The 8-Series makes a reappearance after an absence of more than 20 years and it was worth the wait. It’s a big, impressive coupe with the looks of a sports car, the lush interior of a luxury car, and plenty of performance under the hood.
While some coupes are small, the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive takes things in the opposite direction. It’s long, low, and wide and gives off an impression of power. There’s nothing timid about this coupe. It looks ready to pounce and that’s exactly what it does when you step on the gas.
Under the hood is a 4.0-liter V-8 with 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Those numbers tell exactly the story you expect with aggressive acceleration at any speed. The M850i is the kind of car that forces you to pay attention to the speedometer because those numbers creep higher than is prudent faster than you expect.
That performance focus is balanced with a decidedly elegant interior. It looks and feels straight out of a far more expensive luxury car, not that the M850i is exactly cheap.
Rich leather surfaces, stainless steel trims, and ambient lighting set the stage. The front seats are heavily bolstered in the way of sports cars, but large enough that they don’t feel confining on longer treks.
On paper, there’s room for four passengers. In the real world, it’s nearly impossible for two people to wedge themselves into the back seats. There’s very little room to get in, even with the front seats tilted forward.
Then there’s the problem of legroom, which is barely manageable for rear passengers no matter how far forward you slide the front seats. Think of this as a two-seater with a convenient area for groceries or small packages tucked behind the front seats.
Handling is superb with tight, centered steering that manages to be sporty without being taxing. You won’t feel every last pebble beneath the wheels nor will it force you to make infinite corrections in the name of sportiness. It can be a relaxing ride, although it’s perfectly happy to be let loose if that’s your preference.
It’s an impressively quiet interior, aside from the welcome rumble of the engine. Heavy rain and windy weather aren’t an issue and road noise is negligible in most conditions. A local paving project had roads torn up with rough, uneven surfaces and only the worst of the bumps were jarring.
Infotainment includes a 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation and Apple CarPlay for one year. Yes, you have to subscribe if you want to keep the service beyond the trial, which we frankly think is ridiculous when it’s free in cars that cost only a fraction of the price.
Although, if you’re in the market for a BMW M850i, the cost of that subscription isn’t likely to be an issue. Base price for this luxury coupe is $111,900 making it an aspirational vehicle.
Our test car included optional glass controls ($650), M carbon roof ($3,000), Comfort Seating Package ($900), and Cooling and HP Tire Package ($1,850) that brought the final price up to $118,300.
That’s a lot of cash and puts this car out of many a budget. If it’s not out of your budget and you’re looking for a sporty, luxury coupe that stands out from the pack, then the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive is worth every penny.