Rumble in the Rhineland: BMW's New Flagship Coupe to Give Mercedes-Benz What For in 2018
BMW is resurrecting a lengthy and luxurious V12-powered monster to take revenge on Mercedes-Benz for having the audacity to make an opulent flagship like the S-Class Coupe.
Germany’s Automobilwoche — Automobile Week if you don’t speak Deutsche — is verifying rumors that BMW will be returning with a new 8 Series.
Unlike what happened in 1989, the reintroduction of the 8 Series shouldn’t immediately lead to the demise of the 6 Series. BMW currently plans to maintain production of the 6 Series coupes and convertible, thought the model’s role may change to avoid stepping on the toes of its new big brother, or vice versa. We’ve already said that we expect the 6 to lose a couple of seats, trim off a little weight, and adopt a more typical grand tourer persona to better step into the ring with Porsche’s 911 and Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming E-Class coupe.
As for the 8 Series, a two-door is expected to arrive near the end of 2018, with a convertible appearing the following year. An M8 performance variant is currently under consideration. According to sources, and true to previous 8 Series form, a 12-cylinder engine will be made available. Most likely that dozen-piston demon will come from the 7 Series, which offers a turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 making 600 horsepower. The new coupe will share the 7 Series sedan’s partial carbon-fiber skeleton as well.
Spy photos have shown the prototype 8s to have a very long wheelbase, although not as long as the 7 Series’ 126.4 inches. Its partially obscured face is highly reminiscent of the Vision Future Luxury Concept from 2014, shown above.
BMW filed trademark applications to gain control of a host of possible car names last spring. Those included 825, 830, 835, 845, 850, M850 and M8. Which of those will be showing up in 2018 is unknown, but it’s a safe bet that the 850s will get the V12. The theoretical 845 would hopefully get the 7 Series’ V8 while the other cars could have anything from the 740i’s turbocharged inline six to the four-cylinder hybrid combo found on the 740e. Whatever the engine, expect it to be mated to BMW’s ZF eight-speed automatic. If you want a manual transmission 8 Series, you’ll have to check the classifieds.
The new 8 Series is expected to be slotted between the the 7 Series and BMW Group’s own Rolls-Royce Wraith in terms of price. Averaging out the difference, that places it around $122,500 — which, if you hadn’t already guessed, is almost exactly the same as a Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class Coupe. One could comfortably use that information to place a hypothetical top-tier BMW 8 Series’ future MSRP very close to the S65 AMG’s starting price of $236,250.
[Image: BMW Group]
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