There’s a high probability that the production model will like very similar

LISTEN 13:55

Back in the late 1980s when BMW introduced the first 8 Series Coupe, it threw the lineup into turmoil as the 6 Series quickly lost relevance. The 6 Series was eventually discontinued a few years after the 8 Series rolled into showrooms. The 8 Series quickly became an icon, but was ultimately short-lived, being discontinued just 10 years after its introduction. The 6 Series bounced back in 2003 and has been on the market ever since. Fast forward to 2017, and we’re looking at another 8 Series Coupe. This specific model is a concept, but promises to be near-production ready and represents what the new 8 Series will look like when it hits the market in 2018 as a 2019 model. Little is known as far as specifics go, but the 8 Series concept shows off a bold new styling language for future BMW products and essentially redefines the line between beauty and luxury. Inside, the concept represents the evolution of BMW’s iconic styling while the motivation under the hood is likely the same 4.4-liter, turbocharged, V-8 from the current 7 Series.

The new 8 Series Coupe coming and there’s no denying it at this point. It’s quite likely to throw BMW’s lineup into chaos once again. Is there a place for the 6 Series with a new 8 Series on the market? Does the design language of the new 8 Series fit into the ego of BMW fanboys enough to encourage paying much more for a slightly larger coupe? These are two important questions, but they all lead to the same quandary: Will the production model based on this concept perform well enough for the name to gain that iconic status it was once known for, while earning itself a permanent place in Bimmer’s stable? Well, let’s dive on into this concept and see just what the future might hold.

BMW’s Concept vs Our Rendering

2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2019 BMW 8 Series High Resolution Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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When you compare the concept (left) to our rendering (right,) it’s clear that we had the right idea, but we didn’t get aggressive enough with the styling. The roof of the concept has more of a downward slope while the hood is also more bubbly but shares the same defining characteristics otherwise. With a lower roof, the glass on the concept is quite a bit shorter, but we did nail the general design cues of the window trim and glass layout. The rear quarters are flatter and more extended above the wheels while the taillights stick out a bit more. Down below, the Concept takes a drastically aggressive turn with a big fender vent and massive body line that ties the fenders and rear quarters together. Up front, BMW gave the grilles much sharper angles than we anticipated while the fascia gets a large air dam and big corner vents.

BMW’s Concept vs First-Gen 8 Series

2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Exterior
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1989 - 1999 BMW 8-series
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Looking at the two images above, it’s easy to tell that things were way different back in the 1990s. Car design was generally boring and lackluster compared to what we’re used to now. And, while the original 8 Series (right) was a little bland in comparison to today’s cars, it was beautiful for its time. It had the flip-up headlights, clear running lights, and charismatic body lines that told the world “I’m in charge.” In comparison to the new concept, the difference is night and day. The original 8 Series had those tiny, square grilles, a thin fascia, detailed side skirts, and thanks to that flat deck and plateaued rear quarters, an extremely low drag coefficient of 0.29 – a figure that put the BMW 635i and M6 to shame at the time (it beat it out by .10). This was part of the reason why the 6 Series was phased out while the original 8 series was still an infant on the market, but that’s only part of the reason. The original 8 Series was also the first vehicle to feature a CAN bus wiring system (eventually became an industry standard,) it featured throttle-by-wire for better throttle response and was once of the first car’s produced by BMW to use a multi-link rear axle. And, even more importantly, it was the first road car to be offered with a V-12 engine and six-speed manual gearbox!

Unfortunately, the 8 Series was also expensive with a starting price around $70,000, which would be closer to $130,000 in today’s money. Ultimately, BMW sold just over 31,000 examples throughout 10 years of production. That wasn’t much and it ultimately lead to the car being axed from the lineup. An official M8 was never introduced either, which seems like a major foul on BMW’s part, but the 90s were a troubling time of recession, war, and high energy prices. Be that as it may, the 8 Series still garnered the icon status it deserved, and that’s why we’re looking at a die-hard preview of its successor today in hopes that it will pick up where the original left off. Now that BMW has confirmed it, we’ll finally get to see that M8 we’ve been waiting almost 30 years for.


2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Not to say it’s not a gorgeous car because it is, but it’s not exactly what some expected.

Now that we’ve seen it in all of its glory, the 8 Series Concept has been met with some mixed emotions. That’s not to say it’s not a gorgeous car because it is, but it’s not exactly what some expected. First off, it’s finished in an exclusive color known as Barcelona Grey Liquid, which gives the car an iridescent appearance. Up front, it gets a pair of large, new-age kidney grilles that feature excessively sharp angles for a dominating look. The large air dam and corner vents round out the nose of the car, while the thin, sleek headlights give the car just enough sex appeal to make models like the Mercedes S-Class Coupe and Aston Martin Vanquish jealous. The hood is long and swoops downward at the nose while those sharp body lines give it a snarling appearance.

