GENEVA, March 7 — As expected, BMW unveiled the concept version of its M8 Gran Coupe at the auto show today in Geneva.
True to form with many of the debuts this week at the Geneva International Motor Show, an event that mostly prizes hype and design over actual driving machines, the M8 Gran Coupe is a purely conceptual exercise. It’s meant to indicate the direction BMW will go with its high-end 8 Series line: The company has said the 8 Series will take over the 7 Series as the brand’s new flagship family — the M8 Gran Coupe falls in the centre of that group.
“It’s about extending the BMW range,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, the automaker’s head of design. “This is the next step in BMW design language. We are not talking about engine power or performance figures, but I can say this vehicle will be very hungry for the road.”
What we do know about the car is that it looks shark-like in the best way, and it looks fast. The side profile is chiselled and tight, with a long wheelbase front to rear and a short overhang on the front wheels. It will have four doors, even though it’s called a coupe, and a substantial spoiler that lies flush with the tail and is framed by thin taillights.
The front end retains the signature BMW kidney grille, this time done in gold with pointed ends, and large carbon fibre air intakes. The opaque headlights are yellow, a reference to the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race that BMW will enter later this year.
As for engine properties, the company declined to comment. But if the M8 Gran Coupe is anything like the BMW M5, it could have a 4.4-litre V-8 engine that gets as much as 650 horsepower. Based on the level of performance the M line produces, the M8 Gran Coupe will likely be the fastest sedan BMW has produced. Expect it to go up against the likes of Mercedes-Benz’s new AMG GT Coupe, the high-performance four-door that also seats four. Pricing for each is expected to fall in the six-figure range.
Consumers will have to wait awhile before acting on the hype, though. BMW says the 8 Series Gran Coupe and M8 Gran Coupe will start production sometime in 2019, which puts US deliveries closer to early 2020. — Bloomberg