BMW’s born-again 8 Series will exist at the intersection of comfort and sport

Normally, it takes an eagle-eyed spy photographer to capture images of the camouflaged prototypes automakers don’t want the public to see. But BMW did want the public to see its new 8 Series coupe testing on twisty Welsh roads, so it went ahead and did the spy photographers’ job for them. It also released preliminary technical specifications about the first 8 Series of the 21st century.

When it arrives later this year, the 8 Series will aim for a higher level of luxury than any two-door Bimmer in recent memory while reviving one of the automaker’s most memorable 1990s nameplates. While the car is still heavily camouflaged, this is our best look yet at the new 8 Series in production spec.

Not that BMW hasn’t teased its new luxury coupe before. The production model’s styling will probably stay pretty close to the 8 Series concept car BMW unveiled last year. BMW has also taken a performance version, the M8, out for a public airing. It even has a racing version, the M8 GTE, that took to the track for the first time at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the famous 24-hour race in Florida. This is a very odd way to unveil a new car.

At launch, the lineup will include a single model named M850i xDrive. Power will come from a redeveloped V8 engine rated at 530 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It will send its output to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission — don’t look for a clutch pedal here — and a sport-tuned version of BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system. The 8 Series will aim to offer a blend of mile-devouring comfort and track-ready performance.

BMW will offer a hot-rodded M8 alongside the standard M850i. No official specifications for this high-performance variant have been released, but it’s rumored that the M8 will use a version of the 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 from the M5 sedan. While the M5 has 600 hp, the M8 could have up to 700 hp. And, expect at least one electrified variant (like a plug-in hybrid) to join the lineup sooner or later.

The 8 Series Coupe will shed its camouflage for a full public unveiling on the eve of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Sales will start before the end of the year.

Product Review

If you don't know about Genesis yet, the G70 is going to change that

The 2019 Genesis G70 is Korea’s first attempt to take on the vaunted German trio of BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Competition doesn’t come much tougher than that.

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

See the hotly anticipated 2020 Toyota Supra in motion before its unveiling

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…