DRIV­ING BACK TO THE FU­TURE

Bril­liant BMW can even re­verse for you

Sunday Mail (UK) - - Mail Motors -

Mag­gie Barry Look mum – no hands. I am sit­ting in the new BMW 8 Se­ries Coupe worth about £80,000 with my hands off the steer­ing wheel al­low­ing the car to take me where it pleases.

Now not many car mak­ers would be happy with this be­hav­iour but BMW were ea­ger for me to try out the new re­verse as­sis­tant, stan­dard on all 8 Se­ries and com­ing soon in the X5 and the 3 Se­ries.

Ba­si­cally, trav­el­ling at speeds of 20mph or less, the car will re­mem­ber ex­actly your tra­jec­tory and, should you need to re­verse to get out of your drive­way, for ex­am­ple, to let a big­ger ve­hi­cle come for­war­dor­ward on a nar­row road or on a sin­gle track­ack be­tween walls of snow, it will do it all for you.

You switch on, select park as­sist and re­verse as­sis­tant, put the car in re­verse and off you go round cor­ners and ob­sta­cles the car will have e mem­o­rised on the way in. All l you do is con­trol the speed.

Im­pres­sive as this is, it is s only part of a phe­nom­e­nal pack­age that is the 8 Se­ries Coupe, BMW’s flag­ship.

It was de­vel­oped along­side the firm’s M8 GTE race car and is, in­deed, thrilling to drive. I drove the big beast, the petrol- driven 850i, as well as this lower-pow­ered 840d, in which I am car­ry­ing out the hand­less re­vers­ing.

When BMW say lower power, we are still talk­ing of a 3.0-litre, six- cylin­der in- l ine diesel w ith 320PS and ac­cel­er­a­tion from 0- 62 in 4.9 sec­onds.

And yes – you get some rush when you switch it on and put your foot down.

There Th is power and per­for­mance but there is also beauty. This 8 Se­ries Coupe was de­signed in BMW’s Cal­i­for­nia stu­dio stud by a Brit, John Buck­ing­ham.

The Th elon­gated sil­hou­ette shows off the lo­long bon­net, aero­dy­namic shape and thet sweep­ing lines to the dou­ble bub­ble bubb roof and wide mus­cly haunches. It sits on 20in al­loys and is ev­ery bit the high-per­for­mance high ve­hi­cle.

In­side, Ins it is a two-plus-two in black Merino Mer leather, with swathes of pi­ano- pian black gloss and alu­minium and densely padded and heated seats for the most com­fort­able of drives.

But it is when you switch it on and hear all that bub­bling and gur­gling you know you are driv­ing some­thing very spe­cial in­deed. The 8 Se­ries Coupe owns the road and looks stun­ning on it.

Come up be­hind it and you mar­vel at the ath­leti­cism of it. Head- on, it is men­ac­ing and wicked. And, from the in­side, it is a dream.

There are piles of safety fea­tures and driver as­sis­tance sys­tems on­board such as cruise con­trol with brak­ing, pedes­trian warn­ing with city brak­ing and a head-up dis­play. It comes with BMW’s Live Cock­pit Pro­fes­sional for all your tech needs, a fan­tas­tic sound sys­tem and it’s four-wheel drive for Scot­tish win­ters.

Of course, the other great thing about this car is the colour Sun­set Or­ange so you also get your car to match your Irn-Bru can, even go­ing the full 10 yards as I did and con­trast­ing it with blue and white. Cheers.

DREAM DRIVE Mag­gie with BMW 8 se­ries

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