes. I own a modern, minimalist home. Just like Apple changed button screens to a sheet of glass. Buttons and knobs date a car. A computer screen can be updated to keep you iPhone fresh or now your vehicle refresh with updates over WiFi. With autonomous driving you will not need much on a screen. EV’s are catching on as fast as smartphone have accomplished in just 10 years. I own a Model X but the Model 3 has fantastic visibility in all directions. I have owned many exotics as well as premium vehicles such as a Porsche, BMW, and MB. My Model X is my best vehicle, period. Usually every 2 years, I buy another vehicle cuz I am bored. 2 years with my Model X and not bored. No other car is like it unless the new Taycan changes my mind. My wife’s Panamera 4S May need a refresh!

        • CrashingOut says:

          Damn Eddie, you seem to get bored easily. I’ll probably keep my 2002 AMG roadster for another 10-20 years and I’m on year 5. Newer cars don’t have what I really want, a hardtop automatic tranny lightweight road rocket not loaded to the gills with frills. I’ll never be able to get it again so I can’t sell it. I’ve had snow tires on it for the past 3.5 years and once I slowly start upgrading parts I’ll just keep having more and more fun; end goal is carbon fiber rims for hilarious acceleration.

          BMW did make the i3 somewhat minimalist however nobody cared because they made the specs minimalist *hyena laughter*

          Out of curiosity how many cars have you owned? I’m going to guess 10?

          • Eddie says:

            I have owned at least 50. Frequent business cars made me happy. My last stable before I retired, I owned four new cars to Choose from every morning…MB S class, Maserati Granturismo, Porsche 911 convertible, and Lamborghini Gallardo. I did enjoy going to Spartanburg for their M car race clinics. Like an adult Disneyland running the crap out their cars.

  3. cnet-970ad33b278bd3b05502252be3640ea5 says:

    What Toyota looks like an 8 Series?! And criticizing a monochrome black BMW interior is laughable as well, I’ve seen gorgeous, unique Individual interiors (still for less than an Aston or Bentley). That dull interior has 7th gen. iDrive & state of the art HUD and voice & gesture controls.

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