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2019 BMW M850I


 Design of the Year, check. Driven on-track in Portugal, check. Stuck in traffic, check. We’ve

 now studied the new 8-series in myriad environments, and we’re happy to report the 2019 BMW

 M850i xDrive is one hell of a coupe, marking a triumphant return of the 8 Series nameplate

 after more than 20 years.

 The sleek two-door feels spry, sporty, and vigor-
 ous on the open road, and around town it fits like a
 well-tailored suit. And it cuts a mean profile practi-
 cally anywhere. Its blacked-out twin-kidney grille is
 just the right size, its clamshell hood is as wide as
 Sunset Boulevard, and the laser-beam headlights
 shine brighter than any starlet. Our test example
 wore a coat of Barcelona Blue paint complemented
 with dark wheels, as well as a set of blue M-branded
 front calipers that pinch absolutely massive rotors—
 key in decelerating a 4,478-pound rocket from
 speed. You may be surprised to learn, however, that
 that weight figure makes the new car only about
 eight percent heavier than the old model.

 Instead of the original 850i’s V-12, the M850i packs
 a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine shared with the
 M550i sedan but tuned here for 523 horsepower
 and 553 lb-ft of torque—quite a hike over the four-
 door’s 456 horses and 480 lb-ft. As in the sedan,
 the V-8 is mated to an eight-speed automatic trans-
 mission and standard all-wheel drive. The latter
 apportions its power with a bias toward the rear
 axle, and the M850i also has four-wheel steering
 to help maneuverability at speeds below 45 mph in
 Comfort mode and 55 mph in Sport mode and im-

 20  JUNE    2019                                                                     Road-Test      china 2 wheels  21
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