BMW's resurrected 8 Series has, finally, officially for-real-this-time made its debut ahead of the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans — where its racing version competes for the first time. Launching in the fall, the new 2019 8 Series pays visual homage to the classic 8 Series coupe that last graced U.S. showrooms in 1997.
Related: The Wait Is Over: BMW 8 Series Coupe Will Debut at Le Mans
This has been one of the more hotly anticipated new cars in recent memory, but that enthusiasm was tempered earlier this week when, tragically, a prototype crashed in Germany, killing a passenger. Despite that, BMW pushed ahead with the scheduled reveal, which we'll be covering in-depth, so check back in with us later today.
In the meantime, here are five things you need to know about the 8 Series:
1. One Flavor at Launch
The first version available to buyers will be the M850i trim level. Other trims should follow, including tamer versions, as well as a full-on M8.
2. Impressive Power
The official numbers from the M850i's twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 are quite impressive, with 523 horsepower and 553 pounds-feet of torque. That's enough to move the M850i from zero-to-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, according to BMW. And this is a 5,280-pound grand tourer.
3. Real Leather!
The interior will include BMW's Merino Individual Leather as a standard feature; that may not seem like that much of a big deal, but for BMW — notorious for charging extra to upgrade from vinyl to leather in many of its models — it's a big deal. You'll likely be able to order tens of thousands of dollars in other options, but at least the leather won't be part of that.
4. Frickin' Laser Beams
One of Cars.com's official positions regarding the 8 Series is that the pop-up headlights on the previous version were Good and Cool and BMW screwed up by not giving the new version its own pop-ups. (Note: This is not the official position of Cars.com, but it should be.) Instead, the 8 Series will have BMW LaserLight headlights, which are admittedly also pretty cool.
5. Digital Key
Near-field communication technology allows 8 Series owners to use the BMW digital key to unlock the car with a smartphone. Once the phone is inside and placed in either the wireless charging tray or a separate smartphone tray, the 8 Series can be started. The digital key is also shareable with a maximum of five other people, in case owners are feeling particularly trusting.
Pricing will not be available until closer to the 8 Series' on-sale date sometime this fall, but expect something comparable to the price range of the 7 Series sedan.
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