It sure seems like it

Rumors about BMW reviving the 8 Series have been floating around for many years and the Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe concept that the German firm unveiled in 2013 poured even more gasoline on the fire. However, BMW has extremely quiet on the matter and it seemed that the 8 Series wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. This changed today, when a rather unusual test car was caught stretching its wheels on the Nurburgring track.

And I say "unusual" because it’s larger than the 6 Series and seems to borrow some features from the Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe concept. What’s more, there are hints of M-designed elements, which means we could be looking at the highly anticipated M8.

The coupe feels pretty impressive on the ’Ring. Although it has a low stance, the car is quite massive and leans heavily while cornering. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s as heavy as a regular full-size car, but it’s not exactly an M4 either. The styling is obviously of the 6 Series variety. There’s a long hood, a heavily raked roof toward the rear, and a long decklid. However, the overall shape is notably different than a standard 6 Series and the body is significantly longer.

Although wrapped in camouflaged almost entirely, the headlamps are obviously slim, while the kidney-grille is massive, occupying more than half of the car’s width. Both the front end configuration and the profile seem based on the Pininfarina Grand Lusso concept. Below the grille, there are massive vents that may have been designed by the M division. The same goes for the rear bumper, which has large trapezoidal exhaust pipes at each corner. Another hint that this is an M car are the blue M calipers and the larger brake rotors.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it Matters

Is BMW Already Testing the M8 on the Nurburgring? Exterior Spyshots
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Is BMW Already Testing the M8 on the Nurburgring? Exterior Spyshots
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It’s obviously all speculation here and this car may very well be just a regular 8 Series with an M Sport package, but the important thing is that BMW is actually testing a coupe larger than the 6 Series. This is great news for enthusiasts and a wise decision from BMW, which is having trouble keeping up with Mercedes-Benz in the full-size luxury segment. Munich is in dire need of a big coupe to compete against the S-Class Coupe, and the 8 Series is the best answer it can provide. Rolling out a performance, M-badged version of the big two-door only makes things that much better. A production model could be showcased by the end of 2017, so make sure you stick around for updates.

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