BMW may have gone all-in on crossovers in recent years — it's not by coincidence that the X models show up first when you click on "all models" on BMW's USA homepage — but the company hasn't given up on more traditional passenger body styles entirely. The wagons may have left our shores, but American buyers who prefer their Bimmers low-slung can still choose from a number of sedans, coupe and convertibles.
Sadly, though, those numbers are dwindling. BMW will no longer be bringing the M8 coupe and convertible to the United States — and the COVID-19 pandemic is apparently to blame.
At least, that's how a BMW USA spokesperson phrased it to Car and Driver. "The decision is based on available inventory due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on dealership operations and sales," spokesperson Oleg Satanovsky told C/D. (The two models will still be available in other parts of the world, however.)
That said, it seems equally possible that low sales of the two models were just as much related to a decreasing appetite for coupes and ragtops as anything else. Automotive News first reported the rumor that the two-doors M8s would vanish for 2021 a month ago; the overall drop in sales caused by coronavirus was seemingly just simply the straw that broke the camel's back.
It's a shame, because the M8 coupe and M8 convertible were among the most compelling examples of the modern breed of gran turismos. Packing 600 horsepower (or 617 in Competition form) and all-wheel-drive, they could romp from 0 to 60 miles per hour in three seconds or less — yet were equally at home on a long, easy drive, with elegant interiors that offered bountiful room for two.
Still, not all the news coming out is bad. The M8 Gran Coupe — effectively just a sexier version of the amazing M5 — will still be around for the 2021 model year. The biggest difference there is that the Competition version goes from being a separate variant to being an option package — an ultimately cosmetic change that does nothing to diminish how much we'd love to park it in our driveway.