While BMWs are more popular than they’ve ever been, it has been a while since the brand broke any new ground on the styling front – the exotic i8 hybrid excepted. Let’s face it – for those not devoted to the marque, one BMW looks pretty much like another apart from their different body-styles.
But not for much longer! The BMW Concept 8 Series, unveiled at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, in Italy, is a styling tour de force that, while unmistakeably a BMW, brings the brand back to the styling forefront.
The concept’s svelte shape previews the look of a new 8 Series Coupe, scheduled for launch in 2018 as part of what the company calls the biggest model offensive in its history.
“The number 8 has always represented the pinnacle of sports performance and exclusivity at BMW,” says Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “This will be the next model in the expansion of our luxury-car offering and will raise the benchmark for coupes in the segment.”
The exterior design deliberately blends the past with the future. “The design of the BMW Concept 8 Series provides a fresh interpretation of iconic BMW styling cues,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “And it also showcases a new approach to the use of forms which is reflected particularly prominently in the car’s surfacing.”
Highlighting that form and its classic long-hood, short-deck profile, is an exclusively developed exterior paint finish called Barcelona Grey Liquid – a greyish-blue with highly iridescent pigments. Huge 21-inch light-alloy wheels create a counterpoint for the eye.
Of course, the front end features yet another variation of BMW’s twin-kidney grille, in this case set low to the road and spread broadly across the front end. It is flanked by super-slim laser headlights and large air intakes, with a distinctive carbon-fibre element between them.
In the rear, slim, wide lights extend far around the sides of the car, emphasizing its width and its muscular, rear-wheel-drive stance. A stylized carbon-fibre diffuser in the lower section of the rear apron and large, trapezoidal exhaust pipes add to the sporty look.
Inside, the driver is the focus. Functional elements are grouped into control clusters, in the centre stack, the centre console and the doors, with fluid-like visual transitions from one surface to another.
Slim sports seats combine a carbon-fibre shell with luxurious dark leather, while the steering wheel and other interior features are highlighted by carbon-fibre and hand-polished aluminum trim – plus Swarovski glass!
No details yet about its drivetrain but BMW says when it comes to market the new 8 Series Coupe will bring together razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury that new benchmarks in the luxury coupe segment.