If you want proof that the job of an automotive testing engineer isn't all numbers and bar charts, here it is. Shots of the upcoming BMW M8 Gran Coupe being driven in our favourite manner: with a handful of opposite lock during a neat corner-exit slide. It's only natural, of course, given the climatic conditions of the Arctic Circle and the hardware within this four-door BMW.
Like the Gran Coupe version of the regular 8, we expect the four-door M8 to stick with the same powertrain and driveline as its coupe sibling. That means an engine of 4.4-litres and eight cylinders, arranged in diagonally opposed banks, producing at least 600hp - we know the latter because BMW said so and, well, it needs at least that to match the M5. Even with the minimum figure, it's a setup that out punches the Porsche Panamera Turbo's and places the BMW neck-and-neck with the AMG GT 4-Door.
Underneath the M8 Gran Coupe, there'll be a version of the M division's adjustable all-wheel drive system (as used by the M5 and upcoming X3 M and X4 M) that provides the rears with more torque at all times. But, as we know, the system's party piece is its ability to essentially decouple the front axle from the driveline - via multi-plate clutch technology - and turn the car into a rear driver. Added to that, the M8 Gran Coupe will feature all of the same drive modes as the two-door M car, just now you can take more friends along for the ride.
With that in mind, it's inevitable that the Gran Coupe will put on a few pounds thanks to its two extra doors, plus the weight distribution might shuffle backwards a little. As such, this more practical variant will no doubt get bespoke settings for its suspension to prepare for the additional carrying capacity. Still, that doesn't necessarily mean the four-door will be significantly softer; as we know, BMW's M department boffins are rather good at masking a car's weight.
The Gran Coupe, which is due on roads late this year, soon after the non-M model, mixes the front end and exterior design details of the two-door with that slightly elongated roofline. There's certainly no shortage of global demand for a four-door with supercar performance, a muscular soundtrack and a grown-up demeanour - see Porsche Panamera sales and the orders flooding in for AMG's rival. Only question is, which of the options would you go for?