WHEN BMW includes the number eight in the naming of one of its models you just know it's going to be a little bit special and the old Z8 and current i8 are perfect examples of that theory.
So, when the new 8 Series was launched it had plenty of sporting heritage to live up to and it does just that.
With a choice of coupe, convertible or saloon body styles, this elegant flagship model oozes quality and is guaranteed to put a smile on any driving purist's face.
We opted for the low-slung, two-door coupe model powered by a powerful, yet relatively frugal 3.0-litre, six-cylinder diesel engine delivering 320ps and a whopping 680Nm of torque.
Viewed from any angle, the 840d Coupe looks spectacular thanks to its long, rippled bonnet, twin trapezoidal exhausts, super-slim laser lights, BMW's iconic kidney shape grille, 20-inch alloys and blue brake calipers.
Move inside and it's quality through and through with a driver-orientated centre console and new multifunction leather sports seats that are power-operated with memory settings.
There is a wealth of on-board technology to explore via BMW's excellent iDrive system, including a 10.25-inch touchscreen, full smartphone connectivity, a Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system, sat nav and a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster with a map as its focal point.
With an entry cost of £75,155, the car is competitively priced to take on rivals such as the Mercedes S Class, but as is the way with premium car makers, the list of optional extras soon sees the costs rise.
Our car came with the likes of an M Sport Technic Package that introduced lots of M focused kit, those optional laser lights, a Technology Package, a Premium Package that added soft close doors and a number of other extras - the result was a final price-tag of £90,085.
When it comes to performance and handling, the BMW 840d drives as good as it looks and it looks awesome. The official 0-62mph sprint time is 4.9 seconds, but it feels faster as you sit so close to the ground. The maximum speed is limited to 155mph and, according to official figures, this car can deliver combined fuel economy of 40.4mpg with carbon emissions of 185g/km.
The road holding is ultra-grippy and the car features BMW's all-wheel drive xDrive system for added grip in more adverse driving conditions. It's beautifully balanced and poised meaning it can be driven confidently into sharp bends and the perfectly weighted steering is an absolute delight offering ample feedback.
The acceleration through the eight-speed automatic gearbox is both smooth and responsive and there are paddles for added driver fun along with drive modes that alter the characteristics of the car.
On motorways, the 840d cruises effortlessly at national speed limits with barely a sound from the engine or road surface filtering through into the luxurious cabin surroundings.
It's also agile enough to weave through busy city centre traffic although you will need a decent sized parking space as this Beamer measures more than 4.8 metres in length. The visibility is generally good thanks to the very long side windows, but the view through the typically coupe-styled narrow rear screen isn't the best.
And also like most coupe models, back seat passengers will soon find the limited leg space unbearable while those up front have oodles of room to stretch out.
The boot can accommodate 420 litres of kit and there are many convenient storage compartments scattered throughout the car, such as a lockable glovebox, practical cup holders, a deep central cubby box, door pockets and some handy trays.