Despite our disappointment, BMW’s logic makes complete sense.
BMW has already said a V12-powered 8 Series is not in the cards. In other words, the 6.0-liter V12 from the M760Li won’t be transferred to the stunning GT coupe, even though it is technically possible. Why won’t this happen? Australia’s Go Auto recently had a chat with BMW Group vice president of product management Carsten Groeber who provided a perfectly logical explanation for the 8 Series’ V12’s absence.
“V12 is very heavy and we have a very perfect weight distribution with this car. So the package with the V8 with those technologies with the chassis and the drivetrain makes the car a proper sports car. In our opinion a V12 will be too heavy in the front,” said Groeber.
And there you have it. Weight. It has always has been and always will be the enemy, and in this case the V12 would eliminate the big coupe’s perfect weight distribution. Speaking of weight, battery hybrid technology is not exactly feather light, and this begs the question whether an 8 Series hybrid or plug-in hybrid is being considered. Again, no, at least not at the moment. Groeber added that, despite the extra bulk, an 8 Series hybrid or PHEV simply isn’t needed right now.
“Never say never,” he added. “There might be in the years to go. We are a learning company and as the market turns, if we need to do something we will react. But at this point in time, in 2018, the car is perfectly set up, and I think people love to have these cars.”
What Groeber did confirm, however, is that a rear-wheel-drive version will arrive next year. “We will have something in the near future, which is also rear-wheel drive,” he said. “We have M850i with the six-cylinder diesel engine. There will be an sDrive version of it.”
For now, the new BMW 8 Series will come with one but glorious engine: a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 with 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. All of that power is sent to all four wheels through an updated eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. Will the upcoming sDrive version offer additional power, or could it be more track-focused? We’ll find out next year.