Back from the grave to reclaim the throne.
On May 26th, 2017, the sun will rise over Italy and guests at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este will catch their first glimpse of what will eventually become BMW's flagship car, the 8 Series Coupe. Lucky for us, the Internet doesn't wait until the sun rises, so BMW has gone ahead and revealed the breathtaking 8 Series Concept, a design study from which the production 8 Series coupe will draw heavy inspiration. We certainly aren't disappointed that it's the same car we saw in the images leaked yesterday.
If that bulging sheetmetal and those striation lines look aggressive to you, it means that BMW's designers did their jobs right. From day one, the 8 Series was intended as nothing less than an all-out assault on the luxury segment in hopes of retaking BMW's old sales crown from Mercedes. No longer satisfied with selling entry-level 3 Series luxury cars to the masses, BMW wants to spread itself more broadly across the lineup, and a coupe for the 1% is a great way to tend to the areas Mercedes is most famous for. To get the point across, BMW revived its famous old name. "The number 8 has always represented the pinnacle of sports performance and exclusivity at BMW," explains Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG Harald Krüger.
As far as being the pinnacle, the 8 Series Concept sure looks the part. An angled razor-sharp kidney grille is wider and positioned closer to the ground while narrow inward sloping hexagonal headlights remind onlookers that this 8 Series is still part of the BMW family. Many other design aspects look brand new. The rear end, for example, features L-shaped taillights that stretch deep into the center, following a line that begins at the pronounced rear wheel arches and help give the Bimmer a slight squat. A long hood, flowing roofline, and a steep trailing edge merge grace, confidence, and power into a single body that sits on large 21-inch light-alloy wheels.
The interior feels just as special even though it remains focused on a single task: driving. That's hinted by forward-facing lines strewn around the cabin and red-anodized shift paddles, but BMW was sure to add leather, carbon fiber, and aluminum accents to keep up the luxurious grand tourer feel. Because it's a concept, there's no speak of engines or hardware, but Krüger did outline how it will drive. "The forthcoming BMW 8 Series Coupe will demonstrate that razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury can go hand-in-hand. This will be the next model in the expansion of our luxury-car offering and will raise the benchmark for coupes in the segment. In the process, we will strengthen our claim to leadership in the luxury class."
He's right about raising the benchmark, at least from our initial impression. If BMW prices this correctly, the Lexus LC 500 and Mercedes S-Class Coupe are going to have some serious trouble on their hands. Keep your eyes peeled for more leaks or whispers from BMW that peel away at the 8 Series mysteries that remain. Interested and able to buy? Then make sure to have a six figure sum in the bank by the 8 Series Coupe's 2018 release.