BMW’s effort to lift the material and visual appeal of the M8 Competition’s cabin over and above that of the standard 8 Series can be considered a qualified success. The quilted Merino leather that comes as standard is soft to the touch, kind on the eyes and generously applied. Elsewhere, sections of carbonfibre sit tastefully alongside the brushed metal and gloss black trim pieces to provide a telling reminder of the car’s underlying performance intent.
The cabin architecture, meanwhile, is BMW to a tee and the seating position is suitably fast but not so recumbent as to deprive you of any visibility. Adjustability is generous, allowing you to sit low in the cabin, enveloped by the tall window lines, considerable transmission tunnel and driver-focused dashboard fascia. There was a very slight right-hand offset in the steering column of our test car but not one nearly significant enough as to become a source of complaint. For the most part, the driving position and general ergonomics are excellent – just as you’d expect them to be.
The result is that those familiar with BMW’s contemporary model offering will no doubt feel right at home in this new performance flagship. But therein lies the rub: next to more effortlessly opulent, visually appealing and materially rich rivals from Mercedes-AMG, Bentley or Aston Martin, the BMW’s overriding familiarity and BMW-typical sense of understatement do conspire to dampen its sense of occasion somewhat. Anyone stepping out of the more lavishly appointed confines of an S63 Coupé, Continental GT or Aston Martin DB11 might be a shade underwhelmed by the BMW’s comparative lack of exotic visual and tangible wow factor.