By on May 25, 2017

 

BMW Concept 8 Series

If your 7 Series has friends and club patrons pretending not to know you, BMW has the answer: its upcoming, resurrected 8 Series. Once again, BMW has decided to carve out some space at the top of its model range, this time to rebuff efforts by Mercedes-Benz to lure buyers in the six-figure luxury market.

It’s big, it’s long, it’s expensive, and it’s…a concept. While buyers can expect some deviations between the BMW Concept 8 Series premiering at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and the final production model, this vehicle seems pretty fleshed out. Also, unlike such styling efforts as the Buick Avista, this vehicle will actually see production.

It was only this month that BMW confirmed a year’s worth of rumors and copped to the 8 Series’ return.

The automaker calls this “enthralling” design study a “taster” of things to come. Scheduled for a launch sometime next year, the 8 Series will debut in traditional coupe form, though it’s rumored to get a droptop variant to better rival the S-Class Cabriolet.

Selling cars has lately become a more difficult business than in years past, but selling high-zoot luxury barges remains a very lucrative practice. BMW hopes to increase cash flow from the upper rungs of its lineup with the returning model.

[Image: BMW Group]

“The number 8 has always represented the pinnacle of sports performance and exclusivity at BMW,” said Harald Krüger, chairman of BMW AG’s board of management, in a statement.

“The forthcoming BMW 8 Series Coupe will demonstrate that razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury can go hand-in-hand. This will be the next model in the expansion of our luxury-car offering and will raise the benchmark for coupes in the segment. In the process, we will strengthen our claim to leadership in the luxury class.”

While the Concept 8 Series bears a couple of design study hallmarks — namely, no door handles and side mirrors too small of be of practical use — the sheetmetal is another story. The deeply scalloped flanks, front fender vent, 21-inch wheels and hood power bulge telegraphs muscle and athleticism, while the flowing roofline, lengthy proportions and pillarless side glass is all about grace and elegance. BMW wants to attract both camps with this two-seater.

Of course, there’s no mistaking the brand with those twin kidneys up front. Because the automaker plans to field a range of models in the 8 Series lineup, including M variants, lesser offerings might not appear so visually aggressive. The gaping air vents and carbon fiber flourishes are likely candidates for deletion.

While the automaker hasn’t provided any images of the vehicle’s interior, it insists you’ll find it both sporty and luxurious. Shocker, that.

Neither has BMW dished any specifications for the upcoming model, though it is expected to field existing eight-and 12-cylinder mills from the BMW Group parts bin. Between BMW and Rolls-Royce, there’s no shortage of capable powerplants. Pricing should see the model put distance between itself and the 7 Series, with one source claiming a starting price of about $165,000.

[Images: BMW Group]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

23 Comments on “Roominess at the Top: BMW 8 Series Debuts in Concept Form...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I was going to scoff at the interior room, until I saw that it’s a two-seater. At least they won’t pretend to shove people into a back seat.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Which is a shame. Actually, grand-touring coupes of this size are quite comfortable for four, even the ones that don’t have squared-off roofs (like the Challenger). This appears to be the basic size and shape of an Aston Martin Vanquish or Bentley Continental GT, the latter of which I can tell you from experience is very commodious for the rear-seat occupants. I see no reason it couldn’t be a four-seater. Its closest competitor, the S-Class coupe, seats four nicely.

      I bet you they’ll some rear bucket seats in the production version.

  • avatar
    bts

    This article got me thinking about stretched wheelbase luxury SUVs and why automakers don’t offer them like their rangetopping sedans. Seems like it would be especially easy for Cadillac to offer a stretched Escalade since it’s built off their pickup truck platform an give them something other makers don’t have.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The Escalade ESV already has a stretched wheelbase versus the standard Escalade. It doesn’t really need to be any bigger, I wouldn’t think.

      Other than that, the only automaker offering a stretched-wheelbase SUV in the vein you’re thinking of is Land Rover, with the big-boy Range Rover, which now comes in a longer version easily identifiable by its longer rear doors and the prominent L badges on the lower front fenders. Also, the US-market redesigned Tiguan is actually a longer-wheelbase version than that sold elsewhere.

