By on May 31, 2016

BMW 8 Series

BMW plans to re-introduce the range-topping 8 Series in order to battle its German competition, a report says.

A company insider confirmed to Auto Express that the ultra-luxury two-door, which originally ran from 1989 to 1999, will return to the lineup.

As part of a planned shuffle of its GT vehicles, the 6 Series will go head-to-head against the Porsche 911, losing its mainstream layout and adopting a traditional grand tourer personality. That image swap will likely see the 6 Series lose its backseat.

What prodded BMW in this direction? Thank Mercedes-Benz, which blanketed the automotive landscape with an entry in every category and class. The boys from Bavaria aren’t happy about this, and plan to fight the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GT and S63 on their own turf.

Earlier this spring, BMW filed trademark applications to gain control of 8 Series nameplates. The automaker sought the 825, 830, 835, 845, 850, M850 and M8 model names, but it wasn’t known until now whether they planned to do anything with them.

The original 8 Series drew power from a range of V8 and V12 engines. BMW can easily source the powerplants from its own model lines, with the 7 Series’ twin-turbo 6.6-liter V12 (borrowed from the Rolls-Royce Ghost) available for exclusivity.

The company source didn’t say when exactly the 8 Series would reappear, but did mention that the lineup shuffle is “imminent.”

[Image: Shane K/Flickr]

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23 Comments on “The 8 Series Returns! BMW Plans Lineup Shakeup to Combat Rivals...”


  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Given modern vehicle sizes, I wonder if Gross Vehicle Weight requirements will force new 6 series owners to stop at weigh stations.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I’m with you on this 100%. This thing will have the curb weight of an X5M with the interior space of a Mini Coupe.

      Never mind the fact that both of these brands have so many models most of them don’t even get floor space at most dealers. Good luck seeing a 4 series Gran Coupe in the metal before you buy it.

    • 0 avatar
      SunnyvaleCA

      GVWs are flouted in my area… all the tax perks and CAFE exemptions yet still clogging up the streets daily in my residential neighborhood. With bumpers aimed squarely at my car’s windows, I can’t image the damage they would do in even a 2 MPH parallel parking “accident.”

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Was it an M-Sport M760iL XDriveis with M package and Sport package at least?

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    The i8 is as much of an 8-series as the i3 is a 3-series.

    The 8 was a large, luxurious GT with a sufficiently large engine displacement to match.

    I thought the i brand was a completely separate thing with no real parallel to the non-i models. Completely different intent and image than the traditional model lineup.

  • avatar

    As long as there is an 850i Gran Coupe, X8 with 5 inches of ground clearance, and an X8Combi with a thrid row, I’m good.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    This makes sense. There is a giant gap between a loaded 7-Series (or even an i8) and the starting price for a Rolls-Royce Ghost. BMW could stand to occupy that market. A truly large coupe to go up against the S-Class coupe (which, in my mind, is nicer than the Bentley Continental GT that costs tens of thousands of dollars more) is in order, so I’m excited about a new 8-Series.

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      Yep. Along with something to compete with the S600 Maybach, as while the new 7 is quite technologically advanced and drives well enough, it doesn’t have the presence or the rear-seat exclusivity that seems to do so well in the Chinese market.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      BMW is barely making noise with the 7 series though. The 8 can only do worse.

      People joke but an X7/X8 would be BMW’s best bet.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Very true. But I wonder how much damage the ‘ultimate driving machine’ brand can take before the true believers just give up and go Infinity.

        • 0 avatar
          Fighter835

          This has mostly happened already, none of my friends who lusted after E36s and E46s even glance at BMW these days. I’m not sure about going to Infiniti, but after my old 5 series bit the dust I bought the Porsche sedan.

  • avatar
    Counterpoint

    OK fine but what they really need to focus on is accelerating the X7 launch.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The answer is not always to cover yet another segment.

    BMW’s crossover lineup mostly makes sense (from a product planning perspective; the X6 and X4 are as ugly as ever aesthetically), but the car lineup is way too big and is a jumbled mess. Given how little success BMW has been having in full-size segments lately, I’d say the refocusing of the 6’s mission is good. But introducing an 8 to replace the existing 6, or fancified 7 variants to compete with Mercedes-Maybach, is a complete waste of time.

    And I agree with others that the most important thing BMW can do is get the X7 out ASAP. Well, that, and bring body control back to base suspensions in cars like the 328i.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    Being a recovering BMW fan and a one that lusted after an 850 CSi before I could drive, I get it. A reintroduced 8 (if done right), can make sense. Of course the original 8-series was a GT car and not luxury.

    The biggest issue is the portly touring car known as the 6. To compete that against the 911 and AMG GT seems a stretch, only because those cars are generally considered the dominant segment leaders handedly. BMW can easily match engine output and visual design, but I think they are beyond the point of no return in chassis dynamics, which makes these cars what they are.

  • avatar
    Shawnski

    I don’t know about the return of the 8 series, but I love me some 90s vintage 850CSI. Not a fan when these came out, however in light of today’s bloated offerings (cartoon like 6 series coupe), an 8 series is svelte. So clean, pillarlless coupe, overbuilt, beautiful.

  • avatar
    swester

    If there’s one thing BMW needs, it’s more cars in its lineup.

    While we’re at it, can we get a new 0 and 9-series, too? And those should each come in a sedan, two-door, GT, convertible, X, and M configurations please.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    An 8 series is not enough. They’ll need an 11.

    “The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…”

  • avatar
    Jacob

    I am really glad that investment bankers, CEOs, and venture capitalists are now going to have a whole lot of new toys to play with as well as buy for their kids. Let’s celebrate!

  • avatar
    Cole Grundy

    “losing its mainstream layout and adopting a traditional grand tourer personality.”

    Is it not a GT now??

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      He’s just wrong about “adopting grand tourer personality” and referencing back seat loss. Grand touring vehicles have four proper seats.

      If anything, no back seat just turns it into more SL-like, F-Type sports coupe.

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