BMW 8-Series Set to Make its Return

New flagship to return for 2019 model-year.

by on May.11, 2017

BMW offers a tease of the concept 8-Series coupe it will unveil in Italy later this month.

Nearly 20 years after BMW pulled its flagship model from the market, the Bavarian automaker is set to bring the 8-Series back to life.

A teaser image of the new 2018 BMW 8-Series was released today, accompanied by a tweet from CEO Harald Krueger who said, “The next step of our product offensive is taking shape. A glimpse of the new BMW 8-Series Coupe.”

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Expected to carry a price tag in the 150,000 euros, or roughly $165,000, range, the return of the 8-Series could mark a shake-up in the BMW product family, essentially upgrading and replacing the current 6-Series family. In its new form, the coupe would go up directly against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.

(BMW upping production as global luxury demand grows. Click Here for the story.)

We should get a better look at the new 8-Series at the Concrso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este along Italy’s Lake Como later this month, though that will be a concept version. The final version of the coupe isn’t expected to debut until sometime next year, possibly at the Geneva Motor Show, with production set to begin in time for the 2019 model-year.

The BMW 850 CSi was distinguished by pop-up headlights and a B-pillarless roof.

The original 8-Series had a 10-year run, ending production in 1999. It was considered one of the more stylish models in the maker’s line-up and was visually best known for its pop-up headlights. Offered with a choice of both a V-8 and V-12 it was the first production car to offer a six-speed manual paired with a 12-cylinder engine. It also was one of the first BMW models to adopt a multi-link rear suspension.

Sluggish sales led BMW to pull the old 8-Series from the U.S. market in 1997, with it continuing in other markets for another two years.

The new 8-Series drops the pop-ups, though it is yet to be seen whether it will go with LED lamps or the new laser headlights offered on the European version of the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.

The overall look of the new coupe is far sleeker than the old model and, if anything, bears a subtle resemblance to the new Aston Martin DB11, with a long hood, steeply raked windshield, and gently tapering roof line that flows into an integrated rear spoiler. The teaser image accents muscular and sharply creased rear fenders.

During BMW’s annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday morning, CEO Krueger confirmed, “The 8-series Coupe will debut next year,” adding that, “We are refreshing our entire product portfolio and strengthening the performance side. Our strategy will focus on the luxury segment, where there are margins to be earned.”

Details about the new 8-Series are sparse, though, as the new flagship, it is almost certain to share the same level of high technology gear found on the 7-Series sedan.

The new BMW 8-Series will take aim at the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.

(Click Here to see more about BMW’s biggest product blitz in history.)

That said, it is also expected to put more emphasis, as a coupe, on the driving experience. Powertrains are expected to include V-8 and V-12 options. And while BMW has long resisted adding an M version of the 7-Series, a high-performance M8 is reportedly already under development.

“The 8 Series Coupe will underpin our claim to leadership in the luxury segment. I can tell you today that this will be a true luxury sports coupe,” Krueger said in a statement accompanying this teaser image.

(Click Here to see how BMW is combining solar and hydrogen power.)


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