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The golden era of the sedan is long gone, especially in today’s SUV-obsessed automotive world, but BMW is getting ready to add some excitement to the once popular body style with its new four-door 8er. Once you get past its confusing “Gran Coupe” moniker, the most practical member of the reborn 8 Series family is a breath of fresh air for those not willing to jump on the SUV bandwagon.

Seen this week going hard at the Nürburgring, the 8 Series Gran Coupe was undergoing testing in the range-topping M8 guise. It could be a sign we won’t have to wait much longer following the regular model’s debut to check out the flagship M version. As you are probably aware by now, the standard car is scheduled for an unveiling later this year, so maybe its M counterpart will debut early-to-mid-2020.

Gallery: BMW M8 Gran Coupe spy photos

Entirely camouflaged, the prototype appears to be wearing the full production body and the final lights, which are all expected to resemble those of the gorgeous Concept M8 Gran Coupe (pictured at the end) exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show a little over a year ago. It goes without saying the road-going car won’t be able to match the pizzazz of the concept, but looking at this prototype as it tackles the many corners of the Nürburgring, the large sedan is shaping up quite nicely.

Going up against the Audi RS7 Sportback and the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe, BMW’s 6 Series Gran Coupe replacement will use an uprated version of the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8. In the M850i flavor, the engine will push out 523 horsepower as it does in the equivalent coupe and convertible models. Step up to the full-fat M8 and we’re probably looking at over 600 hp considering the M5 Competition has 617 hp on tap.

We’ll learn almost everything there is to know about the car in a matter of months considering BMW will soon unveil the M8 Coupe and the regular 8 Series Gran Coupe.

Video: Automotive Mike / YouTube

Gallery: BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show

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