I had a different idea of what the new 8 Series would look like

Those who routinely follow TopSpeed are probably already aware of my infatuation towards the BMW 8 Series. I’ve waxed poetic about it. I’ve put posters of it on my wall. At one point, I may have had a dream that I got married to one. I loved the 8 Series in the 90s and I still love it today. So as you can imagine, I’m heavily invested in the new BMW 8 Series. I want it to look as good as it’s predecessor. I want it to do better than its predecessor. Most of all, I want it to live up to my expectations, which are admittedly higher than most people. So when I saw the BMW 8 Series Concept, my reaction was summed up in two words: “Oh, no.”

It’s not that I don’t like the 8 Series Concept. I actually do. It looks clean, sharp, and exciting. If BMW rolled out the concept without identifying it as the 8 Series Concept, I’d be gushing all over it. The problem is that it didn’t live up to my expectations of what the 8er could look like because it’s not 8 Series material. Check that; it’s not flagship model material. For instance, I imagined it being a bigger than what it is. That could still be the case if BMW decides to add sedan and Gran Coupe variants in the future, but for what it showed, there’s an absence of that "wow factor" that I expected out of it.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

It’s not what I expected

Before I get crucified for not liking the 8 Series Concept as well as I thought I would, it’s important to remember what the old 8 Series looked like. Without further adieu, take a look at this beauty.

1989 - 1999 BMW 8-series
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note: photo of the 1990s BMW 8 Series

In addition to being significantly bigger than every other BMW at that time, the 1990s 8 Series also stood out from an aesthetic standpoint. Remember, it came at a time when every BMW model from that era featured round, quad headlamps. BMW completely went against the grain with the design of the 8 Series by not only using horizontal lights on the front, but also bringing back the retractable lights that we hadn’t seen in a BMW since the M1 was discontinued in 1981. The 1990s BMW 8 Series had a revolutionary design that identified it as a legitimate flagship model.

The BMW 8 Series Concept Falls Short Of Expectations Exterior High Resolution
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To be fair, I do like the concept’s rear section. It’s different and it’s cutting-edge, exactly what the 8 Series should be like.

As I said, my biggest issue with the new 8 Series Concept is the absence of that “wow!” factor. To be fair, I do like the concept’s rear section. It’s different and it’s cutting-edge, exactly what the 8 Series should be like. I don’t even have an issue with the side section. The curves are there that make it sexy. Just make it a little bigger so we can see those line in more pronounced ways and that should go a long way in shaping a new look for the 8 Series. My dismay, though, is in the front section of the concept. It just doesn’t pop the way I thought it be and one of the first things I thought of when I saw it was how it didn’t depart dramatically away from what today’s BMWs looked like. The old 8 Series did that, but the new 8 Series Concept doesn’t. With the exception of the sharp, angular headlights, I could close my eyes and still see semblances of the BMW 6 Series in the design. Even the manner by which the two kidney grilles jut out and expose themselves more prominently than usual is something that I wouldn’t have expected from the 8 Series Concept.

The BMW 8 Series Concept Falls Short Of Expectations Exterior High Resolution
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The BMW 8 Series Concept Falls Short Of Expectations Exterior High Resolution
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I wanted the new 8 Series to be a model that had none of the pretenses of the company’s current lineup.

Once again, I don’t hate the design of the 8 Series Concept. In a world devoid of expectations, I’ll be the first one to say that it looks awesome because it really does. But I had something in mind when I thought of the 8 Series. I wanted the new 8 Series to be a model that had none of the pretenses of the company’s current lineup. I wanted BMW to steer against the skid and come up with something completely different, something that will make people stand up and say, “holy-you-know-what.”

The 8 Series Concept didn’t do that for me and I hope that when the production model does arrive, I can look back at the concept version and say “much better, BMW. Much better.”

What do you think?
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