BMW Concept 8 and M8: new design language
“To 86 percent,” jokes Adrian van Hooydonk when asked how close the Concept 8 Series baptized coupe of the series comes. Already this coming summer, BMW is launching the series production of a new 8 – a prototype of an M8 already exists.
With its aggressively sculpted Fastback shape, the deep and wide doublet and its like the i8 partly freistehende taillights the 8er rings a new era in the design. It is internally described as “precision and poetry” – and symbolizes a leap forward: “From now on this form language,” says BMW’s chief designer van Hooydonk. While the upcoming Crossover X2, seen as a vehicle study in Paris in the autumn of 2016, was merely an indication, the 8er is now completely implementing the new approach. After that, van Hooydonk said: “We will completely change the face of the brand.”
New interior BMW M8
The interior of the 8-series is also presented in a new form, although the impression is more evolutionary than revolutionary: the flat dashboard as well as the wide and high center console, angled towards the driver, are functional, sporty and functional. It remains as with the current sedans with the rigid central screen, which grows out of the console vertically. The components of carbon-fiber composite, which are installed on the inside and outside, are, by the way, purely decorative; They give no indication of the vehicle architecture. On the contrary: Like the current 6 Series, the upcoming 8 Series is based on the shortened chassis of the 5 Series. This also makes it clear that the new 8 series will come on the market with six and eight-cylinder engines, but not with the V12 engine.
Of course, the new naming is still a signal: “More performance, more luxury, more unique character,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, and Brandchef Hildegard Wortmann emphasizes: “8er is higher than the 6th, so we are well placed in the luxury class.” As far as the vehicle architecture is concerned, however, it has a clear attitude: “The customer is not interested at all.” This pragmatic attitude should ensure that the 1989 error does not repeat itself: Even then replaced an 8 series the first generation of the 6er , But with numerous 7-piece components and V12 engine, the car was much more expensive and completely differently positioned, ultimately BMW could not even one third of the numbers of the predecessor bring under the groomed clientele.
Perhaps it would have been different if BMW had implemented some of the ideas that had already advanced internally in the 90s: There were prototypes of an 8-series convertible and an extremely powerful M8, and an entry-level model with a displacement of three liters was also planned. It is precisely these versions will be the case of the new 8 series – and because it has worked so well in the 6 Series, BMW is planning a four-door derivative, the Gran Coupe, as well as the Cabriolet for the 8 Series. With this range of variants and its impressive form, the new series will be largely unrivaled from the middle of 2018 onwards.
Prototype of the M8
Within the framework of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, BMW also had a completely masked prototype of the upcoming M8 – not necessarily a visual one, but all the more an acoustic treat. Even if the manufacturer is officially covered: It can be assumed that under the sharp-swept engine hood the same 4.4-liter V8-Biturbo, which also drives the upcoming upcoming BMW M5. The unit will deliver more than 600 hp, which can be delivered to all four wheels or traditionally on the rear axle depending on the driver’s requirements. An eight-speed automatic transmission is provided for the transmission of power, which will be obligatory for the M GmbH.
In contrast to the regular 8 series, the M8 is likely to have extensive lightweight construction, including carbon fiber components. And there will be a derivative for the circuit: the M8 GTE, which will be released this year – and before the production cars – on the racetracks.