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BMW To Revive 8 Series By End Of Decade?

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On: Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 4:03PM | By: Carl Malek

BMW To Revive 8 Series By End Of Decade?

Rumors of a possible revival of the 8 Series moniker have floated around the automotive industry for several years, but so far no solid proof has surfaced of whether BMW is, indeed, reviving its flagship model. However, a new report has added new fuel to these speculations, and it appears that BMW is, indeed, moving forward with the idea of adding the technology and styling-themed model back into its lineup.

According to the report, which was released by the folks at Autocar, BMW will design the model as a new technology-based flagship that would allow the Bavarian firm to take on the recently unveiled S-Class coupe while filling a notable void in its product lineup at the same time. According to the report, BMW is considering multiple configurations for the 8 Series including a sleeker four door coupe that would be bigger and more exclusive than the current generation 6 Series Gran Coupe. This configuration would make sense since four door coupes have seen an upswing in demand, and would remove some of the practicality issues that surround a pure two door offering.

In addition to this setup, BMW executives are considering a formal two door coupe, as well as a droptop version to allow the 8 Series to take on the S-Class convertible in sunnier climates. The latter offering would finally fulfill shelved plans that were first started 25 years ago when BMW originally considered an 850i cabrio model to spruce up the coupe-only 8 Series lineup. However, the cabrio was shelved, thanks to financial constraints, as well as the lukewarm reception that the coupe received from buyers during its time in the marketplace. This was mainly due to its unique styling and high pricing, as well as initial teething problems with the car's technology-laden interior which helped give the 8 Series a reputation for unreliability, and forced buyers to cough up serious cash for the replacement of key components. Ultimately the model was killed off when its sales were affected by a recession in the early 90s and the Persian Gulf war which created enormous spikes in oil and energy prices.

BMW, for its part, has not issued any public statements on whether it indeed intends to officially revive the moniker. However, the Pininfarina-penned Gran Lusso Coupe concept does appear to hint at these intentions, and could possibly preview what a production 8 Series could look like. The concept was built on a heavily modified 7-Series platform and borrowed the V12 engine from the 760Li which was good for a healthy 544 horsepower. Like its 90s era ancestor, the newly revived 8 Series would also utilize a V12, though it will be interesting to see if BMW will add a V8-powered base model to help it meet stricter fuel economy targets, as well as help expose the car to a larger segment of flagship luxury car buyers.

This latest report would also contradict prior rumors which suggested that BMW would christen the new model as the 9 Series, skipping the 8 Series designation altogether. Regardless of which direction the alleged model will go, look for it to be previewed in concept form by the 2018 model year before going on sale two years later as a late 2020 model. Hopefully BMW will not make the same mistakes that it made when it originally unleashed the 8 Series in 1989, especially in regards to overall vehicle pricing as well as the types of technology that it will shoehorn into the new model. I suspect the latter will not be as much of an issue since computer technology has greatly improved compared to 25 years ago and continues to see marked improvements in both reliability as well as the cost of implementation.


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