There are certain flagship luxury cars that suggest the driver has “made it” – assuming “making it” means climbing the corporate ladder to the point that owning and driving a large, imported luxury sedan with a six-figure price tag is no sweat, financially speaking.
The Lexus LS, BMW 7 Series and 8 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class have typically been the cars most people think of when the phrase “flagship luxury sedan” is spoken. And rightfully so – those are all worthy vehicles. But sometimes, the boss likes to cut loose.
Which is why the LS has an F Sport trim, and Merc has an AMG S-Class, and so on. As you no doubt know, “M” is the magic letter when it comes to BMWs.
BMW dealers are having a problem with the 8 Series. The returning flagship appears to be a bit too rich for North American tastes and retailers are growing annoyed.
According to Automotive News, retailers are upset that BMW didn’t issue enough marketing support to make the public aware that it even exists, and feel that the amount of configuration available works against the vehicle. As a result, many dealerships are sitting on expensive halo vehicles nobody seems to want; the 8 Series now has the highest day supply of any BMW model currently produced.
In case you weren’t sure if BMW was going to fill the gaping hole left in its lineup by the departure of the 6 Series Gran Coupe, early official photos have confirmed that it will. Recently leaked photos of the 8 Series Gran Coupe were confirmed by BMW to Car and Driver to be real and valid, coming ahead of the official unveiling on June 18th.
Earlier today, BMW posted an image of an upcoming concept sedan that left us scratching our heads. With its ultra-low roofline and incredibly long hood, we wondered if someone in the company drafted a redux of the BMW CS Concept. As it turns out, that’s kind of what happened.
If you remember, the CS Concept was unveiled in 2007 as BMW’s new flagship sedan — basically a new 8 Series with four doors. However, the global economy fell directly into the toilet the following year and destroyed any hope of it becoming a reality. A decade later, rich people are richer than ever and BMW has already confirmed its Concept 8 Series coupe will begin production in 2018. Based on visual cues, the above rendering appears to show us the sedan variant of that vehicle.
BMW confirmed the crap out of the M8’s existence this weekend, going so far as to provide its own spy shots of a test prototype wearing camouflaged wraps. Being developed alongside the standard 8 Series, the automaker says the M8 will be unveiled in a driving presentation during the Nürburgring 24-hour race.
The brand also stated that development is ongoing for the GTE racer that will herald the return of the company’s Motorsport division to Le Mans. “The BMW M8 GTE development programme for our Le Mans comeback is in full swing,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Developing a new racing car is always exciting, and in the case of the BMW M8 GTE the anticipation is that much greater still. We can’t reveal any pictures yet, but I can promise you that the BMW M8 GTE will look spectacular. We are planning an initial roll-out for the first half of this year and are looking at giving the car its race debut in the Daytona 24 Hours in late January 2018.”
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