Looks like the Mercedes S-Class Coupe has a new rival.
Rumors have been rife for years that BMW is planning to revive the legendary 8 Series grand-tourer after an 18-year hiatus, which remains popular with BMW aficionados despite only 31,000 models being built between 1989 and 1999. Evidence that BMW is gearing up to revive the hulking luxury coupe has been mounting. Earlier this year, the automaker silently killed off the 6-Series, and an 8 Series test mule was recently spotted being put through its paces at the Nurburgring, implying that an announcement is imminent.
And now we finally have official confirmation: the BMW 8 Series is making a belated comeback in 2018 to rival the Mercedes S-Class Coupe. Before that, a concept model previewing the design will be shown off at this year's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este on May 26th. You may of course remember that the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este also hosted the reveal of the gorgeous Gran Lusso Coupe concept back in 2013. At the time, this reignited rumors of a new 8 Series being put into production, and now the German manufacturer will be using this year's event to showcase the 8 Series Coupe Concept, giving us a preview of what to expect from the production model.
Ahead of the event, BMW has revealed a teaser image of the curvaceous concept, showing off its sleek silhouette, raked roofline and muscular rear wheel arches. If it looks anything like the Gran Lusso Coupe, both the concept and production car should be a feast for the eyes. BMW says the 8 Series Coupe Concept represents a "design study", and is positioning it above the current 7-series as the manufacturer's new flagship model costing at least $160,000. "The BMW 8 Series Coupe will build on our tradition of luxurious sports coupes and add a genuine dream car to our line-up – a slice of pure automotive fascination," says Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
"The 8 Series Coupe will underpin our claim to leadership in the luxury segment. I can tell you today that this will be a true luxury sports coupe." No doubt BMW is banking on the new 8 Series to overtake the S-Class as the market leader of large luxury coupes after the 7-Series under-performed. The new BMW 8 Series is said to be underpinned by the same CLAR platform as the 5- and 7-Series. Previous trademarks by BMW suggest that 825, 830, 850, 860 and M850 models will fill the line-up, with engines ranging from a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six to BMW's new twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8. A convertible and range-topping V12 model could also be on the cards, along with the long-rumored M8 in 2019.