      And on that note, it seems like a lot of the full-sized luxosedans are now *only* sold in long-wheelbase (LWB) formats for the ‘States. I can’t remember the last time Mercedes-Benz sold a short-wheelbase (SWB) S-Class here. Definitely not since the W220 (which debuted for 2000). So, it’s LWB-only for the S-Class, not to mention the Mercedes-Maybach versions that are longer still. BMW quietly stopped selling the SWB 7-Series here with the advent of the 2016 G12 generation, and have dropped the L from the long-wheelbase version since it’s all they sell here. It seems Audi has quit selling the normal A8 in SWB, selling only the LWB A8 L here—whereas the S8 is SWB-only. Genesis didn’t even bother to introduce a SWB G90. And I haven’t heard anything about the next LS being offered in SWB at all. It appears that the Jaguar XJ is the only car in its league offered in both formats…and I bet you they’ll streamline that when it gets redesigned.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    I’d rather drive my 1969 Toronado!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    There are three types of concept cars.

    1. Concept cars that are wild, far-off designs meant mostly to show off, or sometimes to commemorate important corporate milestones. BMW Group’s own Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 is an example of this.

    2. Concept cars that may or may not go into production, depending upon public reception and market climate. These cars also often serve to signify a new direction in a brand’s design language. It might wear the nameplate of a previously-discontinued model, or clearly attempt to ape one (ahem, Bronco, Microbus). The Buick Avista—which I dearly wish GM had built—is a good example of this. It displayed the color logo that is being put back on the Buick brand’s US portfolio, as well as the new mustachioed waterfall grille and overall interior design language evident on the 2017 LaCrosse and 2018 Enclave.

    3. Concept cars that pretty much preview vehicles already in the pipeline. You can identify these easily because the outlandish details are kept to a minimum, and the car has practical proportions for its class. In other words, the final car’s design is already finalized, and the automaker just commissioned a slightly-less-practical version of it as a preview showpiece. Throw some DOT-spec mirrors and lights and actual door handles on it, and it could pretty much be the real thing. I agree with your assessment that this 8-Series concept is an example of that. BMW has probably already completed the body-stamping tooling for the 8-Series, and this is just a carefully-timed pre-show to the final reveal.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    This or an LC500 would be an interesting comparison, with a cheaper dark horse option of an F-Type.

  • avatar
    V16

    What advantage would the 8 Series have over the new Lexus LC500 at approximately 65 thousand dollars less?
    I can’t think of a single one.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    Hmm, it looks kind of like Accord Coupe from the back, and … Toyota Mirai from the front?

    :P

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I was thinking the love child of a 4-series and an Aston-Martin.

      Might be a little more reliable and a little less quirky than the latter..but only just.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Not feeling it. This could just as easily be the 6 series, nothing exceptional here. I would have preferred the Buick Avista, as is give me the Mustang GT with 10 speed automatic and trick new adjustable valves over this pretender any day.

  • avatar
    KevinC

    This thing will hit the market with numb steering, a 27-mode suspension system that will eventually cost 5 figures to fix or service once the free maintenance & warranty are up, 11-speed automatic gearbox with a beer tap for a “shifter” and some cheesy paddles on the steering wheel, and an eye-watering price tag fit for a Kardashian. No thanks, I’ll keep my E46.

  • avatar

    These sort of cars grow wider by each new generation, that they need two lanes and parking spaces. Why is that? To accommodate ‘fat cats’ that grew obese too? If you’re a skinny fella like I am, the 2 meter+ look does not fit.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Too chunky. The hood is short, the body is too tall, and all the stupid surfacing makes the car look small. The interior is straight out of 2005. I’ll take the Lexus any day.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    This is another reason why the Germans rule the luxury markets. GM produces nice looking concept cars for Cadillac or Buick but almost never actually produces anything similar because the “numbers don’t work”. Premium brands need some halo cars, and the US luxury brands (and Acura, Infiniti, Volvo) don’t do halos.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • manu06: For those looking for a free music app, try radio garden in the Apple App Store or Google app. Thousands of...
  • DenverMike: That’s completely ungrateful. Yeah corners had to be cut. But who else was willing to put a...
  • Land Ark: I was not happy when the 1 year free remote start period ended for my Lexus IS300. I had to download the...
  • Lynchenstein: If the seat heating hardware is installed, it’s not going to be that difficult to hook up the...
  • Red Miata: WSJ isn’t too bad, if you ignore the editorials

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber