BMW is working on a flagship coupe that will revive the 8-Series name, and we have fresh spy shots and video of prototypes.
BMW confirmed the 8-Series coupe last May with the reveal of the 8-Series concept (shown below). The automaker also confirmed an M8 coupe with the reveal of a prototype. Also in the works is an 8-Series Convertible and an 8-Series Gran Coupe sedan, both of which will also come in M8 guise.
The 8-Series looks to feature a low roof and wide, muscular shoulders reminiscent of Aston Martin’s DB11. And just like Aston Martin’s popular grand tourer, the 8-Series will feature four seats arranged in a 2+2 format.
Some readers will recall that BMW had started work on a large, coupe-like sedan based on the striking CS concept car of 2007. However, the global financial crisis that erupted that year put an end to the project.
BMW never gave up on the idea of a large coupe however, and in 2013 we got a taste of a modern successor to the 8-Series with the unveiling of the Gran Lusso Coupe concept. Developed with Pininfarina, the Gran Lusso Coupe marked the start of a partnership between BMW and the Italian design house and is thought to hint at some of the finer design elements of the new 8-Series.
The platform is BMW’s carbon fiber-infused CLAR design that debuted in the 2016 7-Series. It should ensure a low curb weight (for a large, luxurious coupe) as well as compatibility with electrified powertrains. We can also expect the latest in infotainment technology including next-generation gesture control and digital instrument clusters.
Recent BMW trademark filings suggest V-8, V-12, and M Performance options. The filings included “850”, “860” and “M850.” Any V-12 model should feature the same 600-horsepower twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter engine found in the latest M760i xDrive, while the M8 should come with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 also with 600 hp. The twin-turbo V-8 features in the 2018 M5 and is likely producing much more than the stated 600-hp figure).
Production of the 8-Series will take place at BMW’s main plant in Dingolfing, Germany, most likely starting in late 2018 or early the following year. This means we should see the car reach showrooms in 2019, as a 2020 model. Rivals will include the Lexus LC, Maserati GranTurismo and Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.
The debut of the new 8-Series will take place on June 15 at an event preceding the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans. The event will also mark BMW’s return to Le Mans racing, in this case with the M8 GTE race car. Stay tuned.