Somewhere in Munich is BMW’s all-new luxury flagship; it’s the new 8 Series coupe, and we know it exists because we’ve seen spy photos of the prototype. BMW tells us that it’s real, and keeps tantalizing us with concepts and race cars based on the new 8 Series, but it’s still keeping the actual G15 8 Series coupe, the G14 convertible, and the G16 Gran Coupé under wraps. Their latest teasing peek into the future is a concept version of the Gran Coupé M8 called, strangely enough, the BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupé. It made its debut at this month’s 2018 Geneva International Motor Show.
BMW calls the Concept M8 Gran Coupé “a polarizing ultra-sporty extrovert.” We call it gorgeous. We can only hope that many of the design elements make it to the basic 8 Series.
“The BMW 8 Series will take over as the new flagship model of the BMW lineup, and as such, it combines unsurpassed sportiness and elegance,” noted Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupé offers a look ahead to the most exotic and alluring variant of the new BMW 8 Series.”
Domagoj Dukec, Vice President Design BMW M and BMW i, goes even further, saying, “The BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupé is designed to stir things up, to polarize—it should move you emotionally. 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.”
In a throwback to early BMW coupes, the kidney grille surround is unbroken, creating a large single design element. The gold color of the surround is intended to add an “air of exclusivity.” The large carbon-fiber front air intakes immediately make you think BMW M.
Although this coupe has four doors, necessitating the “Gran Coupé” moniker, other design elements are pure coupe—the long hood, for example, and the roofline flowing into the short trunk deck. High shoulders and flared wheel arches not only scream coupe, but a seriously high-performance coupe. The carbon fiber roof indicates that BMW has at least tried to reduce the weight of this M concept.
The color of this Gran Coupé is Salève Vert. We get the “vert” part, since that’s French for green, but we had to look up the Salève part. It’s a mountain in the French Prealps, and is also known as the “Balcony of Geneva.” Okay, we get it now.
The color appears to shift from green to greyish-blue depending on the light, and goes well with the gold-colored accents, wheels, and exhaust pipes.
Although this concept whets our appetite for the M8 coupe and the M8 Gran Coupé, we won’t see the production versions until next year. Let’s hope that the next glimpse BMW sends our way of the new 8 Series coupe is the actual new 8 Series coupe due out later this year. These concepts are great, but it’s time for the real thing.—Scott Blazey
[Photos courtesy of BMW AG.]