Geneva Motor Show - BMW’s getting ahead of itself with its unusual 8 Series and M8 launch strategy, and before it’s even released a picture or mechanical titbit of the forthcoming flagship coupe in road trim, it’s already announcing new derivatives.
On display at this week’s Geneva Motor Show is an M8 Gran Coupe concept, which for those au fait with Beemer lingo means it’s a lengthened four-door version of the coupe. The Geneva show car still doesn’t offer a lot of insight as to what might happen in the road-going version, but we gather that its carbonfibre roof panel, angry-looking LED light signatures and general swoopy shape will probably make it through to production.
We can also only offer educated guesses as to what the 8 Series and 8 Series Gran Coupe ranges will comprise, and here we expect a base 840i with a 3-litre turbo straight-six, an 850i with a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, and possibly an 860i with an iteration of the M760Li’s 6.6-litre turbo V12 unit.
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It’s fairly safe to assume both M8s will get an up-tuned version of the new M5’s 4.4-litre turbo V8, which in that car makes an already hearty 441kW and 750Nm. BMW’s motorsport programme, which strangely saw an M8 race car released long before the road model was ready, suggests a smaller 4-litre turbo V8 is another, albeit remote possibility. The GTE class in which the M8 racer competes is regulated to a maximum turbocharged engine capacity of 4-litres.
Lastly, BMW confirms that the 8 Series and therefore the four-door Gran Coupe will force the 7 Series out of the brand’s range-topping status.
“The BMW 8 Series will take over as the new flagship model of the BMW line-up and, as such, combines unsurpassed sportiness and elegance,” says BMW’s design guru Adrian van Hooydonk. “The BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe offers a look ahead to the most exotic and alluring variant of the new BMW 8 Series.”
We can’t imagine how it could possibly outdo the tech and feature-rich Seven, so we’re guessing the Eights will adopt much of the current flagship’s gizmos and further the luxuriousness factor with fancier interior materials and more bespoke customer build processes.
Time will tell. The 8 Series Coupe is due in road-ready form later this year, and the Gran Coupe is scheduled for release in 2019.