BMW has put an end to months of rumors, leaks, and rampant speculation by confirming plans to resurrect the 8 Series nameplate. The coupe will be previewed by a close-to-production concept scheduled to debut later this month during the prestigious Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance.
An official sketch sent out by the Munich-based company’s press office suggests the modern-day 8 Series will be a tribute to the original model in name only. While the image does a good job of hiding the coupe’s overall design, we can tell it won’t get pop-up headlights or a sharp, chiseled look like its land shark-esque predecessor. Instead, it seems to borrow styling cues from recent additions to the BMW lineup, including the 5 and the 7 Series.
“The 8 Series Coupe will build on our tradition of luxurious sports coupes and add a genuine dream car to our line-up — a slice of pure automotive fascination. It will underpin our claim to leadership in the luxury segment. I can tell you today that this will be a true luxury sports coupe,” promised Harald Krüger, the chairman of BMW’s board of management, in a statement.
Insiders suggest the 8 will be positioned in the same segment as the posh Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. If that’s accurate, it will serve as the BMW brand’s flagship model. With the 6 Series coupe out of production and a successor not confirmed yet, the 8 Series might be the only option for buyers who want a two-door Bimmer that’s bigger than a 4 Series.
Technical details about the production model are still few and far between. If we were to guess, we’d say the lineup will include an entry-level model with a 3.0-liter straight-six, a mid-range model with a 4.4-liter V8, and a top-of-the-line variant with a 6.6-liter V12. We doubt there’s going to be a full-blown M8, but a M Performance model in the vein of the M760i is almost guaranteed.
The concept previewed in the teaser sketch will break cover on May 26th. The production model is scheduled to arrive in 2018, meaning we’ll likely see it in the metal for the first time during next year’s edition of the Geneva Auto Show. For Americans, expect the 8 to arrive in showrooms in time for the 2019 model year.
2019 marks the original model’s 30th anniversary. Coincidence? We think not.