Years of rumors, concepts, and hints will finally be substantiated by a new production 8 Series from BMW. The German automaker will move into uncharted luxury territory when the flagship model goes on sale next year, providing a true competitor to Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class coupe and perhaps even the Bentley Continental GT.
The original 8 Series that was produced between 1989 and 1999 was a large, two-door sports car, but the new model will be more grand-tourer than hard-edged performance vehicle, according to Autocar. The new model’s styling is likely to be inspired by the 2013 Gran Lusso Concept.
BMW head Harald Krüger confirmed the 8 Series’ return during the company’s recent annual meeting. Before the production version is revealed, a concept car will be shown at the 2017 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este later this month. The world may see the consumer model as soon as October’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
“The BMW 8 Series Coupe will build on our tradition of luxurious sports coupes and add a genuine dream car to our line-up – a slice of pure automotive fascination,” said Krüger. “The 8 Series Coupe will underpin our claim to leadership in the luxury segment. I can tell you today that this will be a true luxury sports coupe.”
The 8 Series will borrow a platform, mechanical bits, and powertrains from the 7 Series, which was recently overhauled. It’s still to be determined whether the 8 Series will be a two-door exclusively (in both coupe and convertible layouts) or whether a four-door coupe will be added as well. Should the latter make it to production, it will have a similar shape as the 6 Series Gran Coupe, albeit larger.
While BMW has traditionally stayed within the meat of the luxury market, the expanding profitability of Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class and other near-$200K ultra-lux models in the US and China has pushed BMW to think more premium. These high-end models also carry a big profit margin, which would bolster BMW’s bottom line considerably.