Conceptual Sex Machine: BMW M8 'Gran Coupe' Unveiled in Geneva
BMW’s 8 Series coupe isn’t even here yet and the automaker is already toying with the idea of a sedan. Of course, in true luxury automaker fashion, it’s calling the four-door concept a Gran Coupe — proving once again that the language has evolved to a point where it is as fluid as it is meaningless.
Officially dubbed the “BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe,” the sedan offers a conceptual glimpse at a performance variant of the brand’s returning 8 Series. The plan appears to be: build something that can compete with, and perhaps trump, Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class. But if you’re going to take on the big boys, you need to come at them with everything you have. That means a base model 8 Series coupe with double-wishbone suspension, rear-wheel steering, adaptive suspension, xDrive, gobs of tech, and a strong motor.
However, you’ll also need a nasty four-door M variant with all of that and a rip-roaring engine, larger air intakes, flared fenders, and a carbon fiber rooftop.
While the M8 Gran Coupe is a concept vehicle, BMW has a tendency to showcase vehicles so ludicrously ambitious you know they’ll never make production, or something that might as well be ready for final assembly. This vehicle appears to fall in the latter camp. However, the manufacturer has released few details on what will power the beast. We’d expect the M5’s 4.4-liter biturbo V8 and possibly the M760Li’s 6.6-liter V12. That’s especially likely, now that BMW claims the M-badge stands for “more,” and not “motorsport.”
The V12’s extravagance may trump the V8’s superior specs. Either way, “more” will also be applicable in terms of price.
“The BMW 8 Series will take over as the new flagship model of the BMW line-up and, as such, combines unsurpassed sportiness and elegance,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice president of BMW Group design, in a statement. “The BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe offers a look ahead to the most exotic and alluring variant of the new BMW 8 Series.”
The automaker said it intends to reveal the production version of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe and the sport-tuned M8 Gran Coupe previewed sometime in 2019. Expect it to look very similar to the concept, but with less audacious bumpers and some door handles.
A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.
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