And the verdict is...
Ever since the BMW 8 Series was revealed last year, there's been speculation regarding a potential 9 Series. More than likely, it would be a stretched four-door coupe version of the 8 Series but BMW was quiet on details. While a flagship grand tourer with four doors would be awesome, new information has come to light, courtesy of Autocar, that seems to put the rumors to rest once and for all.
According to the German automaker's R&D boss, Klaus Frohlich, a 9 Series is not happening. "I don't think you need a 9 Series. In this segment, you need three cars – an X car, a saloon and an emotional sporty car – and we have them: the X7, 7 Series and 8 Series. Some competitors are already reducing the number of cars in this segment because volumes are so low."
Although that's not an outright denial, it's still not a definitive 'yes, we are doing a 9 Series.' And Frohlich certainly has a point. Why bother investing in a model that'll be extremely low volume when the market isn't demanding it in the first place? The X7 and 8 Series (and upcoming M8) are all-new, and the 7 Series has just received a mid-life refresh to keep it going strong for another few years. BMW is already holding all of the right cards at the moment.
In addition, the M8 Gran Coupe is on its way to appeal to the more extreme performance buyers who also want a serious luxury car. Adding a 9 Series simply wouldn't do much to lift BMW's overall image.
With its current product and upcoming launches, BMW already ranks supreme. BMW design director Adrian van Hooydonk previously made clear the automaker is planning ahead. "My team and I are now looking at 2021 and beyond – as far out as 2030. We have a lot of plans," he was quoting as saying. While a 9er seems off the table for the immediate future, things could change by the end of the next decade.