Since the M1 of 1978, the auto enthusiast world pines for the next great M car, and BMW is teasing with a new Concept M8 Gran Coupe it says embodies a new luxury direction for the company — ultra sporty and polarizing.
“The BMW 8 Series will take over as the new flagship model of the BMW line-up and, as such, combines unsurpassed sportiness and elegance,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe offers a look ahead to the most exotic and alluring variant of the new BMW 8 Series.”
The last new 8 Series coupe rolled out of the factory in 1999, and the last new M8 was sold off about a decade earlier (it was only made in 1990). So, when BMW revealed a Concept 8 Series in May 2017, BMW fans’ interest was piqued. And when BMW announced a new 8 Series would be launched in 2018, they jumped right to expectations of what a new M version would be like.
They probably didn’t expect it to be a 4-door coupe, though (given that the Concept 8 Series was a 2-door), which is the guise in which the latest BMW concept is presented. But BMW explains that the M stands for “more” … more of everything — performance, dynamic excellence and, apparently, doors (although there will presumably also be an M8 2-door variant).
The Concept M8 Gran Coupe profile is elegantly coupe-like, with a long hood and short rear deck creating the classic dynamic stance, and a long wheelbase hints at stability while providing ample legroom for cabin occupants. The hallmark M gills are located behind he front wheels and flow into the doors that have been scooped out to again accentuate the lower body sides riding close to the road surface.
“The BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe is designed to stir things up, to polarise – it should move you emotionally,” explains Domagoj Dukec, Vice President Design BMW M and BMW i. “With this car we want to reach people who are looking for something special and who want to stand out from the crowd. Here, BMW M is unmistakably taking luxury out of its comfort zone.”
The Concept M8 follows up on the Concept 8’s design language that will reportedly permeate through coming BMW products and accentuate dynamism in body panel design without an abundance of character lines.
The hallmark BMW kidney grille is larger and set above a bumper with integrated large openings for improved engine and brake cooling. It’s all meant to create the impression of riding close to the road, and is further promoted by the hexagonal-shaped quad headlights (another signature design cue) that sit higher than the kidney-grille, adding to the impression of the nose sitting lower to the pavement.
Even the Salève Vert exterior paint is dynamic, changing between green and grey-blue depending on how the light hits it. Gold accenting on the windows, window surround, wheels spokes and brake callipers adds a premium accent to the car.
The rear accentuates the wide track of the car, again to visually depict stability and muscularity, with the body panel below the integrated rear spoiler catching light to create one of the few character lines. The quad tailpipes are also accented in gold, and the narrow high mounted taillights are fitted with darkened covers, again to promote the muscular width of the car.
The car is due to supplement the 8 Series line in 2019, with a planned Gran Coupe and M8 Gran Coupe.