Moving over to the side profile, there’s a bit of a bubbly appearance around the wheel arches that are complemented by flat outlines. The body line on the fender blends seamlessly into the waistline while the middle body line has a wavy look at the rear quarter where it feeds into the haunches. A large vent in the front fender serves as the basis for the lowermost body line that runs along the bottom of the door and feeds into the lower front corner of the rear wheel wells. The low roofline provides for sleek side glass which is accented by chrome trim and thin side mirrors (finally, a concept that doesn’t have side cameras, huh?) Like the original 8 series, the rear quarters also have a bit of a plateau ahead of the waistline which not only ties the car to its roots but also provides for optimal aerodynamics. 21-inch wheels round out the side profile and fit the body styling just right with a dual, five-spoke layout.

2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The body and deck come together in the rear to create a lip spoiler of sorts that is flanked by wing-like, one-piece LED taillights.

Around back is where things get even more interesting. That sloping roofline continues with the rear glass, which ultimately leads smoothly into the rear deck. The body and deck come together in the rear to create a lip spoiler of sorts that is flanked by wing-like, one-piece LED taillights. The shape of the taillights make them look like enlarged versions of the LED strips in the headlights and provide for the best 3D taillights seen on a vehicle so far. Finally, the fascia does a good job at blending smooth elegance with aggressive styling thanks to those concave corners that lead into tall vents. There’s an air dam-like vent between the trapezoidal exhaust outlets that sit just inside the lower corners of the fascia.

If the production car does end up looking as well as this concept, we’ll see an official model from BMW that blends muscle, luxury, and modern aggressiveness all into one package. Even with a high price tag, it’s sure to be a hit.


2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Interior
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Where most BMW models have a center console that’s completely separate from the dash, the 8 Series Concept is all linked together with the center stack extending away from the dash and layering over the base of the center console.

The inside of the new 8 Series Concept is something that might be a bit unexpected if you’ve been following BMW in recent years. There’s no denying that the brand has a habit of repurposing interior design and technology among its lineup, but if this concept really is a representation of the production model we’ll see next year, that model will definitely stand out in the crowd. And, truth be told, it even makes the unique interior of the BMW i8 a bit obsolete in terms of style and execution. Where most BMW models have a center console that’s completely separate from the dash, the 8 Series Concept is all linked together with the center stack extending away from the dash and layering over the base of the center console. The tunnel of the 8 Series makes for a high-sitting console which is both styling and refreshing for a BMW. The dash itself is fairly smooth with just one sharp design cue that is executed with red contrast stitching that links the rearmost portion of the dash to the face. A gentle overhand casts a shadow over the fully digital instrument cluster which is accented by Alcantara on the steering column and flat-bottom steering wheel.

2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Interior
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2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Interior
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2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Interior
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The dark brown color of the dash and red contrast stitching carries over to the top of the center console and the very top of the door time panels.

The steering wheel in question in a three-spoke unit with a deep-sitting hub and silver insert on the bottom half, linking all three spokes together. The same silver trim can be found on the top of the door trim panels and around the triangular-ish corner HVAC vents in the dash. The dark brown color of the dash and red contrast stitching carries over to the top of the center console and the very top of the door time panels, but below that, a two-tone appearance comes into play with the bottom of the dash, tunnel, door trim panels, and all of the seats being finished in a Fjord White. Black carpets and a black roof liner set things apart a bit more, while the seats have a unique layout with a quilted and perforated center and a bit of extra padding in all of the right places to really make the seats hug your body when you’ve planted your posterior in them. Finally, subtle hints of polished carbon fiber on the doors and center console and red seatbelts tie the interior together. Not bad!


At this point, drivetrain information is as big a mystery as what’s on the dark side of the moon, but thanks to a walkaround video done by Auto Bild, we know what the concept sounds like:
(skip to 4:52 to hear the engine fire up)

Based on the sound, it’s certainly not a V-12, but it is likely to be the 4.4-liter V-8 found in the 7 Series. In that form, the engine produces 445 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 480 pound-feet at 1,800 rpm. It’s enough to get the 7 Series to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and up to an electronically governed speed of 155 mph. When it comes to a production version of the 8 Series, we’re expecting that 4.4-liter to be revised to produce a little more power and torque, while the entry-level model will likely get the 3.0-liter, inline-six found in the lesser variants of the 7 Series. In the 7 Series that engine produces 320 ponies and 330 pound-feet, so the 8 Series may see a bump to as much as 330 ponies and 340 pound-feet. Shifting duties will likely be handled by an updated version of BMW’s current eight-speed automatic with sport and manual shift modes.

