BMW is preparing to launch a luxurious 8 Series GT coupe as a rival to the Mercedes S-Class Coupe inspired by 2013’s Gran Lusso Concept (shown above). New images, courtesy of Autoevolution, give us our first glimpse at this tempting two-door flagship before it goes on sale in 2018.
No official details have been released but BMW has trademarked a number of nameplates that give us clues about what engines may sit beneath the new car’s long sweeping bonnet. Read on for full details and images of the first prototype…
This new 8 Series appears to have been inspired by the gorgeous BMW Gran Lusso Concept from 2013. It appears the German firm was heavily inspired by the Pininfarina-designed concept’s svelte lines and classic sports car proportions when designing its new flagship coupe.
The prototype’s bluff front end and long rear overhang are both reminiscent of the Gran Lusso Concept while its sweeping roofline and steeply raked windscreen appear to have made to transition from show car to test mule relatively unchanged, too.
The rear sports a pair of slim brake lights and two large exhaust tips, similar to those fitted to the current 7 Series, while its sporty silhouette is enhanced by a set of large alloy wheels and road-hugging side skirts.
The interior is expected to borrow many features from the latest 7 Series, including its advanced autonomous driving systems. Like many low-slung coupes, however, the back seats of the 8 Series will probably only be suitable for shorter passengers. Its large rear windscreen should, however, prevent any occupants from feeling too claustrophobic on long journeys.
Entry-level models are expected to be powered by the same 3.0-litre straight six petrol engine as the current 7 Series while a four-wheel-drive model with a 4.4-litre V8 will also be available. Drivers after the ultimate two-door rival to the likes of the V12 powered S65 S-Class Coupe will be offered a mouth-watering M8 powered by an equally tempting 12-cylinder engine.
New BMW 8 Series price and release date
The new 8 Series could be officially revealed at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, before going on sale the following year. Entry-level models could cost approximately £75,000 while high-performance M8 versions could set you back as much as £180,000.
New BMW 8 Series price, specs and release date (updated February 2016)
Reports suggest BMW is working on a replacement for the iconic 8 Series Coupe that could give Mercedes a cause for concern. In the 17 years since the original 8 Series went out of production, BMW has been without a genuine rival for the S-Class Coupe. The new model – previewed here by the Gran Lusso concept – could redress the balance.
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New BMW 8 Series styling
BMW has confirmed that the 8 Series badge will return but it’s not yet decided what form the new car will take. The most likely option, a two-door luxury coupe, could be inspired by the Gran Lusso concept shown here. The coupe bodystyle puts it closer in spirit to the original 8 Series and distances it from the existing 7 Series.
Another possibility for the production model would be a luxury four-door coupe with proportions similar to the 6 Series Gran Coupe. Any 8 Series in four-door coupe form would need a longer wheelbase than the 6 Series to emphasise its position as a range-topping model.
Material technology developed by BMW for the i3 and i8 hybrids could help reduce the overall weight of the new 8 Series. Although a full carbon fibre chassis is unlikely, we expect component including the pillars, roof and transmission tunnel to be made from this lightweight material and areas including the doors and bootlid to be made from aluminium.
New BMW 8 Series interior
No details about the new 8 Series’ interior have been released, but it seems sensible that it would use the new 7 Series’ cabin as a starting point. This means a dashboard dominated by a thick strip of wood with the climate controls nestled within it is a likely addition. We also expect extensive use of leather across the cabin and, befitting a car at this end of the market, effectively no scratchy plastics anywhere within reach.
Infotainment will form a big part of the 8 Series’ cabin and, like the 7 Series, it will probably make use of tech including voice and gesture control. The latter is a fascinating addition and allows the cabin occupants to wave their hand in front of the screen among other gestures to control the cars functions.
New BMW 8 Series engines and driving
No engine options have been revealed for the new 8 Series at this very early stage but it’s likely that hybrid technology will be offered alongside turbocharged petrol and diesel options. While the engines will be suited for comfortable and luxurious cruising, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that a high-performance M8 version will arrive in the future.
Before that happens, the brand might launch an M-performance version similar to the M760Li xDrive. This model uses a twin-turbocharged 6.6-litre V12 petrol engine with 592hp for ludicrous performance and would be a good match for the marginally sportier 8 Series.
New BMW 8 Series price
BMW seems keen to position the new 8 Series in direct competition with the hugely successful Mercedes S-Class Coupe. We expect the range to cost from approximately £70,000 for an entry-level model, rising to more than £120,000 for a fully specced, high performance version.
New BMW 8 Series release date
We hope to see a fairly definitive 8 Series concept car by 2018 that should preview BMW’s intended design direction. BMW has cautiously suggested that a finished 8 Series could hit the road by approximately 2020.
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