What are you driving?
This is the new BMW 8 Series two-door coupe, which replaces the 6 Series Coupe. It crowns the BMW range and enters the luxury sports car market to compete with the likes of the Aston Martin Vantage, Mercedes-AMG GT and Porsche 911.
We've already driven the top-of-the-range (for now) M850i version, but this 840d is the entry-level (for now) model powered by a 3.0-litre straight-six diesel, which produces 320hp and 680Nm of torque.
It comes very well-specified as standard with 20-inch M light-alloy wheels with M Sport brakes, adaptive sports suspension with electronically controlled dampers, Active Steering and a display key.
Buyers can also splash out over four grand on the M Technic Sport Package, which adds an M Sport differential, high performance tyres and uprated brakes. You also get some nice M seat belts and rear spoiler, as well as other exterior styling elements. Doing this will make your €121,000 car look almost identical to the €168,489 M850i model.
Opt for the diesel engine with the M Technic Sport package and annual motor tax is €570 - compared with €1,200 for the petrol model.
Name its best bits
Where do I start? Those rear haunches? Its high-tech but functional driver-orientated cockpit? The ease with which everything works and falls to hand? The comfortable and supportive seats, that look great too? I also like the new interface, as it is much more intuitive to use, has fewer menus and works more like a smartphone in terms of how you scroll through screens and personalisation.
But more than anything, the best bit about the BMW 8 Series is how it drives. The steering is well-weighted and precise, so you can confidently steer it down even the narrowest of roads. And with the width of the car, most roads feel narrow... The grip is vice-like and the transmission is slick and rapid and never misses a beat.
It's comfortable too. Even though the car is firmly sprung, it never feels jarring, even over rougher road surfaces. It certainly lives up to our expectations of a proper grand tourer and is really enjoyable to drive.
What's more, for all the technology keeping you safe and working away as you drive, the car never feels detached. You feel engaged and enjoy a decent amount of feedback and feel.
Anything that bugs you?
I'm not too keen on the 'CraftedClarity' gear knob, which is designed to look like diamond-cut glass. But as a €1,020 option I'm pretty sure it won't make its way into many cars.
Also, the backs seats are just for show, but considering I was in the driving seat, that didn't bug me at all.
And why have you given it this rating?
The new BMW 8 Series looks the part both inside and out. It scores high for style and tech as well as comfort and refinement. In diesel guise it just makes a lot more sense in Ireland. It is cheaper to buy, run and tax, but looks almost identical to the top of the range model. It is capable in the corners, smooth on the straights and has more power and grunt than will ever be needed on Irish roads.