But, there’s also a wildcard in the mix. See, the 7 Series is still available with a V-12 in M760 form, so the production version could, potentially, see that engine offered as well. Hopefully, that will be available in the official M model. Either way, that model will have somewhere around 600 ponies on tap and would be able to take on the Mercedes-AMG S63 and S65 models much better than anything with an inline-six or V-8.

840i 850i xDrive
Config/No of cyls/valves in line/6/4 V90/8/4
Fuel management DME 8.6 DME 8.8
Engine Technology BMW TwinPower Turbo BMW TwinPower Turbo
Turbo Type Twinscroll Twinscroll
Stroke mm 94.6 88.3
Bore mm 82 89
Displacement cm³ 2998 4395
Compression rate :1 11 10.5
Engine power 320 HP @ 5,200-6,500 RPM 445 HP @ 5,500-6,000 RPM
Engine torque 330 LB-FT @ 1,380 RPM 480 LB-FT @ 1,800-4,500 RPM
Top speed 130 MPH 130 MPH
Top speed opt (mph) 155 MPH 155 MPH
0-60 mph 5.4 seconds 4.3 seconds

Note: BMW 7 Series Drivetrain Specifications listed here.


2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Exterior
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At the end of the day, this concept is absolutely beautiful, even if it isn’t exactly what some were expecting to see. With this concept and the upcoming production model, we’ve got a front-row seat to watch the evolution of a brand, starting with one of the most iconic names to ever come from the Bimmer stable. That grille, the sharp lines, the plateaued rear haunches, that roofline, and the entire interior is all fresh compared to everything in the brand’s lineup, and we know a lot of this design philosophy will carry over to the production model and eventually the smaller models in the lineup. But now, the trick is for all of you to start saving so you can buy an 8 Series so that we can finally see what an official M8 will really be like.

What remains, however, is the sheer uncertainty of what happens with the 6 Series. Right now, that model is literally up in the air. There’s no telling if there’s room in Bimmer’s lineup for two larger coupes, and the 6 Series could very well end up seeing the same fate it did last time BMW used the 8 Series name. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see. If we start seeing a bunch of 6 Series special editions in the next year, that will be a strong hint that the name will be retired once again. But, for now, what do you think of the concept? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • Leave it
    • Could lose some styling when shifted into production
    • Could kill off the 6 Series again
    • No definite word on drivetrain or performance figures
Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert -
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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Munich. The BMW Group is using this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este to unveil the BMW Concept 8 Series, the essence of a modern-day BMW coupe wrapped up in an enthralling design study. The study car will serve as a taster of a forthcoming BMW model – the new BMW 8 Series Coupe, slated for launch in 2018 and part of the biggest model offensive in the company’s history. The NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy sees the BMW Group aiming to significantly increase sales and revenues in the luxury class, and the BMW 8 Series Coupe plays an important role here. “The number 8 has always represented the pinnacle of sports performance and exclusivity at BMW,” explains Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG Harald Krüger. “The forthcoming BMW 8 Series Coupe will demonstrate that razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury can go hand-in-hand. This will be the next model in the expansion of our luxury-car offering and will raise the benchmark for coupes in the segment. In the process, we will strengthen our claim to leadership in the luxury class.”

The BMW Concept 8 Series reveals much of what is to come. “The BMW Concept 8 Series is our take on a full-blooded high-end driving machine,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “It is 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.”

2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The exterior brings together the past and the future. The BMW Concept 8 Series is immediately recognisable as a BMW, but also displays new design ideas and form-building techniques. “The design of the BMW Concept 8 Series provides a fresh interpretation of iconic BMW styling cues,” adds van Hooydonk. “And it also showcases a new approach to the use of forms which is reflected particularly prominently in the car’s surfacing. A handful of crisp lines mark out clear surfaces, and the car’s volumes are powerfully sculpted. Together, these elements make a forceful statement and create a model brimming with character. In short, this is a driver’s car.”

The flanks: expansive surfaces set within a sporting outline. The silhouette of the BMW Concept 8 Series spreads low and powerfully over the road. The interplay of a long bonnet and flowing roofline bring dynamic allure to the car’s flanks, while the striking upward sweep of the concept’s trailing edge provides a crisp conclusion to the car’s rearward flow and adds another sporting flourish.

Within the car’s silhouette, the refreshingly clean yet also dramatic arrangement of surfaces and forms catches the eye and creates a crisp, modern look. The sharply drawn lines coursing over taut volumes represent a visual promise of the vividly dynamic driving experience that awaits.

