Is BMW Cooking Up A New Mid-Engined Sports Car?

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BMW could take after the C8 Corvette.

If the C8 Chevrolet Corvette has taught us anything, it is that buyers will pour into the showrooms to purchase a new mid-engined sports car with an affordable starting price. Perhaps BMW has learned from Chevy, based on some new spy shots out of Germany. Our spy photographers captured images of what initially looked like a standard BMW 8 Series Coupe. But upon further inspection, this test mule might be something else entirely.

This car does not appear to be a prototype for a facelifted 8 Series, but rather a new mid-engined model. The front end may look like a typical 8 Series, but the prototype has a few key indicators of a mid-engine layout, including air intakes where the rear side windows should be, and a covered rear window. Those side sills look different as well. So, what is this mystery BMW?

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BMW reportedly planned to launch a new mid-engined supercar in 2023. This supercar would have been a direct replacement for the outgoing i8, and perhaps a spiritual successor to the original M1. Based on the design language of the Vision M Next Concept, the car would produce around 600 horsepower. According to unconfirmed rumors though, BMW ended plans to build a new halo model due to a poor economic outlook. But based on these latest spy shots, those reports may turn out to be false.

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We've ruled out the possibility that BMW is testing a new racing version of the 8 Series because the company already builds the M8 GTE racecar. Our photographer also noted that this prototype emitted a different sound than other BMW models, so an all-new engine could be in play as well. It's far too early to predict what this prototype could preview, but with the current 8 Series struggling for sales, the switch to a mid-engine layout could be just what BMW needs right now.

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