Is the concept worthy of its prestigious name?
Debuting this week at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the new BMW 8 Series concept serves as a taste of things to come as far as a new posh GT model is concerned. It will be out in 2018 to officially mark the return of the “8 Series” moniker and at the same time herald the most significant model offensive in the company’s history.
If the design of the concept is anything to go by, the reborn 8 Series will stand out among other BMW models with a fresh design, although it certainly won’t be as glitzy as this. The massive kidney grille will likely be toned down a bit while the sharp laser headlights flanking it are expected to lose some of the high-tech traits.
Sitting on large 21-inch alloy wheels created specifically for the concept, the 8 Series wears a unique “Barcelona Grey Liquid” paint finish on its sleek body with a sloping roofline and an integrated trunk lid spoiler. With massive air vents in both bumpers as well as in the front fenders, the coupe blends luxury styling with the sportiness you’d expect from a BMW. Its muscular fenders with flared wheel arches add a sense of aggressiveness also enhanced by the generous trapezoidal exhaust tips at the back.
The slim taillights are just as sleek as the lights at the front and extend onto the trunk lid to make the 8 Series seem wider when viewed from behind. Typical for a concept, the coupe comes with relatively small side mirrors and does not have conventional door handles, as a way to make it look sleeker.
Stepping inside the cabin, the sporty yet luxurious theme continues thanks to the leather-wrapped seats boasting a carbon fibre shell. The lovely Merino leather finished off in Dark Brown and Fjord White blends nicely with the numerous hand-polished aluminum and carbon fibre accents, while the Swarovski glass on the iDrive controller boosts the cabin’s premium feel.
Details about what powers the rear-wheel drive 8 Series coupe have not been disclosed, but it goes without saying the production car due next year will be blessed with BMW’s top-tier engines. After all, Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, does say the concept represents the firm’s idea for a “full-blooded high-end driving machine.” He goes on to describe it as a "luxurious sports car which embodies both unadulterated dynamics and modern luxury like arguably no other. For me, it’s a slice of pure automotive fascination.”
2018 can’t come soon enough, right?