2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible Black Front Three Quarter

10 BMW 8-Series Competitors to Consider

Before shining a spotlight on the 10 BMW 8 Series competitors to consider, let’s get into the 8 Series itself. There’s going to be a four-door Gran Coupe at some point, but the first two variants to launch for this model year are the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive two-door coupe and convertible. Both cars enjoy 523 horsepower and all-wheel drive. The 8 Series is based on a platform similar to the 7 Series full-size sedan. And while many coupes and convertibles are decidedly sporty, the 8 Series is big enough to add more than a few luxury touches. Price-wise, the coupe starts off at $112,895 and the convertible begins at $122,395. Now let's bring on the competition.

  1. 2019 Porsche 911
  2. 2019 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
  3. 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT
  4. 2019 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible
  5. 2019 Lexus LC 500
  6. 2020 Jaguar F-Type
  7. 2019 Chevrolet Corvette
  8. 2019 Aston Martin DB11
  9. 2020 Audi R8
  10. 2019 Acura NSX
2019 Porsche 911

2019 Porsche 911

There has to be a 911 among these 10 BMW 8 Series competitors to consider. As well as offering coupe and convertible versions, the 911 has two small back seats. The 911 has also grown over the generations, from cramped yet nimble sports car to larger yet nimble sports car with the ability to convince as a grand tourer. A 2019 911 Turbo coupe has all-wheel drive as standard and packs 540 hp, but also starts at $163,050. That’s quite a bit more than the equivalent 8 Series. One way to justify it is that 8 Series cars have come and gone (there was a generation in the 1990s) but the 911 is a long-lived icon.

2019 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

2019 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

As well as being the archetypal luxury sedan, the S-Class range includes a few models that might tempt buyers away from a BMW 8 Series. Especially if they like the idea of LED headlights with Swarovski crystals. Another thing about the S-Class is that it’s a technological masterpiece with a plethora of safety and luxury features, no matter how many doors or if there’s a folding roof. The four-seat 2019 S560 4Matic coupe brings 463 hp to the party and requires $126,445 to own. Too cheap? Then lay down $170,445 for the 603-hp S63. It’s subjective, sure, but we also think the designers at Mercedes-Benz did a great job of turning a full-size sedan into an elegant coupe or cabriolet.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GT

2020 Mercedes-AMG GT

Among the 10 BMW 8 Series competitors to consider, we've lined up two Mercedes models. The first is the Mercedes-AMG GT, which has the rare distinction of being an original AMG car and not a tuned-up version of anything else. The 2020 AMG GT coupe starts at $116,895 and enjoys 469 hp from a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. There’s also a Roadster (convertible) variant. And AMG offers more powerful versions for people happy to spend the money. This car has the classic front-engined rear-drive layout and could appeal to potential 8 Series buyers looking for something with real sports-car credentials. The next Mercedes on our list, meanwhile, is for those with luxury at the top of their priorities.

2019 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible

2019 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible

Up until this model year, the GranTurismo was also available in coupe form. For 2019, though, it comes solely as a convertible. All the better to fold that power-operated roof down and listen to the grandiose fanfare of a Ferrari-made V8 developing 454 hp. Like the 8 Series, the GT has a 2+2 seating arrangement. Overall, it’s a bit old-school, lacking modern driver aids to accompany its fine leather-swathed cabin, but it also has hydraulic power steering. Most contemporary vehicles have electric power steering and the biggest complaint is a lack of feel. Not this car. It also sports beautiful styling from the Pininfarina design studio, an iconic name among exotic Italian cars.

2019 Lexus LC 500

2019 Lexus LC 500

It's only available as a coupe so far, but this luxury car (from $93,325) is based on the same platform as the flagship LS sedan. Cabin materials are gorgeous, build quality is as good as it gets, and standard equipment is generous. Although Lexus has traditionally struggled to bring driver involvement into its cars (an area where BMW excels), the LC 500 can be engaging as well as cosseting. Its 5.0-liter V8 comes up a little short in comparison to the 8 Series', with 471 hp, but that’s still an appreciable amount of energy. There’s also a hybrid, the LC 500h, for those keen on reducing emissions. And this might just be us, but it seems the Lexus design approach really works on this car.

2020 Jaguar F-Type

2020 Jaguar F-Type

Although it's another two-seater, the F-Type has so much style and presence that it has to be one of our 10 BMW 8 Series competitors to consider. To reach BMW power levels means going for the F-Type R, which has 550 hp from a supercharged V8. The 2020 version starts at $102,825 for the coupe and all-wheel drive is standard. As a driver’s car, the F-Type is exemplary. As a piece of automotive design, it’s a standout. As a grand tourer, hmmm, there are some things like a smallish cabin and limited luggage space to contend with. But the thrills should more than compensate, right down to the spine-tingling exhaust note and the crackles and pops on the downshifts.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette

2019 Chevrolet Corvette

If the 2019 BMW 8 Series has looked like a bargain against our first two rivals, the Corvette is a whole different ball game. It definitely belongs in this list because it’s a sports car with great handling and superb ride qualities. Although the Corvette is a two-seater, trunk space is pretty generous too (15 cubic feet for the coupe), so a long weekend’s luggage will fit easily. The Corvette’s engine range starts with a respectable 455-hp V8. Prices kick off at around $57,000. And bear in mind the excellent power-to-weight ratio. At the other end of the spectrum is the supercharged 755-hp ZR1 at $121,995. Try finding anything else with this much power for this kind of money.

2019 Aston Martin DB11

2019 Aston Martin DB11

Admittedly, the price of one Aston Martin DB11 is close to the combined cost of an 8 Series coupe and convertible. It starts at just over $200,000. But let’s imagine a hypothetical buyer having this kind of money available for a car who wouldn’t normally get something as mainstream as a BMW, but the new 8 Series has piqued some interest. For such a buyer, the DB11 is also a grand tourer with a distinct sporty side. Engine choices are a 503-hp V8, which puts the 8 Series in the odd position of being a relative bargain, or a 630-hp V12. Go for the magnificent V12, though, then add the DB11’s arguably gorgeous looks, and the 8 Series might have lost this particular match-up.

2020 Audi R8

2020 Audi R8

The R8 is much more expensive than an 8 Series, starting at $171,150 for the coupe. The convertible is called the R8 Spyder. And it’s another two-seater. But although the R8 is a supercar and the 8 Series models are more grand tourers, there’s always been a benign side to the R8. It’s comparatively comfortable and easy to drive. Its naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine develops 562 hp and comes from a racing car. For many years, Porsche had no real rivals to its 911. Then the R8 came along. That’s how good it is. If someone has mega-bucks to spend on a driver’s car and has the 8 Series on their list of possibles, the R8 should be on it too.

2019 Acura NSX

2019 Acura NSX

The 573-hp NSX is only available as a two-seat coupe. This may not matter much, since the 8 Series’ rear seats are elf-friendly but become less accommodating the closer we get to grown-up humans. It also costs $159,300, appreciably more than an 8 Series. Then again, there’s something wonderfully special about the all-wheel-drive NSX. Its ability to cling to a cornering line and never let go, even when a driver is really pushing, is just one virtue. The ride quality doesn’t always have to be firm, either. We would relish a long, long trip in an NSX. And we wouldn’t have to stop at every gas station. The NSX is a hybrid and achieves 22 mpg on the highway.