Luxury defines BMW M8 Competition

Performance, refinement make car stand out.

The saying goes that having competition is a good thing. And this week’s tester certainly can justify that. The 2022 BMW M8 Competition is a new offering for this model year from the German manufacturer.

For the 2022 model year, BMW brings the ultra-luxurious and super performance Alpina trim and also adds the aforementioned M8 trim in both coupe and convertible form. My tester was the coupe, although I sure would’ve enjoyed this as a drop top.

Aesthetically, the M8 is a standout full of personality and refinement. The toned-down grille takes on BMW’s new look on the front-end presentation. It’s been met with mixed reviews, but it feels more refined and yet is still immediately identifiable. A carbon fiber roof adds an element of interest. On the back end, quad exhaust pipes show the powerful side of this car. Above that is a spoiler that reinforces that sporty persona. The extreme slope of the C-Pillar adds further distinction. The rear door handle almost sits over the rear wheel well, showing how far back the rear entry is.

All of the impressive nature of the looks aside, the most impressive, awe-inspiring factor about the M8 Competition is in the engine. The 2022 BMW M8 Competition has a 4.4-liter twin turbocharged V8 engine with 617 horsepower. That’s right, 617 horsepower, along with 553 pound-feet of torque. This is supercar type of performance. And while the 617 horsepower seems mind blowing, somehow the overall performance seems controlled and dare I say watered down. The performance is so liquid smooth that it doesn’t feel like the sheer power that you get from a muscle car. There’s a nice engine tune to show off that power, but the refined performance is almost a detractor if you want to really feel and experience those 617 horses.

The 8-speed automatic transmission is tremendous and goes right along with the rest of the controlled performance of this powerplant. There are different drive settings where you can change the dynamics and get a little more raw power, but in standard mode it’s kept under wraps. The launch control feature is neat but should only be used on barren streets as the 0-60 mph times are mind blowing (around 3.5 seconds).

With such power it’s good to have confidence. Thankfully the M8 has available all-wheel drive and standard ventilated anti-lock ABS brakes and Dynamic Brake Control and Cornering Brake Control. What this means is that confidence abounds behind the wheel with all those horses performing as expected with no surprises.

Coupes are generally known as two-door cars, but this is still technically a coupe, with four doors. And most of the 8-Series is a four-seater, but my tester was the Gran Coupe and as such is considered a five-seat coupe. However, the rear seat, despite the larger cabin, feels on the small side. The legroom is cramped and the headroom could be limiting for taller passengers (thanks to that sloping C-Pillar).

As far as quality of materials and refinement, the M8 abounds with luxury. Quilted inlays on the doors and the seats tie the entire cabin together. Plush, comfortable seats are supportive with numerous setting possibilities. There’s even heated armrests for the front passengers. A three-spoke, leather wrapped steering wheel feels great and adds to the confidence.

BMW’s infotainment system is complicated but full of technology. The live cockpit throws key information directly in the driver’s line of sight. Once you master this system you realize how amazing and cutting edge it is. BMW’s hand gesture commands continue to be fickle. And be careful if you talk with your hands as the driver as you may accidentally crank up the volume without realizing it (speaking from experience).

The Harmon Kardon surround sound audio system engulfs you in music and is one of the best audio systems I’ve experienced.

All of this luxury and performance doesn’t come at a small price. The base price of the BMW M8 Competition is $130,000. With other packages and options, including the Macao Blue Metallic paint, my tester had a final MSRP of $163,095.

And with a big V8 engine and 617 horses, the M8 has gas guzzling fuel economy. It has an EPA rating of 15 mpg/city and 21 mpg/highway. In a week’s worth of heavy footed driving, I averaged 17 mpg.

After spending a week seeing how the other half live, I can definitely verify that the old saying that competition is a good thing is most certainly true. The 2022 BMW M8 Competition is that good and that special.

Jimmy Dinsmore is a freelance automotive journalist. Email him at jimmydinsmore73@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @driversside

2022 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe

Price/As tested price................................................ $130,000/$163,095

Mileage.......................................... 15 mpg/city; 21 mpg/hwy

Engine............................................. 4.4-liter turbocharged V8

Horsepower................................. 617 hp/553 lbs./ft.

Transmission................................. 8-speed automatic

Drive Wheels................ All-wheel drive

Final Assembly Point................ Dingolfing, Germany

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