The luxury flagship coupe war has finally broken on all fronts.
One way to tell that the luxury auto market is on the up and up is to pay attention to the large flagship luxury coupe segment. Previously dominated by the Bentley Continental GT, the success of the British luxury barge combined with a growing demand for large luxury coupes have spawned competitors from Mercedes and Rolls-Royce in the form of the S-Class coupe and the Wraith. Now, Autocar has pieced together information it’s gained with spy shots and trademark applications to paint a picture of the coupe.
The first batch of 8 Series coupes will arrive just in time to replace the two-door 6 Series. Even though the 6 Series moniker will remain, the lineup will morph into a sportier Porsche 911 competitor than a luxury cruiser. Not that the 8 Series won’t come without major grunt though. According to Autocar, BMW has trademarked the names 825, 830, 850, 860 and M850, hinting at engines that range from the 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six to BMW’s new twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8. The 860i will more than likely feature BMW’s 6.6-liter V12, making it the top pick for braggadocio aristocrats. Most exciting though is the fact that BMW has just applied to trademark the name “M8,” meaning that a race-ready version of the 8 Series will be coming soon.
The M8, like the M850, will probably carry over the 4.0-liter V8, which, when placed in the former of the two options, will be tuned to make more than 600 horsepower. For the well-off environmentalists, an 840e plug-in hybrid will make it to market using the same 2.0-liter four-banger and electric motor combination seen on the 740e. To help avoid unnecessary weight, the 8 Series will be designed on the malleable CLAR (cluster architecture) that’s set to invade the automaker’s lineup. High rigidity and low-weight are attained by mixing a long list of materials, which include aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber, and high-strength steel. Expect to see the 8 Series in 2019 with the M8 following the release of a convertible variant.