An ultra-luxury four-door coupe could slot above the 8 Series in the future.
The new BMW 8 Series is the Bavarian automaker's flagship grand-tourer and rival to the Porsche 911 and Mercedes S-Class, but BMW is already considering putting a 9 Series into production to slot above it. Speaking with Autocar, BMW design director Adrian van Hooydonk hinted the 9 Series could take the form of an ultra-luxury four-door coupe to fight the Mercedes-Maybach S600 as part of BMW's push to infiltrate the premium market.
"Let's say this: we won't stop here [with the 8 Series]" he said when asked if BMW has plans for a 9 Series. "Obviously our job is to have more ideas than the company can build because the other way round would be very bad. My team and I are now looking at 2021 and beyond – as far out as 2030. We have a lot of plans."
The stunning BMW 8 Series recently entered production and is the first model to revive the name since the original went out of production nearly 20 years ago. A four-door Gran Coupe and Convertible version are slated to arrive next year. Van Hooydonk added that the 8 Series is just the start of a "new chapter" for BMW. "The coupe will always kickstart the next level in design. The same is true for this car," he said.
The 8 Series shares platform elements with the 7 Series, so a future 9 Series is likely to use the same architecture and engine options. Power is provided by a 4.4-liter V8 gasoline engine in the M850i, which produces 523 hp. A large four-door coupe would also likely be a big seller in China. Autocar speculates the 9 Series will tie in with the potential expansion of BMW's SUV and electric i ranges after the automaker trademarked every model name between i1 and i9, ix1 and ix9, and between X1 and X9.
Van Hooydonk added that the growth of the i brand has allowed BMW to push into the premium market: "The i brand has created a lot of opportunities for us, both in the acceptance of new technologies, and also in the acceptance of new design. [In terms of design], a car like the i8 opened doors to us we didn't even know were there."