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One of the more perplexing vehicles in recent memory is the all-new BMW 8-Series.

There's a few reasons for this but let me keep it to the key ones.

In coupe form it isn't exactly good looking. In fact, it bears a lot of resemblance to the Ford Mustang. And when you get inside and see the comical backseat with room for a couple torsos that will be sitting upright at a 90-degree angle, the Mustang theme continues. This is hugely problematic given that the first-gen 8-Series was a groundbreaking car in its day. It was a revolutionary design that looked like it was from 2020 versus 1990. The all-new 8-Series Coupe just looks like an evolved 6-Series.

And then there's the drive. One of the best form factors BMW has consistently produced over its history is the big body coupe. With the M850i Coupe though, the Bavarians whiffed. The M850i Coupe has a float-y suspension, even when dialed up. The steering is numb and when you're pushing it that certain precision I've come to expect in a BMW product just isn't there. It's all very disconnected. Except, of course, when you hit a pothole. For whatever reason, BMW's engineers have outfitted the M850i with rubber band thin tires on 20-inch wheels. So, even if you like the comfort provided by the suspension, it gets ruined anytime you experience an imperfection in the road.

Simply put, I hated the M850i Coupe.

But after seeing a pre-production M850i Gran Coupe, something told me I needed to drive one. It looks 100 times better with its stretched appearance that eliminates the coupe's Mustang vibe.

I wanted to give it a second shot. So, I did. And it was lovely.

That comfortable suspension works much better with the longer wheelbase and while the M850i Gran Coupe doesn't remedy its uncommunicative steering or have that laser-sharp precision I was hoping for, it does drive with more sporting intentions than a 7-Series. With much more room than its coupe sibling, the Gran Coupe can fit five easily.

This is where the M850i Gran Coupe starts making sense. Unless you need the limo-like rear seat of the 7-Series, the 8-Series Gran Coupe is the car to have. While it may not be the most sporting Ultimate Driving Machine, the 8-Series Gran Coupe is a luxury vehicle with attitude. Just put down the pedal of its twin-turbo V8 that's good for just over 520 horsepower and you'll see what I mean.

One more thing: Switch out the 20-inch wheels for the optional 19s.

All that said, I've got to ask: Have you EVER driven a vehicle and HATED it, then driven it in another form factor and LOVED it?



Have You EVER Driven A Vehicle And HATED It, Then Driven It In Another Form Factor And LOVED It?

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