BMW Mulling Over a 9 Series Maybach Fighter
Is it possible that the 8 Series isn’t BMW’s flagship after all?by Kirby, on
Just when it seemed like BMW had finally stretched itself into the luxury segment with the 8 Series, a new report suggests that the German automaker wants to go deeper into the luxury realm with — wait for it — a 9 Series model. Granted, nothing is set in stone at the moment, but Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW’s design director, hinted to Autocar that the 8 Series isn’t the end of the German automaker’s voyage into the world of luxury models.
BMW 9 Series News
At first, a lot of people thought that the 8 Series would be the model that BMW would line up against other luxury models like Mercedes-Maybach
There have been quiet whispers about a BMW 9 Series, but it never became loud enough to reach full rumor status. It turns out; there might be more to those whispers than we thought. BMW’s design chief, Adrian van Hooydonk, pulled the curtains a bit when he told Autocar that BMW isn’t going to stop thinking about ways to go above the 8 Series. “We won’t stop there,” van Hooydonk said. “Obviously our job is to have more ideas than the company can build because the other way round would be very bad. My team and I are now looking at 2021 and beyond – as far out as 2030. We have a lot of plans.”
As for what those plans are, well, it’s on us to figure them out. At first, a lot of people thought that the 8 Series would be the model that BMW would line up against other luxury models like Mercedes-Maybach. It looked that way in the beginning, too, but when the 8er arrived, it felt more like the embodiment of a grand tourer, not a full-scale luxury sedan/limousine. We didn’t notice it at first, but hindsight is a tried-and-true friend. As much as we thought it was — or as much as we wanted it to be — the 8 Series wasn’t the luxury flagship we’ve been waiting for BMW to have. It could, though, be the 9 Series.
If BMW is going to take the fight to Mercedes-Maybach, it’s going to have to tap into Rolls-Royce’s resources to get the job done
So what does BMW need to do with the rumored 9 Series to make it a full-fledged rival to the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class? The obvious answer is to dial the luxury amenities up to 11. BMW would need a bigger platform, a bigger engine, and all the luxury features and technologies it can drop on one model. Fortunately, BMW owns a company that happens to be an authority in those departments: Rolls-Royce.
If BMW is going to take the fight to Mercedes-Maybach, it’s going to have to tap into Rolls-Royce’s resources to get the job done. Whether that means using the Ghost’s 6.6-liter, twin-turbo, V-12 — it produces 562 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque, by the way — or tapping into the Phantom’s wealth of luxury materials, BMW has the resources and the ability to make it happen.
While all of that is established, the timetable for the 9 Series is less so. Hooydonk didn’t mention any specific date, but don’t expect it to arrive anytime soon. BMW still needs to roll out a number of different 8 Series models, including the highly anticipated Gran Coupe. That model should arrive in 2019, at which point BMW execs should have a better idea on whether to build a larger and more expensive model.
Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 8 Series.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW 9 Series.
Read more BMW news.