The design study previews future styling language and an upcoming production model

Hot on the heels of a leak recently published online, BMW has revealed its latest 8 Series Concept car in a succession of official photos and video. The design study is scheduled to make its full public debut at the Concoso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este show in Italy this weekend, a venue where BMW has a history of revealing awesome concepts (last year, the automaker offered up the slick 2002 Hommage Concept). The 8 Series Concept is framed as a modern sports coupe worthy of flagship status, and previews an upcoming production model arriving sometime next year. BMW hopes this sleek sports coupe will manage to rekindle consumer interest in large luxury two-doors with a dollop of sporting intent under the hood.

“The number 8 has always represented the pinnacle of sports performance and exclusivity at BMW,” said Harald Kruger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “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 8 Series Concept will replace the 6 Series Coupe in BMW’s lineup, surpassing the outgoing model in terms of exterior dimensions. Built on the same platform as the 7 Series, the 8 Series is also rumored to receive a turbo V-12 powerplant for motivation.

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Taking A Closer Look – Exterior Styling

2014 BMW 6-Series High Resolution Exterior
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BMW's 8 Series Concept Looks Dead Sexy Exterior High Resolution
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2014 - 2017 6 Series Couple 2017 8 Series Coupe Concept

BMW contends the 8 Series Coupe Concept manages to combine styling elements that insinuate both luxury and performance, two features that are definitely not mutually exclusive these days. It’s also supposedly infused with cues from the past and the future, but to my eye, it looks strikingly similar to the outgoing 6 Series coupe – not all that surprising, considering where the production model will slot in for the refreshed BMW lineup.

To my eye, it looks strikingly similar to the outgoing 6 Series coupe.

Up front, the classic BMW kidney grille is still present, with larger dimensions and multiple vertical slats finished in chrome. The headlights get a slim, taut appearance for the housings, and use dual hexagonal shapes for the lights, with lasers used for the lighting elements. In the sides are large intakes complete with carbon fiber inserts.

BMW's 8 Series Concept Looks Dead Sexy Exterior High Resolution
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The whole thing looks very low and very wide, with traditional coupe like elements like a long hood line, cab-back proportions, low roofline, and upturned rear. The front side intakes seem to open into vents behind the front fenders, creating indentations in the flanks that add the car’s visual width around the wheels. Speaking of the rollers, the 8 Series Coupe Concept is equipped with 21-inch units made from a lightweight alloy and employing a multi-spoke design. You’ll also notice there are no side view mirrors, with visual cameras used instead to reduce the aero drag and up the coolness factor.

BMW's 8 Series Concept Looks Dead Sexy Exterior High Resolution
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In back, the 8 Series Coupe Concept uses a broad, rectangular design specifically created to increase the car’s visual width even further, with a wide track and plumped-up wheel arches adding extra girth. BMW also says the look underlines the car’s sporty, RWD personality. There are slim, L-shaped taillights, plus a carbon fiber lower diffuser and apron element. Dual exhaust tips get a trapezoidal shape.

Finally, the whole shebang is slathered in a Barcelona Grey Liquid paint color, which offers a grey-blue hue with iridescent pigments.

Taking A Closer Look – Interior Styling

BMW's 8 Series Concept Looks Dead Sexy Interior High Resolution
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Inside, the Concept gets several geometric design elements and a futuristic feel, although personally, I’m more impressed with the exterior design. Nevertheless, the cabin is still quite the looker, with a driver-oriented layout and sports car-like feel. There are various “control clusters” located in the center stack, center console, and doors, and the designers incorporated a “fluid transition from the instrument panel into the doors” to help complete the feeling of being wrapped inside the cabin space.

BMW's 8 Series Concept Looks Dead Sexy Interior High Resolution
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Personally, I’m more impressed with the exterior design, but the cabin is still quite the looker

The seats aren’t your typical comfort sitters, but instead use a lightweight carbon fiber shell with what appears to be minimal padding, underlining the 8 Series Coupe’s sporting intentions. Of course, this is still a luxury car we’re talking about, and as such, the upholstery includes plenty of hide. The steering wheel gets a flat bottom and top, plus polished aluminum spokes and red-anodized shift paddles, contrasting the darker hues with a splash of color.

BMW's 8 Series Concept Looks Dead Sexy Interior High Resolution
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Materials include Merino leather in both a Dark Brown and Fjord White finish. Accents are provided in carbon fiber and aluminum. The iDrive Controller in the central tunnel is made from Swarovski glass and gets a “smoky quartz look,” while additional carbon is used for the background. The 8 Series logo was also etched into the sizable side sills.

BMW's 8 Series Concept Looks Dead Sexy Interior High Resolution
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Behind the wheel, you’ll find all digital instrumentation, which appears to be customizable, depending on the conditions at hand. Info on the multiple driving modes and electronic driver’s aides is relayed to the driver.

Conclusion

BMW's 8 Series Concept Looks Dead Sexy Exterior High Resolution
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While Bimmer is giving us an eyeful with these press images, the automaker doesn’t go into much detail regarding onboard tech. Of course, it’s probably safe to assume the production iteration will get the latest suite of safety gear (adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, automatic parking pilot, etc.), plus BMW standouts like gesture control.

What do you think of the new concept’s design, and what do you wanna see from the production model? Is it a hit or a miss? Let us know in the comments section below.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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