BMW released the first set of official teaser images of the upcoming 8-Series, and even with the intricate camouflage paint, it’s easy to see the new super coupe is seriously pretty. And aside from the immediate, obvious reasons the new car needs to be a success, BMW has a lot riding on its new flagship.
BMW’s recent history with big two-door cars is rocky, at best. The last two generations of the 6-Series never hit the mark on looks, were too bulky to be real, svelt performance coupes and never presented a challenge to two-door grand tourers in the $77,000 price range. The 4-Series took over some of that responsibility while coming in at a much lower price point than the old 6 — but, it’s positioned and designed as a more aggressive sports car, rather than a lofty, luxurious grand touring coupe, like the S-Class or Aston DB11.
The 8-Series is a clear look into the future of BMW’s design, which, ironically enough, seems to be a beautiful callback to the simple, uncluttered design of the original 850i. From what little information we have on the upcoming 8-Series, it looks BMW might have nailed it this time by staying focused building a car that can compete on looks and experience in the segment it’s aiming for.
However, this weekend, the BMW M8 race car will make its official debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona. I know, I just said BMW is focusing on building a dedicated, comfortable touring car and attempting to make that into a race car already reeks of compromise. But, if BMW is clever about it, the street-legal M8 will only share its base architecture with the vanilla 8-Series cars. Much in the same way the AMG GT will share its bones with the next Mercedes SL63 and SL65 — two different cars, for entirely different customers, right around the same price point. In BMW’s case, it’ll be the M8 and the top of the line 8-Series. The former: a stripped out, focused apex hunter, which is expected to get power from a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. The latter: a cushioned, coastal cruiser (hopefully) powered by the 6.6-liter V12 engine currently pulling the 750i.
For now, though, it’s a waiting game. There will no doubt be more teaser images to come: more shadowy studio shots and entirely uninformative sizzle reels will make the rounds up until the 8-Series family is officially revealed later this year.