The BMW 8 Series is set to return next year, nearly 20 years after the original bearer of the nameplate was discontinued in 1999. Previewed a year ahead of its planned debut here is the Concept 8 Series being showcased at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este event.
Widely speculated as an indirect replacement of the 6 Series Coupe, the forthcoming 8 Series Coupe will give BMW a bigger two-door to go head on against Mercedes-Benz’s own S-Class Coupe. The 6 Series nameplate, on the other hand, is expected to live on in a new Gran Turismo model that is set to replace the 5 Series GT.
Whilst the sharp details are likely to be toned down, the concept’s basic lines and silhouette should survive the transition to production. Overall shape of the car gives a hunkered down look up front with lines gradually rising moving astern. From certain angles, the proportions appear distinctly Aston Martin-ish.
Its long bonnet and enlarged air intakes suggest performance of high capacity engines, whilst the enlarged down-ward flaring kidney grilles give the car immense road presence – it reminds of another long-discontinued BMW model, the Z8. Narrow-slit tail lights with BMW’s trademark twin circular lighting signature give added menace to its front fascia.
Rear section shows a distinctly expressive interpretation of BMW’s L-shaped tail lights – slim-looking and projecting out from the vehicle’s body like a blade. Highly-toned sheet metal, distinctive rear diffuser elements, and large trapezoidal exhausts all emphasize the car’s muscular stance.
Inside, the conceptual dashboard exhibits a vastly different architecture from what’s familiar in the current-generation G11 7 Series or the G30 5 Series. Notably, the centre console flows down to the tunnel on a gentler slope than typical of a BMW. Number of buttons too, is minimized, although the free-standing iDrive screen and its familiar rotary control knob remain present.
No technical details have been released by BMW, but it is understood that the 8 Series is being built off the 7 Series’ CLAR platform and should also feature the flagship limo’s Carbon Core chassis.
Engine options will likely be taken off the upper-end of the petrol 7 Series range, meaning we could see variants like a 3.0-litre six-cylinder 840i, 4.4-litre V8 850i, and maybe even a 6.6-litre V12 M860i. Diesel models are possible but unlikely in this segment though an 840e PHEV might be an interesting preposition.