The 2019 BMW M850i xDrive has a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine producing 523 horsepower. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2019 BMW M850i xDrive has a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine producing 523 horsepower. (Manufacturer photo)

Revived BMW M850i xDrive Coupe has rousing power, racy looks

After 20 years, BMW resurrects its original 8 Series luxury sports coupe — in supercar style.

Twenty years ago the original 8 Series luxury sports coupe was put out to pasture, but now there’s an all-new animal bearing its name inside the BMW stable.

The 2019 BMW M850i xDrive coupe makes a grand entry with 523 horsepower, 553 pound-feet of torque, zero-to-60 in 3.6 seconds, a $112,895 price tag, and all the trappings of a supercar.

That rousing power and torque comes from a new twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine, whose driving partner, an eight-speed automatic transmission, sends the energy to all four wheels of a BMW xDrive system tuned specifically for the M850i.

That semi-stratospheric pricing reflects BMW’s renowned engineering and production quality, an abundance of luxury, safety and technology features, and a bunch of cachet.

The M850i would attract attention no matter what, but my tester’s Sunset Orange Metallic paint turned so many heads it could have come under the scrutiny of Washington’s distracted driving law. “Sunset Orange Metallic” sounds like it could be awful, but it’s luscious.

As with many performance coupes, getting into and out of the M850i would be an extreme sport for someone with back, knee, elbow or neck problems. Once inside, the very tall or very short might have some challenges. The sloping roof and short windows contribute greatly to the coupe’s racy good looks, but they do take a toll on headroom and visibility.

As for interior design, the passenger cabin is brilliant. In the new 8 Series, engineers strayed somewhat from BMW’s trademark minimalism but didn’t get too carried away. They perfected the art of creating a sumptuous atmosphere that doesn’t border on garishness.

Interior styling of the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe blends richness with a touch of the brand’s trademark minimalism. (Manufacturer photo)

Interior styling of the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe blends richness with a touch of the brand’s trademark minimalism. (Manufacturer photo)

Buyers have a choice between two excellent audio systems. A 16-speaker Harman Kardon with digital amplifier is standard. An optional Bowers and Wilkins Diamond surround sound system has 16 speakers and a fully active 16-channel amplifier with 1,375-watt output.

The M850i uses the latest version of the BMW iDrive operating system with a high-resolution digital 12-inch instrument cluster display behind the steering wheel and a 10-inch center display. It’s packed with sophisticated and impressive abilities but is not difficult to master. The system includes BMW’s gesture control feature that lets users issue commands using hand gestures instead of touching any screens, buttons or dials. To adjust volume, for example, you make clockwise or counterclockwise circles in the air with your index finger. I used it several times but felt like Bernie Sanders. There are still traditional steering wheel controls, and BMW designers were smart and considerate enough to include a good old volume adjustment dial.

A $650 option on the tester added glass controls including a clear crystal-like gear shifter with an illuminated number 8 ethereally visible through the glass surface. A carbon fiber roof that reduces weight and lowers the center of gravity was the priciest of four options at $3,000. Otherwise, an impressive amount of high-end features were all included as standard equipment.

The front of the low-slung M850i has the ground clearance of a snowplow blade, so extreme care must be taken when encountering dips. During one situation, exiting a parking lot at the speed of a banana slug, I heard the dreaded scraping sound. Checking for destruction after getting home, I saw a tough rubber guard below the front fascia. No harm had been done. I stayed on the ground for a while, thanking God.

Aerodynamics of the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe are enhanced by its low-slung design and distinctly contoured roofline. (Manufacturer photo)

Aerodynamics of the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe are enhanced by its low-slung design and distinctly contoured roofline. (Manufacturer photo)

2019 BMW M850i xDRIVE COUPE

Base price, including destination charge: $112,895

Price as driven: $119,295

Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

Talk to us

More in Life

Clematis armandii is just one of hundreds of varieties out there of the blooming vine. (Getty Images)
How to establish Clematis as the queen of the garden

It helps to remember this little ditty: “Hot heads and cold feet / Plant them early and plant them deep.”

J-Key is most known for his single "Crazy," whose accompany music video pays homage to the 1992 film "Juice" starring Tupac. (YouTube)
Music series promotes 7 local artists and nonprofits

Everett rapper J-Key will kick off HOMEBODIES 2, hosted by Everett Music Initiative’s Facebook page.

Reproduction furniture sells for low prices when compared to antiques, but there are still companies making useful, accurate copies of 18th-century pieces. This tavern table cost only $469. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
Companies still make copies of 18th century American furniture

A reproduction of a Wallace Nutting tavern table recently sold for $469. This a type of table was used for serving in the tap room of Colonial taverns.

Joel Fry, top, and Ellora Torchia in "In the Earth." MUST CREDIT: Neon
Pandemic adds extra layer of menace to ‘In the Earth’

A naive scientist encounters pagan horror in the woods of England in this unnerving film.

The Camano Wildlife Habitat Project is hosting a “Gardening for Pollinators and Birds” webinar on April 21 via Zoom. (Enumclaw Courier-Herald)
Home and garden events and resources around Snohomish County

Home and garden events and resources around Snohomish County

Ask a pediatrician: Are infrared thermometers safe to use on children?

Some posts on social media warn about the possible dangers of non-contact infrared thermometers.

Health check: Why it’s important to ask an expert about nutrition

They call her “Dr. Quinn, Nutrition Woman” — even though she’s not a doctor — because of the Western TV show.

Pinto greens and beans, in this case, spinach, is a Hispanic take on a favorite Pittsburgh Italian dish. (Gretchen McKay/Post-Gazette/TNS)
The classic Italian ‘beans and greens’ gets a Latin spin

A charred tomatillo salsa adds a bright and zesty finish to this traditional comfort food.

Public Health Essentials! (Snohomish Health District)
How employers can help defeat this pandemic through vaccination

Public Health Essentials! A blog by the Snohomish Health District.

Most Read