The new BMW M850i coupé is ferociously fast yet soothing to drive.
The BMW M850i xDrive is a monster, says Ollie Kew on Top Gear. “A big, brash, flashy coupé booted up the road by a 4.4-litre V8 mated to a pair of turbos.” It is “a 1,965kg multiplex of screens, speakers and leather chairs that just happens to have four-wheel drive and do a 0-62mph sprint in 3.7 seconds”.
As well as new turbos, the much-revised version of the V8 features new piston and cylinder bore coatings, and runs higher fuel pressure for better ignition, says John Barker on Evo. On a test drive in north Wales, the engine “fires and settles to a traditional, deep, burbly V8 idle, as opposed to the M5’s lighter, flat-plane crank thrum, and once moving, the note melts away.” Once on to A-roads, “what impresses is the remarkable ride quality. We know these roads and how tricky these surfaces are, but the M850i is untroubled, soaking up the detail and maintaining body control on the bigger bumps, too.”
In fact, “it’s a supremely relaxing car to waft about in, a few fingers resting lightly on the fat-rimmed steering wheel, enjoying how little lock is required to negotiate tighter turns”, says James Taylor in Car magazine. Switchable modes for steering, dampers and powertrain-mapping “ramp up” from comfort through to sport and sport+, and in the latter two modes body control is “remarkably good, with impressively tidy handling for such a large, heavy car, hinting that it’s capable of more than it might appear”.
Interior quality is also “difficult to fault”, says Taylor. The fit and finish are “excellent”, as are the ergonomics with multiple ways to control the latest iDrive 7.0 infotainment system, from voice, gesture and finger-tracing scribing to good old-fashioned buttons.
Like most modern BMWs, it’s also got “fabulous” seats – finding that sweet spot of support, multi-hour comfort, a decent low-set position and ample adjustment, says Top Gear’s Kew. “In comfort mode, the ride soothes your backside.” In fact, the whole car “soothes your weary brow”.
Price: £100,045 Engine: 4,395cc bi-turbo V8 Power: 523bhp Transmission: Eight-speed auto, all-wheel drive 0-62mph: 3.7 seconds Top speed: 155mph