New information has come to light.
Earlier this week, our spy photographers snapped images of a rather odd-looking BMW out doing testing around the Nurburgring. At first glance, the vehicle in question looks like a BMW 8 Series Coupe, perhaps the refreshed model. A closer examination reveals otherwise. The side air intakes are located where the coupe's rear windows would normally be and the rear glass was covered. Even the side sills looked different than what's on the production car. The internet was set alight: could this prototype be a test mule for a new mid-engined model? The official answer is "no."
German-language publication Auto Motor Und Sport reached out to the automaker seeking clarification because, after all, it's not every day one sees what appears to be a mid-engined BMW vehicle out testing.
But it turns out the development vehicle in question was only being used to test out new components from different departments. Updates involving things such as tires, brakes, chassis, exhaust, and the engine were being tried out and the big coupe was simply being utilized as the testbed vehicle. Nothing more, nothing less, at least that's what BMW wants us to believe. But chances are this truly is nothing more than one big component test.
There was, however, one thing BMW made no mention of when asked for comment: a hybrid system. Could a hybrid 8 Series, possibly one even more powerful than the 600 horsepower M8, be in the works?
Bear in mind BMW has axed plans to build a production version of the ultra-cool M1-inspired Vision M Next Concept. The combined effect of the coronavirus pandemic and disappointing overall i8 sales led to its demise. However, an 8 Series hybrid could be just the thing to help boost dwindling 8 Series sales. At the same time, such a model could fill the spot originally earmarked for the Vision M Next and do so for far less investment.
But again, this is only a theory on our part, but it does happen to fit the facts.