BMW 8-Series will spearhead BMW’s premium car onslaught
Unveiled last night at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in near production-ready form, the new BMW 8-Series Coupé is set to take the fight to other premium brands – and Mercedes-Benz in particular.
The actual model will debut during the course of next year, with Geneva the most likely showcase as BMW pulls out all the stops to top the luxury car brand charts. The 8-Series is certainly design chief Adrian van Hooydonk’s most emphatic design for some time, and brings a new aggression and daring to BMW’s design language.
But the 8-Series Coupé is also symbolic of BMW’s declared strategy to increase sales and profitability, and is the first of what it calls the biggest model offensive in the marque’s history. While that offensive will have electric mobility and autonomous driving as focus points, the 8-Series suggests that BMW remains committed to producing cars that are exciting to drive.
The new 8-Series also points towards a more arresting, braver design language. It tips a hat to classic BMWs of the past by unifying the brand-defining kidney grilles, but places them low and wide to create a futuristic, challenging impression.
The high-tech laser headlights confirm the forward-looking nature of the design, while large air intakes on either side serve as an indicator of the coupé’s dynamic intentions. Carbon fibre elements suggest lightweight underpinnings, as well as BMW’s commitment to the high-tech material.
The rear is dominated by the powerful haunches of the car, linked to a pronounced, integrated wing that continues the visual performance theme. A carbon fibre diffuser is home to the gaping apertures of twin exhaust tailpipes.
The cabin design combines technology with luxury. The quilted, form-hugging seats and crafted finishes serve as a counterpoint to the configurable high-res instrument display, the metal surfaces and the carbon fibre finishes.
BMW hasn’t revealed any details of the upcoming coupé’s underpinnings, but likely drivetrains include the 6,5-litre V12 currently employed in the M760Li sedan. That engine’s 448 kW and 800 Nm would certainly be capable of propelling the large but lightweight coupé to impressive levels of performance.
However, it’s also possible that BMW will opt for a more futuristic, eco-friendlier alternative by fitting the new Eight with a hybrid drivetrain offering significant gains in all-electric range, compared to current-generation cars. Battery weight will be the limiting factor.
One thing’s for certain, though: the new BMW 8-Series Coupé will have to be a thrilling machine to drive. After all, it’s a brand that continues to promise sheer driving pleasure …