This is BMW’s new 8 series concept. It’s a premium 2 + 2 coupe aimed squarely at the Mercedes S-Class coupe. And while this car is just a design study, not the production car, BMW says that it “reveals much of what to come” with the road-ready car due next year.
Revealed today at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, BMW Senior VP design Adrian van Hooydonk calls the concept “our take on a full-blooded high-end driving machine,” adding that “it’s a slice of pure automotive fascination.” The long, low, and curvaceous Concept 8 Series is clearly a BMW, with massive kidney grilles, and pinched headlights that call back to the i8 hybrid supercar. The silhouette takes some of the best lines of the 6 Series but turns up both the curves and the aggression. At the back, a carbon diffuser adds sportiness to the rear view, along with large trapezoidal exhaust tips. Thin L-shaped taillights add visual width and connect the rear flanks of the car. Van Hooydonk calls it “a fresh interpretation of iconic BMW styling cues.” Every curve has a sharp line helping to define the surfaces.
BMW doesn’t want you to think that their flagship coupe and S-Class rival is just a luxury tourer. BMW Chair Harald Krüger says that the car “will demonstrate that razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury can go hand-in-hand.” Since this is just a design study BMW hasn’t announced powertrain or platform details, but we do know that the new coupe will be based on the 2018 BMW 7 Series. That means there could be a range of engines running from a 2.0L turbo four (don’t expect that one here) to a 6.6L twin-turbo V12.
Inside, the Concept 8 has a large center stack flowing from the top of the dashboard into the rear seats. Those seats are carbon-shells, letting BMW give them a slimmer design. The steering wheel is a mix of aluminium and leather to emphasize the sense of sportiness. The shift paddles are red-anodized to “bring the race track to mind.” In front of the driver is a fully digital instrument display, with configurations for various driving types. To further convince you of the Concept 8’s sporting intentions, the center console is trimmed in bare carbon-fibre.
The production 8 Series is due in late 2018. Krüger has said previously that the car could see a convertible added to the line, as well as an M8 performance model. He also said to expect the production cars to start north of US$165,000.
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