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BMW concept previews new 8 Series

At the Concorso d’Eleganza, on the shores of Lake Como in Italy, BMW will reveal a Concept 8 Series.

Described as ‘the essence of a modern-day BMW coupe wrapped up in an enthralling design study’, it will serve as a taster of a forthcoming production 8 Series Coupe, slated for launch in 2018.

“The number 8 has always represented the pinnacle of sports performance and exclusivity at BMW,” explains Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG Harald Krüger. “The forthcoming BMW 8 Series Coupe will demonstrate that razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury can go hand-in-hand. This will be the next model in the expansion of our luxury-car offering and will raise the benchmark for coupes in the segment. In the process, we will strengthen our claim to leadership in the luxury class.”

“The BMW Concept 8 Series is our take on a full-blooded high-end driving machine,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “It is a luxurious sports car which embodies both unadulterated dynamics and modern luxury like arguably no other. For me, it’s a slice of pure automotive fascination.”

The exterior brings together the past and the future, says BMW, with the concept showcasing a new approach to the use of forms which is reflected prominently in the car’s sculpted surfacing. The silhouette spreads low and ‘powerfully’ over the road, with a long bonnet and flowing roofline, the upward sweep of the concept’s trailing edge provides a sporty flourish.

The sporty touches continue with the pronounced flares above the rear wheels which are large (21-inch) light-alloy wheels feature a sporty and exclusive multi-spoke design and aero elements.

At the front, large kidney grille and slim twin headlights and large air intakes sit on the low-slung front end, and form a striking, sporty front-end. The classic BMW template has a fresh interpretation, with the BMW kidneys brought together by an unbroken frame to form a single large element. 

At the rear, a low highly sculpted tail with 'maximum width-enhancing effect' features slim, stretched-out rear lights extending far into the sides of the car and ‘provide a connection between the rear and flanks’. A dark, stylised carbon-fibre diffuser in the lower section of the rear apron adds extra lightness and a sportier feel to the rear graphic. Large, trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes frame the rear section and point to the dynamic driving experience to come. 

Once behind the wheel, the driver is wrapped in the tightly enclosed ambience typical of sports cars. The surfaces and lines all gravitate forwards and underscore the dynamic driving experience while the grouping of functions into 'control clusters', e.g. in the centre stack, the centre console and the doors, gives the interior a clear graphic structure.

Among the standout design elements in the interior are the ‘fluid transition’ from the instrument panel into the doors and the sporty, enveloping feel of the interior. The exclusive sports seats are slim in design, the carbon-fibre shell providing the basic structure and the finest leather making them the perfect place to sit. The steering wheel continues along similar lines, its hand-polished aluminium spokes arrowing forward purposefully, and the red-anodised shift paddles bring the race track to mind. The contrast of aluminium and dark leather on the gripping surfaces emphasises this luxurious sense of sportiness in various details.

The Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este runs from today until 28th May.