2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Exterior
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A look at the details reveals two expressively styled character lines providing the border for surfacing that appears to be formed by air rushing out of the Air Breathers. Further back, the eye is guided to the pronounced flaring above the rear wheels. The flanks as a whole draw attention to a new aspect of BMW’s expertise in the execution of surfaces. Skilfully moulded line sources and flowing highlights accentuate the athletic contours of the BMW Concept 8 Series. And the exclusively developed exterior paint finish Barcelona Grey Liquid – a greyish-blue with highly iridescent pigments – shows off the surfacing to optimum effect. Large (21-inch) light-alloy wheels feature a sporty and exclusive multi-spoke design and aero elements, generate visual depth and set the seal of the compelling appearance of the car when viewed in profile.

The front end: sporty, low-slung and visually striking. A large kidney grille, slim twin headlights and large air intakes form a striking, sporty front-end graphic. The classic BMW template has a fresh interpretation here, taking the company’s design language in a different direction. For example, the two kidneys are very low to the road and spread broadly across the front end. Taking inspiration from BMW coupes of years past, the kidneys are brought together by an unbroken frame to form a single large element. The grille widens as it extends downwards, emphasising the dynamic character of the BMW Concept 8 Series. Together with super-slim laser headlights and the hexagonal take on the “twin circular” theme, it brings a focused look to the front end.

The large side air intakes in the front apron intensify the car’s wide, sporting stance on the road and promise a very pure dynamic experience. The carbon-fibre element between them underlines the car’s sporty, high-performance character.

2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The rear: bold and modern. Emotional surfacing also dominates at the rear of the BMW Concept 8 Series, creating a low, highly sculpted tail with maximum width-enhancing effect. The rear is defined by the interplay between volumes and lines, which extend around from the flanks and shape the rear section of the car. The powerful wheel arches hint at the car’s dynamic talents and advertise its rear-wheel drive. And the tapering of the passenger cell and the car’s wide track shine a particularly vivid spotlight on this area of the car.

The slim, stretched-out rear lights extend far into the sides of the car and provide a connection between the rear and flanks. The lights themselves take the form of L-shaped blades and project out from the rear. They emphasise the width of the car and its muscular stance on the road, and their slender form gives the rear an ultra-sporty and modern flavour.

The dark, stylised carbon-fibre diffuser in the lower section of the rear apron adds extra lightness and a sportier feel to the rear graphic. Large, trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes frame the rear section and point to the dynamic driving experience to come.

2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Interior
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The interior: an emotionally rich blend of dynamics and luxury. The interior focuses on the essential: the task of driving. Once behind the wheel, the driver is wrapped in the tightly enclosed ambience typical of sports cars. The surfaces and lines all gravitate forwards and underscore the dynamic driving experience. The grouping of functions into control clusters, e.g. in the centre stack, the centre console and the doors, gives the interior a clear graphic structure.

Among the standout design elements in the interior are the fluid transition from the instrument panel into the doors and the sporty, enveloping feel of the interior. This impression is magnified by the smooth connection between the centre console and instrument panel, which together form the nucleus of the interior. The high centre console and the instrument panel’s low visual focus add further emphasis to the snug and sporty feeling of space.

The interior of the BMW Concept 8 Series actively explores the contrasts between emotion and engineering, dynamic flair and luxury; its form suggests supreme sportiness, while exquisite materials exude exclusivity and high-grade design. For example, all of the driver’s contact points with the car are brimming with sporting character. The exclusive sports seats are slim in design, the carbon-fibre shell providing the basic structure and the finest leather making them the perfect place to sit. The steering wheel continues along similar lines, its hand-polished aluminium spokes arrowing forward purposefully, and the red-anodised shift paddles bring the race track to mind. The contrast of aluminium and dark leather on the gripping surfaces emphasises this luxurious sense of sportiness in various details.

2017 BMW 8 Series Concept High Resolution Interior
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Merino leather in Dark Brown and Fjord White lends the interior a high-quality ambience. Accent surfaces in carbon fibre and hand-polished aluminium create deliberate contrasts and radiate a sporty and technical feel. Plus, a faceted ground gearshift lever and the iDrive Controller made from Swarovski glass with a smoky quartz look treat the interior to some modern and classy finishing touches.

A sign of things to come. The BMW Concept 8 Series is a preview of a model which BMW is set to introduce in a similar form in the coming year. The BMW 8 Series Coupe will build on the company’s successful tradition of luxurious sports cars and adds another exciting model – a genuine dream car – to its existing luxury-class line-up.

The BMW 8 Series Coupe will bring together razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury, and set new benchmarks in the luxury coupe segment.

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