BMW 8 Series coupe and convertible sighting shows design differences
BMW’s new flagship coupé has been spied testing in both forms; it’s due to go on sale in 2018
The new BMW 8 Series will be produced in coupé and convertible forms to rival the two-door Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Bentley Continental GT and their drop-top siblings, and both have been spied testing.
The brand’s upcoming flagship model will be a two-door coupé version of the 7 Series saloon, in much the same way as the 4 Series and 3 Series are related, but will get a significantly more sporting design.
As shown by the new photographs, the coupé will sport a rakish rear windowline, while the convertible will ditch this due to its electric folding fabric roof, which feeds into a horizontal boot panel.
However, aside from these changes, the 8 Series siblings look identical, with long bonnets, tailgates that flick upwards and trapezoidal exhaust surrounds.
Being so closely related to the 7 Series, it’s likely that the 8 Series will share naming conventions and engines with its saloon sibling. This means that an iPerformance-badged plug-in hybrid will feature in the range, while the entry-level 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel found in the 730d will be used in an 830d. There will also be a more performance-orientated 4.4-litre V8 from the 750i xDrive, accompanied by all-wheel drive. A V12-engined model will come later in the car’s life cycle.
The most hardcore variant of the 8 Series will come in M8 form, with its own more aggressive bodywork. This model is likely to be powered by an uprated version of the latest M5’s 592bhp 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine and share the same ‘M xDrive’ four-wheel drive system.
Inside, the 8 Series models will feature the same top-end technologies found in the 7 Series, including the latest and next-generation semi-autonomous features.
The 8 Series coupé and convertible come as part of a BMW range shake up, in which they will indirectly replace the 6 Series coupé, which will finish production in 2018. The 6 Series convertible will then be replaced by the 8 Series convertible the following year.
The final 6 Series variant, the Gran Coupé, despite running out at the same time as the convertible, is unconfirmed for replacement but could be renewed. Meanwhile, the 5 Series GT has been replaced by the 6 Series GT.
It might not be the end of the road for the coupé and convertible 6 Series variants, though, as BMW is still undecided as to whether direct replacements for the two will be introduced.
Additional reporting by Greg Kable
Source: Autocar Online