A world motoring icon, Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) AG is a German automotive manufacturer. Founded in 1916, the company began its journey from manufacturing aircraft engines, which it produced till the second world war. Also, among their main offerings to the mid-twentieth century market were automobiles and motorcycles. However, most of their factories were bombed during the world war, and their remaining facilities were forbidden to produce any more mechanical contraptions thereafter. During that phase, the company pulled through nearly half a decade of manufacturing utensils and bicycles.
They did not resume the manufacture of automobiles until the year 1948 when they started producing motorcycles. Car manufacture began once again in 1952 and the first vehicle to roll off their production line was the BMW 501 luxury saloon. Next to be added to their line-up was an unconventional product.
In 1955, BMW launched a very small car named the Isetta. It was a uniquely designed micro-hatch with its front swinging out for the access to its interior. The Isetta was aimed at the common passenger segment as a micro-car but unfortunately failed. Poor sales and profit margins almost led the company to be taken over by their rival Mercedes Benz, and it was a timely investment that saved it at the last moment.
The introduction of Sedan class
In 1962, BMW introduced a new class of compact sedans which led them to the reputation of a world-class performance car manufacturer. Their range expanded with the addition of the 5 series, the 3 series, the 6 series luxury coupes and the 7 series large luxury sedans in the respective order, through the seventies to the eighties. The last three decades have seen the company produce some of the most impressive and powerful cars that the world has seen. Across the globe, BMWs are associated with status, style and power, and viewed as the basic entry ticket to the millionaire clubs.
The BMW has its headquarters in Munich and production facilities all across the world including Germany, India, China, UK, USA, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa. They are the twelfth largest producers of automobiles in the world, with nearly three million vehicles rolled out of their various facilities across the globe. The company has the ownership of three automotive manufacturing brands, namely BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce and a motorcycle manufacturing brand called BMW Motorrad. They also have a rich history of motorsports in touring, Formula 1 and the Isle of Man TT.
The BMW “M” GmbH is the motorsport-inspired division of the parent automotive company that governs the manufacture of high-performance sports cars. The “M” quite obviously stands for ‘motorsport’, and these cars together comprise the exclusive sports and performance segment of the luxury car manufacturer.
M series cars are BMW’s with modified powertrains, suspensions, aerodynamics and styling, built to rival most offerings of other sports-car manufacturers. All “m-badged” cars are tuned and tested at the Nurburgring racing circuit in Germany, which also houses the company’s private performance facility. The M division launched its first offering – a mid-engine supercar in 1978, which was followed by the BMW M5 and the M3 in the respective order.
M8 Gran Coupe
At the top of their performance-hierarchy food chain, stands the M-badged 8-series sedan which tells us the true story of the company’s pursuit of power, and its transmission to four-wheels.
On that note, the M8 Gran Coupe is one of the most powerful production-cars to have been built by the German automaker. Gunning under its hood is a V-block, eight-cylinder engine with twin-turbochargers, which combine to produce six hundred and seventeen horsepower of pure exhilaration. The engine is mated to an eight-speed torque-converting automatic transmission unit which can drive the car in all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive modes.
The 2020 M8 Gran Coupe “First Edition”
The 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe drives this benchmark higher than ever before. Claimed to be the most powerful production-spec BMW ever, it has been named “The first edition”, and is also being called their most driver-centric car.
Design and Styling
The First edition’s styling is a derivative of the M8 Concept car, and the car comes dressed in a first-time-ever, Aurora Diamane Metallic Green. In addition to the beautiful metallic green paint job, the exterior gets gold-finished accents on the radiator grille, multi-spoke alloy-wheels and window trims.
Like every M series car, the Gran Coupe has a very muscular and edgy design-motif and comes packed to the brim with features that combine the pleasure of driving with the experience of sheer luxury. The interiors of the car would remind one of a premium lounge at a seven-star hotel, with Merino-leather wrapped surfaces in a limited-edition shade called the Taruma Brown, and a luxurious dark carpet of the most expensive wool covering the floor.
Engine and Transmission
The car gets eight-cylinder V8 petrol-powered motor which has been tuned to produce an unbelievable 650 horsepower and 750 Nm of torque. It does zero to a hundred kilometres an hour in a lightning-fast time of 3.2 seconds, which is Lamborghini territory and makes it the fastest four-door BMW ever. It gets the same 8-speed automatic transmission familiar to the Gran Coupe badge, with all-wheel and rear-wheel drive options.
Out of these four hundred cars, the first eight cars get a little extra special treatment, with limited-edition badges with the letters “1 of 8” adorning the rear-end, the gold-flaked door sills and on the leather-upholstery.
Price details and Launch
Pricing is yet to be declared, and the car is looking at a January 2020 launch worldwide and will hit showrooms in Europe and the United States by April. When the car would go on sale in India is yet to be confirmed, though it won’t be long after April.