What It Is: BMW’s upcoming 7-series-based 8-series coupe, covered in camouflage and penned in among other BMW prototypes. Expected to be larger than today’s two-door 6-series (the 6 can also be had in four-door Gran Coupe form), the 8-series will serve as BMW’s flagship coupe, just as its eponymous forebear did before it was discontinued in 1999. An interesting history note: When the original 8-series debuted in 1990, the smaller, less expensive 6-series went out of production—only to return a few years after the 8-series, which only survived for a single generation, faded from BMW showrooms. History will not repeat itself this time, however, as we anticipate BMW will add the 8-series to the lineup, keeping the smaller 6-series around to do battle with Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming E-class coupe.
Platform: The 8-series will sit on a version of the latest 7-series sedan’s lightweight, semi-carbon-fiber architecture. This will place the 8 above the 6-series in BMW’s hierarchy (as if its higher numerical name didn’t give that away), even though the next-generation 6 is expected to use the smaller version of this same 7-derived platform that also will be shared with the 2017 5-series sedan.
Competition: Bentley Continental, Mercedes-Benz S-class coupe.
Estimated Arrival and Price: The completeness of this 8-series prototype suggests that the coupe is close to reaching showrooms—or at least an official debut. It should go on sale next year as a 2018 model and likely will cost more than an equivalent 7-series, with a starting price around $80,000.