GENEVA – BMW previews the bold exterior styling and confident stance of a luxurious new 4-door 8-Series model positioned at the very top of its lineup from the latter half of 2019 with the unveiling of the Concept M8 Gran Coupe at this year’s Geneva auto show.
Planned to join 2-door coupe and convertible models in a future three-strong 8-Series lineup, the upcoming production version of the Concept M8 Gran Coupe aims to elevate BMW into the same exclusive market segment occupied by the likes of Aston Martin with the DB11, Bentley with the Continental GT and Mercedes-AMG with its new GT 4-door Coupe.
The decision to resurrect the 8-Series follows an announcement by BMW Chairman Harald Krueger to position the premium brand even further upmarket.
“The 8-Series will be the next model in the expansion of our luxury-car offering and will raise the benchmark in the segment,” Krueger says. “It will demonstrate that sharp dynamics and modern luxury go hand-in-hand, in a process strengthening our claim to leadership in the class.”
The Concept M8 Gran Coupe’s arrival follows the unveiling of the Concept 8-Series Coupe at last year’s Villa D’Este Concorso D’Eleganza in Como, Italy, as well as the unleashing of an M8 Coupe prototype during a promotional event at the 2017 Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race in Germany.
Together with the yet-to-be-revealed concept of the 8-Series Cabriolet, the production versions of the three new 8-Series models will be sold with a range of different gasoline engines, including a base turbocharged 3.0L 6-cyl. as well as standard and M Div. derivatives of the German automaker’s twin-turbo 4.4L V-8 and, at the very top of the range, a twin-turbocharged 6.6L V-12 – which already powers the plush M760i xDrive.
Setting the scene for the successor to today’s 6-Series Gran Coupe, the Concept M8 Gran Coupe previews the dramatic look the future 4-door range-topping BMW model will take into North American showrooms late next year. Although billed as a concept, BMW officials say the new car is closer to production readiness than the earlier Concept 8-Series was when it was revealed last year.
It receives a bold-looking front end featuring a prominent front-bumper assembly with a trio of sizeable air ducts, a new interpretation of BMW’s traditional kidney grille that is joined in the middle and features upturned outer edges similar in treatment to the recently introduced X2, angular headlamps with distinctive LED graphics and a long flowing hood.
Farther back, the Concept M8 Gran Coupe adopts the same detailing and surface treatment unveiled on its 2-door concept-car sibling with so-called air breathers positioned behind the front wheelhouses, deep undercuts to the lower part of the doors and a prominent sill treatment.
The new BMW’s cabin is set well back within the wheelbase and receives a heavily rounded roofline and fixed B-pillar as part of a shallow 6-window glasshouse that tapers toward the rear. The heavily scalloped doors are frameless, those at the rear extending over the rear wheelhouses to provide ease of entry to the second row.
Elsewhere at the rear, the Concept M8 Gran Coupe displays the flowing C-pillar treatment, heavily sloping rear window and high-set trunklid that will feature on the production version of the 8-series Gran Coupe. Also included is an aggressive-looking bumper and quad exhaust-pipe treatment to be adopted by the performance-oriented M8 version of the new 4-door model.
Commenting on the concept of the upcoming 8-Series Gran Coupe, the vice president of BMW M design, Domagoj Dukec, says: The Concept M8 Gran Coupe is designed to stir things up, to polarize. With this car, we want to reach people who are looking to stand out from the crowd.”