Could the 8 finally be making its long-awaited comeback?

The long wait for the return of the BMW 8 Series is over. The German automaker recently filed trademark applications on a number of 8 Series-related names, marking the first concrete step that BMW is planning to bring back the car it once referred to as its flagship model. Among the names that were trademarked with global intellectual property regulators include 825, 830, 835, 850, 845, 860, M850, and M8.

A source inside BMW confirmed to Auto Express that the trademark of these names are part of a bigger plan that also involves the 6 Series. Apparently, BMW is making a reshuffling of its GT lineup after identifying the 6 Series as the automaker’s official answer to both the Porsche 911 and the Mercedes-AMG GT. As such, the 6 will be developed to become a full-bred, two-seater sports car to compete against the 911 and AMG-GT, leaving a hole in the company’s lineup for a premium performance GT. That hole, it appears, will be filled up by the returning 8 Series.

Specific details about the 8 Series have yet to be revealed, but it does look like BMW will be going all-in on the new model with an assortment of different variants, including a range-topping version that will more or less morph into the M8. Look for this model to compete against the cream of the crop in the luxury-performance segment. That includes cars like the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe and the Bentley Continental GT.

Engine-wise, BMW can go a number of directions on what it wants the 8 Series to come with. The likely choice would the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 that’s already in use by a number of M-badged models but don’t be surprised if the company also looks in the direction of the 7 Series’ V-12 engine. After all, the first iteration of the M8 was supposed to be powered by a V-12 before BMW decided on scrapping the project altogether because of a lack of interest from customers.

Rest assured, BMW’s customers are far more sophisticated than they’ve ever been and whatever perceived "lack of interest" in the 8 Series and the M8 is unlikely to be a problem now.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

Finally! BMW is bringing back the 8 Series! I know what you’re thinking. The first 8 Series wasn’t all that good, and in some ways, I agree with you. But for an impressionable young man back in the mid-90s, the 8 Series occupied a generous amount of wall space in my bedroom. I loved the car and all the quirks it came with, especially the “flip-top” headlights that was the rage for a lot of sports cars back in the day.

I loved the 8 Series back then, its perceived shortcomings notwithstanding. But a case can also be made that the car’s lack of success could be attributed to a number of things that were outside of BMW’s control. The most prominent of which was the global recession in 1991. The Persian Gulf War also had an effect, as did the soaring prices of energy back then. The 8 Series was a victim of bad luck, bad timing, or both in its first run and BMW never really got to see the full potential of the car.

Fortunately, we live in a very different world now, one that has proven to be more accommodating to luxury performance cars like the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe and the Bentley Continental GT. Those two models have become stalwarts of the segment and their popularity has proven that it’s a market that BMW can enter and compete in provided it has the car to get do it.

That’s where the 8 Series comes into the picture and I can’t be more excited to see how BMW develops the car. The number of trademarks filed suggest the company is preparing a number of variants, including the M850 and the M8, the two models that could turn into the range-topping versions of the model.

I can’t wait to see what happens here even though there is no timetable on when the model will arrive. All I know is that I’ve waited a long time for the 8 Series to return and I’m not losing any hope of seeing it again, especially now that it appears that BMW is as close as it’s ever been to green-lighting its long-overdue comeback.

What do you think?
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