► BMW 8-series spy photos and scoop
► We pap 8-series Convertible in snow
► Full dossier on G14 and G15 twins
Farewell, 6-series - welcome the new BMW 8-series. Yes, Munich is dropping the Six in favour of the Eight, and our new spy photos capture the new 8-series Convertible on winter test in an old-cold Swedish scene.
It’s a familiar motif: nudge the numbers up to reflect a move upmarket - and, hopefully, push the price up to boot. Yet this is not merely a cynical rebranding of today’s 6-series. The new Eight range will have a remarkably different purpose, CAR understands.
We've also got fresh spy pictures of the new 8-series Coupe (below).
We expect the new 8-series range to be launched in late 2018, with UK sales due to start in November or December. It’s too early for prices, but a starting cost of around £70,000 seems likely.
Today's 6-series range kicks off at around £61k, but the Coupe isn't currently listed on BMW UK's website (only the Convertible, Gran Coupe and Gran Turismo Sixes are on sale).
BMW 8-series Coupe and Convertible: how they’re different from the 6-series range
The jump in number reflects a wider change to this car’s remit. The concept of the big luxo-GTs will be tweaked to turn these into more sporting, agile four-seater grand-tourers. Previously, the 6-series was targeted at the S-class Coupe and Cabriolet twins, as well as lower-rung Maseratis and Bentleys - but with the 8-series, BMW wants to chase more Porsche sales.
Insiders talk of a smaller footprint, more sporting proportions and a - modest - drop in kerbweight, meaning that the 8-series will move into competition with the Porsche 911 range, as well as Panameras.
The new 8-series models will use the familiar BMW group large-car architecture, so much of the hardware is shared with the 5-series/7-series brigade, which points to a choice of rear- and xDrive all-wheel drive and a variety of six- and eight-cylinder engines in various states of tune. A V12 can be added, should the market require it.
Munich has already shown an M8 concept car in the shape of the race-liveried M8 GTE, which will be campaigned in track-spec at the 2018 Le Mans 24 hours race in the GT category. Its twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 pushes out more than 500bhp.
See the BMW M8 GTE in our separate story here
What about an 8-series GranCoupe?
No more, according to CAR’s sources in Munich. We hear the four-door bodystyle will continue as a 6-series, as BMW focuses on two-door coupe (codenamed G15) and convertible (G14) shapes for the Eight.
For a taste of what the cars look like under the disguise of this prototype, check out the very official-looking BMW Concept 8-series show car (above) shown at the Villa d’Este concours d’elegance in Italy in 2017.
BMW chief executive Harald Krüger calls the new 8-series ‘the next model in the expansion of our luxury-car offering and will raise the benchmark for coupes in the segment.’
See the new BMW 8-series Coupe for the first time at the 2018 Paris motor show in September, with UK sales starting this autumn; the 8-series Convertible will make its world debut at the LA motor show in November 2018, with right-hand drive deliveries pushing back into spring 2019.
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