NEW BMW 8 SERIES COUPE TO DEBUT AT THE 2018 LE MANS 24 HOURS RACEDate: 2018-05-15
BMW is ramping up a revival of the 8 Series nameplate and has now confirmed that we'll get to see the car at Le Mans 2018, announcing its official reveal date for the 8 Series Coupe.
The all-new Mercedes S-Class Coupe rival will be shown to the world for the first time on 15 June 2018.
The date has significance to BMW, as it marks the eve of the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours race. The brand returns to Le Mans for the first time since 2011 this year, armed with a pair of M8 GTE cars to take on manufacturer-backed efforts from Aston Martin, Corvette, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche. The GTE Has already seen action this season – it competed in the first round of the World Endurance Championship in Spa and across the Atlantic in IMSA championship.
While the hugely swollen arches and extreme aerodynamic package won’t find its way onto the production model, the GTE’s roofline, head and tail lights are all shared with the cars that will be available in showrooms.
Images of the BMW 8 Series already released have shown the new car’s front end stripped of the GTE car’s huge front splitter and it's possible to get a further view of the car in the background of the image released to accompany the Le Mans reveal date announcement. BMW has also confirmed that the 8 Series will be built at the firm's Dingolfing factory in southern Bavaria.
A pair of grainy photos previously leaked from a garage show a white car, reported to be the final production design. It features the slightly restrained front end from the Concept 8 Series revealed in May 2017, with less aggressive headlamps and a more traditional front grille beneath BMW's traditional kidney grille design.
At the rear, there's somewhat of a grin where the registration plate will be placed, similar to the rear of the Lexus LC. The rear bumper has been painted black and conceals the two big rear exhausts. While hard to tell, the badge on the right appears to say 850i while the left badge possibly says xDrive, hinting towards a four-wheel-drive 8 Series.
The resurrected 8 Series has previously been spied in prototype form on public roads, both in coupe and cabriolet guises. It was also caught on camera last year in flagship M8 form.
A cloth roof featured on the 8 Series Cabriolet, with an elongated rear deck to contain the folded hood and the electric mechanism underneath. Two small rear windows feature and it's expected to be a proper four-seater.
The test mules still bare the overall shape of the Concept 8 Series that was unveiled last May, however, the spy shots show that the production 8 Series has been toned down at the front, in comparison to the more angular nose of the concept. The big air vents on each side of the concept’s kidney grills have been covered over, but the svelte bonnet grooves and slim laser headlamps remain.
Little has changed along the side of the production car as the streaky door panel design remains and the big 21-inch wheels dominate the picture. The equally dramatic rear air vents have also been filled in, hinting that this test mule could be an entry-level production 8 Series. The two large rear exhausts are still fitted but the taillights appear to look more comparable to those on the current 6 Series, rather than the Concept 8 Series’ i8-style boomerang taillights.
Alongside a standard 8 Series, an M-Sport model was also seen on the back of a BMW delivery truck, sporting five-spoke wheels and larger brakes. The concept’s front air vents have been panelled over with a layer of black vinyl but they look set to feature on M-Sport 8 Series trim levels when the car goes on sale in 2018.
What do you make of the new BMW 8 Series coupe concept? Let us know in the comments…