Are sedans and coupes even a thing anymore?
From day one there was a fatal flaw with Germany’s seemingly never-ending push for niche models that fill each void no matter now insignificant: the fact that when markets tend to become saturated, sales—and therefore profit margins—tend to fall. Models like the 4 Series Gran Coupe or 3 Series Gran Turismo aren’t selling as well as those Bavarians would like them to, but according to what BMW told Autocar, the same rule doesn’t hold for niche X-branded SUVs.
As a result, BMW has turned its attention to studying whether or not an X8 SUV would make any sense. “The sector is growing fast, so there will be opportunity,” says BMW head of development, Klaus Fröhlich. “It is early to talk about X8, but one of the first decisions I made when I worked on product strategy was to take the X5 and make the X6.” Yes, this is a discussion we’re actually having before BMW unveils the production version of the X7 SUV—the concept of which recently took the stage at the Frankfurt Motor Show—and more importantly, waits to gauge its sales success. However it’s the early bird that gets the worm and BMW is banking on there being plenty of worms in this segment.
Like it does with the X4 and X6, the X8 wouldn’t be a standalone model. Instead it would be more of a luxurious Gran Coupe-like version of the X7 SUV, sort of how the Audi Q8 is the four-seat version of the three-row Q7. “There is room for X8 – especially in markets like China – but there are no decisions yet. Each car must have a distinct character, and these are the sort of areas that take time to evaluate,” added Fröhlich. BMW is currently evaluating whether it can use the X7’s platform for the X8 without making major and expensive modifications, but you can probably bank on the SUV being a more comfortable and stylish version of the X7 if it makes it to market. Should BMW go through with it?