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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

2023 BMW 8 Series range gets subtle design tweaks and better tech

BMW is making several small but meaningful changes to the 8 Series for the 2023 model year. The coupe, convertible, and sedan models receive subtle visual tweaks and better in-car technology while the range-topping M8 is now exclusively offered in Competition trim.

At first glance, it takes a well-trained eye to identify the facelifted 8 Series. Most of the changes are found up front, where designers added new-look kidney grilles and reshaped the intakes in the bumper. It’s far easier to recognize the 2023 model at night: the kidney grilles are now illuminated. They light up when the car is unlocked or when a door is opened, though the driver can also turn them on manually.

Non-M-tuned 8 models receive aerodynamic door mirrors from the M8, and BMW expanded the color palette with five shades called San Remo Green Metallic, Skyscraper Gray Metallic, Portimao Blue Metallic, Tanzanite Blue Metallic, and Frozen Pure Gray Metallic, respectively. The last two colors come from BMW’s Individual department. New 20-inch wheel designs are available for 2023 as well. And, like all M-badged vehicles, the M850i and the M8 will receive the classic BMW Motorsport logo to mark the division’s 50th anniversary.

Inside, the biggest change is right in the middle of the dashboard. The iDrive infotainment system’s screen grows from 10.25 to 12.3 inches.

These updates also apply to the Alpina B8. As for the M8, it’s dead: the base model is gone for 2023, which leaves only the M8 Competition (shown above) that’s powered by a twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V8 rated at 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The engine spins the four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, and it sends the M8 from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat. Heated and power-adjustable M Carbon bucket seats and two-tone black and Sakhir Orange leather and Alcantara upholstery join the list of options.

BMW will begin building the 2023 8 Series in March 2022. Surprisingly, the updated model doesn’t cost a dime more than the outgoing car. Plan on spending $85,995 for the rear-wheel-drive 840i coupe and Gran Coupe and $95,395 for the rear-wheel-drive 840i convertible (these figures include a mandatory $995 destination charge). Alpina’s 8 Series-based B8 reigns over the range with a base price of $140,895.

The list of standard features is extensive, and buyers have numerous options and option packages to choose from. New for 2023 is the M Sport Professional Package, which bundles M Sport brakes with black calipers, a rear spoiler, and extended Shadow Line exterior trim.

BMW has one final 8 Series-related surprise in store for the 2023 model year. It teamed up with artist Jeff Koons to create a limited-edition version of the M850i xDrive Gran Coupe that features a multi-layer exterior finish in 11 colors. An unveiling is scheduled for February 17.

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