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BMW unveils 8 Series concept

Great 8: BMW has foreshadowed what the incoming 8 Series halo car will look like with the Concept 8 Series.

Concept hints at flagship BMW 8 Series, production version arriving in 2018

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BMW logo26 May 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

BMW has used the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy to reveal its Concept 8 Series, which will give fans an idea of what the production version of the flagship coupe will look like when it arrives in 2018.

Rumours of a revived 8 Series, which was sold by BMW throughout the 1990s, began when it was reported that the German manufacturer had quietly ceased production in North America of the 6 Series coupe.

The Concept 8 Series shows an aggressively-styled two-door large coupe, that BMW says blends the traditional design cues of a BMW, including the kidney grille and hexagonal headlights, with futuristic design ideas.

At the front end the oversized kidney grille dominates the front fascia, flanked by narrow headlights which could possibly be a nod to the original 8 Series. The hexagonal headlight cluster design currently being rolled out across BMW’s range also features.

The Concept 8 Series, shown in a Barcelona Grey Liquid colour, has an imposing look with a long, swooping bonnet flowing into the kidney grille, while beefy lower air intakes and a subtle carbon-fibre splitter finish off the front end’s styling.

In profile, the Concept 8 Series has an elongated, low shape complemented by 21-inch multi-spoke light-alloy rims, large single gills behind the front wheels, and BMW’s signature Hofmeister kink on the C-pillar.

At the rear, styling is characterised by a large, slanted window that transitions into a boot with an upturned lip, while wide, L-shaped blade tail-lights emphasise the car’s low-to-the-ground stance.

Rear air vents shape the 8 Series’ bumper and the look is capped off by trapezoidal exhaust pipes and a carbon-fibre rear diffuser.

Inside, the Concept 8 Series takes on a much more symmetrical layout than its production stablemates, starting with a simplified centre console with embedded touchscreen display, minimalist climate control layout with haptic buttons, carbon-fibre trim and a clean gear selector with iDrive navigation, engine start key and drive mode select.

It uses an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters and touch buttons, while a virtual instrument display shows the speedometer that extends to 260km/h and a tachometer that redlines at 7000rpm.

Slender, carbon-fibre seats wrapped in Fjord White merino leather hug occupants, while white and dark brown leather with contrast red stitching features throughout the cabin. Audio comes courtesy of a Bowers & Wilkins sound system.

BMW Group design senior vice president Adrian van Hooydonk said the Concept 8 Series blended BMW styling with futuristic design ideas.

“The design of the BMW Concept 8 Series provides a fresh interpretation of iconic BMW styling cues,” he said. “And it also showcases a new approach to the use of forms which is reflected particularly prominently in the car’s surfacing.

“A handful of crisp lines mark out clear surfaces, and the car’s volumes are powerfully sculpted.

“Together, these elements make a forceful statement and create a model brimming with character. In short, this is a driver’s car.” While no details have emerged on the what powertrains may underpin the production 8 Series, BMW Australia has filed trademarks for the 830, 835, 840, 845, 850, M850, 860 and M8 nameplates, suggesting a mix of six, eight and possibly even 12-cylinder engines are on the cards.

Exact engine possibilities would likely be 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engines in petrol and diesel guise, a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 and possibly even the 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 from the incoming M760Li xDrive.

It is possible that a production version of the 8 Series will be revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in BMW’s native Germany in September.

After an international arrival in 2018, the 8 Series is likely to land in Australian showrooms in 2019.

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