*NOW UPDATED WITH VIDEO* BMW unveils the new Concept 8 Series, the first of an extended luxury 2+2 model range, ahead of a production run next year
We cannot display this galleryJust two weeks after its initial teaser, BMW has unveiled its rival to the Mercedes-Maybach Coupe, the Concept 8 Series. Presented for the first time at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, the ‘close-to-production design study’ of the luxury 2+2 coupe is set to become a production model by 2019. But that’s not the end of the story…
As part of ‘the biggest model offensive in the company’s history’, the new 8 Series Coupe is just the beginning of an extensive family of 8 Series models designed to increase sales and revenues in the luxury class for BMW. Speculation suggests that an 8 Series Convertible and the 8 Series Gran Coupe are also just around the corner, as well as the performance ‘M8’, a name BMW has now trademarked.
Key to this new offensive are the looks, BMW Group Chairman Harald Krüger emphasizing that “razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury can go hand-in-hand”. Fittingly, the long and rahish Concept 8 Series sport slender laser headlights a la both the new 5 Series and the flagship 7 Series limousine, as well as engorged kidney grilles. The carbon fibre lip beneath hints at the model’s ‘sporty and high-performance’ persona. Bespoke 21in alloys sit beneath the extended wheel arches, while the metallic paint – Barcelona Grey Liquid – is a new addition to BMW’s option’s list.
We cannot display this galleryIn the cabin – hallelujah! – BMW has binned its previously cluttered centre console in favour of three control clusters and a large touchscreen infotainment system. Naked carbon fibre is an added detail alongside the ‘Marino’ leather and elegant sport seats. Don’t expect that concave, flat-bottomed steering wheel to make the jump to production though…
Details concerning the powertrain and chassis have yet to be revealed, although it’s been suggested the production 8 Series will use the same ‘carbon core’ Cluster Architecture (CLAR) as the 7 Series. Engine options meanwhile include the latter’s 6.6-litre V12 and the twin-turbo V8, the most likely option for the upcoming M8.
The new Concept 8 Series though was not the only unveil from BMW Group, with sister company Rolls-Royce also presenting the new one-off Sweptail HERE