DRIVING BACK TO THE FUTURE
Brilliant BMW can even reverse for you
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