Beginning in march of this year, production will commence on the facelifted versions of the BMW 8 Series and M8 Competition. Referred to as the lifecycle impulse in corporate vernacular, every BMW model is subject to a mid-life update, with the current X3 and X4, 5 Series, M5, and 7 Series already having had theirs. Unveiled in 2018, the time has now come for the BMW 8 Series and M8, the latter having first been shown in 2019, to be slightly restyled and updated for the 2023 model year.
The updates and changes to the 8 Series and M8 Competition cover their entire respective ranges including the coupe, Gran Coupé, and convertible models, and are contained to aesthetic and technological revisions and additions, with engine output and the drivetrains remaining unchanged. However, it does bear mentioning that the M8 Competition is the only model variant offered, with the conventional M8 having been removed from the portfolio. Availability of the base-model M8 in coupe and convertible form was already questionable due to supply problems, with both having been removed from the U.S. lineup for the 2021 model year before BMW reduced pricing for the 2022 model year.
The 8 Series model range gets a new illuminated kidney grille that BMW refers to as having iconic glow with waterfall lighting for the outline. The grille illuminates when the car is unlocked or when a door is opened, and can be manually controlled by the driver. The grille slats also feature a new design with an M on the left side, but the it should be noted that these items are exclusive to the 8 Series and are not found on the M8 Competition. Also new on the 8 Series are two optional sets of twenty-inch wheels, style 895M and 894M. The style 895M wheels come wrapped in performance non-run-flat tires, and are included in the cooling and high-performance tire package, optionally available eon the M850i coupe and Gran Coupé.
The M8 Competition is among the first BMW models to receive M Shadowline headlights, which are described as BMW icon adaptive LED headlights with laser light featuring dark inserts beside the chrome headlight internals. Adaptive M suspension has also been made standard on the M8 Competition, while the 8 Series can be had with the new M Sport package professional which adds extended Shadowline trim, black kidney grilles, black brake calipers for the standard M sport braking system, a black rear spoiler for the M850i coupe, and the aforementioned M Shadowline headlights.
The 8 Series and M8 Competition both get five new colors. These include metallic versions of Skyscraper Grey, San Remo Green, Portimao Blue, along with BMW Individual Tanzanite Blue and Frozen Pure Grey. The M8 also receives Skyscraper Grey, along with Brooklyn Grey and Isle of Man Green, while BMW Individual offerings include Tanzanite Blue II and Frozen Pure Grey. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of BMW M, the M850i and M8 Competition will be offered with the classic BMW motorsport roundel during 2022.
Both the M8 Competition and the 8 Series have been updated to use BMW’s larger iDrive control display, with 12.3 inches of screen real estate as opposed to the previous version’s 10.25. BMW live cockpit professional is standard in both the 8 Series and M8 Competition, which includes the digital instrument cluster, control display, and a heads-up display for the driver. The underlying iDrive version, however, remains operating system 7, and not the latest iDrive 8 found in the BMW i4 and iX. M carbon bucket seats—the kind we first saw in the G80 M3 and G82 M4, and later in the M2 CS and M5 CS—are now optionally available for the M8 Competition.
Many of the upgrades and changes found on the 8 Series LCI have also been applied to the Alpina B8 Gran Coupé, which is capable of a 201 mph top speed. Some of these include the illuminated kidney grille, the enlarged iDrive control display, and additional exterior colors. Speaking of rare models, BMW’s collaboration with artist Jeff Koons, branded 8 x Jeff Koons and based on an M850i, will be presented on February 17.
Production of the 8 Series and M8 Competition LCI is scheduled to begin during March of this year. The base MSRP of the 8 Series range remains unchanged from the 2022 model year, but pricing has not yet been announced for the M8 Competition.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]