BMW revealed its new Concept 8 Series coupe, a design study that recalls one of the most notable coupe models in the brand’s history, at Italy’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on May 25.
BMW promises this is more than just a one-off, what-if show car; rather, the German luxury automaker calls the concept a taste of a forthcoming production model that will launch in 2018 as part of the biggest-ever BMW model offensive.
Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice-president of design for BMW Group, calls the Concept 8 Series “a fresh interpretation of iconic BMW styling cues (in) a driver’s car.”
The look shares more with the brand’s current i8 and 6 Series coupes than the boxier original 8 Series, but we see little to complain about in a car whose bodywork wraps neatly around 21-inch wheels filled with big brakes.
If we may be permitted a beef, it’s that the styling bears more than a passing resemblance to that of the Infiniti Q60, a car that sells for less than a third of what the 8 Series will command when it reaches showrooms.
While van Hooydonk calls this a driver’s car, you can be sure the production version will be a showcase for technology that will allow the 8 Series to drive itself, much like the recently redesigned 5 Series.
Inside, BMW says the combination of brown and white leather “lends the interior a high-quality ambience,” but we think the shift lever and iDrive controller, done in faceted Swarovski glass, do more to bring up the tone of the cabin.
BMW gave away nothing regarding what will power the production version of this coupe, but earlier this month, company CEO Harald Krueger told shareholders the car will be based on the 7 Series’ platform, and speculation suggests engines will include V8 and V12 power. There may also (eventually) be a high-performance M8 variant.
The 8 Series will arrive late next year as a coupe, with a convertible body style to follow in 2019.