Recent years have seen the emergence of what have become known as four-door coupés. Intensive competition between manufacturers of performance luxury cars has bought us some of the most desirable products we’ve seen for decades.


Of course, purists will argue that no coupé should have four doors, but the original idea was to create coupé-like bodywork with svelte lines and a low-slung, predatory ambiance while providing rear seat room and easy access for at least two rear occupants. Mercedes-Benz was an early entrant with its CLS but others followed and the latest arrival on the scene is the BMW M8 Gran Coupé Competition, a car with roominess almost matching a saloon and with performance that places it among the very best touring cars you can buy at any price. There are also two-door and two-door Cabrio variants and additionally a slightly more docile non-Competition four-door model.

The Competition offers a roomy cabin as long as the rear seat passengers are not too tall. It’s too much to expect that the car should offer full adult seating in the back and if that’s a priority, BMW will happily sell you an M5 Competition that has almost the same mechanical specifications but offers a full saloon interior. From an emotional standpoint, the low-slung styling of the M8 has more appeal.

The heart of this formidable Grand Tourer is its super-potent engine, said to be the most powerful BMW has ever installed in a production car. It’s a 4.4-litre V-8 with dual turbochargers and develops a whopping 617-horsepower. Performance is unsurprisingly in supercar territory and it’ll take you a scant 3.2-seconds to top 100 km/h. It makes all the right noises too and if that proves too much for the peace of your neighbours, the sound of the exhaust can be controlled using a console-mounted button. Top speed is governed at 250 km/h but for the bold, this can be hiked to 305-km/h with an optional M Driver’s Package.

BMW engineered the suspension to combine on-road comfort and stability with true track capability. Many of the refinements in the suspension system are highly advanced and were developed using test tracks in France and Germany. There’s nothing like a few laps of the Nurburgring to reveal any shortcomings the suspension may have.

Get behind the wheel and there’s a wide array of controls available to tune various systems to a specific driver’s needs. This menu includes settings for the engine, suspension, steering, braking and even the all-wheel drive system. A new owner will probably take a while to get used to this flexibility but it will pay dividends ultimately.

The M8 GC Competition competes in a busy market of highly desirable products but it should more than hold its own. In many ways, the car is more advanced than many of its rivals and of course, there’s always something very special about a performance car from the iconic Bavarian manufacturer. Most buyers will probably be more than happy with the tamer variants of this model series, but for those who want the best of the best, the Competition awaits.

ENGINE: 617-horsepower, 4.4-litre twin-turbo V-8.

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed Steptronic automatic mated to all-wheel drive.

ACCELERATION: Zero to 100 km/h in 3.2-seconds.

TOP SPEED: Limited to 250 km/h or 305 km/h with optional package.

I LIKED: Great combination of luxury and performance. Breathtaking acceleration, mid-range response and handling. Great to have all-wheel drive on a car with levels of power like the M8 Competition. A great car to look at with all the trimmings BMW buyers love to see.

I DIDN’T LIKE: Although the notion of four seats in a coupé has been well executed, rear seat room is still compromised and children will be happier there than adults.

MARKET ALTERNATIVES: Mercedes-AMG 4-door Coupé, Porsche Panamera, Audi RS7 Sportback and for an economy buy, Kia Stinger.

WHO DRIVES ONE? For BMW fans, the Competition is going to be the summit of their ambitions for a long time to come but the car could attract attention from supercar owners wanting a little more room in the cabin with only minor sacrifices in performance.



For more cool car articles click here!