Only the rakish Gran Coupe will survive into the next generation.
Like the sedan, the traditional grand tourer is a dying breed. Aside from the ultra-luxury alternatives, just the Lexus LC and BMW 8 Series remain since Mercedes discontinued the gorgeous S-Class Coupe and drop-top. The answer is clear to see: people want SUVs. But, despite this, BMW has plans to introduce a third-generation 8 Series in the coming years.
However, the lineup as we know it will shrink. According to BMW Blog, the third generation will drop the Coupe and Convertible, leaving just the 8 Series Gran Coupe behind. The svelte four-door coupe (reportedly codenamed G77) will arrive in 2026. There's a good chance it will arrive as an electric-only offering, as well.
Interestingly, the next-generation 8 Series will retain the CLAR architecture, as employed by the existing G14/G15/G16 models. That's a strange move, especially when you consider the Neue Klasse platform will have debuted by then. The first BMWs to be underpinned by this will arrive in 2025, one year before the rumored 8 Series Gran Coupe EV.
After all, both the CLAR and Neue Klasse platforms can accommodate electric and ICE powertrains. Perhaps opting for the former is cheaper but, then again, BMW has said it will offer vehicles with both platforms until the end of the decade. It's rumored that the electric Gran Coupe will fill a gap between the i5 and i7 sedans.
Essentially, it will serve the same role the 6 Series did before BMW pushed its large coupe upmarket. Though the rumor comes from a reputable source, BMW's future plans can change and go in an entirely different direction. If it turns out to be true, we can't say we're surprised - the current 8 Series hasn't exactly been a great success for the brand.
Shortly after the range-topper was launched, US dealers complained of poor sales. While they cited poor marketing as the reason, the large coupe/cabriolet segment is shrinking as people prefer SUVs. That's why the brand elected to make the second-ever bespoke M car an SUV, and not a sports car.
An earlier report suggests the 8 Series and 4 Series lineups will eventually merge to create just one offering; the 6 Series. Interestingly, these rumors also suggested the 8er will stick around as a Gran Coupe, based on the same platform as the plush 7 Series sedan.
That would make a lot of sense; there are still people out there who don't want an SUV and a stylish, electric four-door coupe will fit the bill nicely. The i4 is, essentially, a more compact version of that and it's doing well in terms of sales. What we do know is that the 8 Series was an absolute treat to drive. Equal parts fiery and decadent, the V8-equipped derivatives showed the world that BMW could do a high-class GT car as well as anyone else.