BMW M8 Gran Coupé CONCEPT
BMW rode the wave of 1980s decadence with the original 8 Series. Now the 8 is back. And next year we’ll get the M8 ― a true Munich flagship
A closer look at the true BMW flagship
If the 6 Series never felt anything other than niche (blame the porky, cumbersome chassis), BMW are taking no chances with the new 8 Series. Within months of its concept unveiling, an all-new GTE race car made its début at Daytona, in a stunning, vaguely CSL-inspired M Division livery to make the old guard weep with joy, and we’ve had confirmation not just of an M version but of an M8 family: coupé, convertible, and four-door coupé to wrack Panamera fans with indecision. Rather than slipping into the room unnoticed, 6 Series style, the 8 has crashed through the doors, lamped both bouncers and jumped behind the bar to get at the spirits. Naked.
At this stage, the M8 Gran Coupé is a concept. With any luck, though, its delectable metalwork won’t change, for this is a good-looking thing; purposeful and elegant despite the intrinsic conflict of a four-door coupé. And intrinsic conflict or not, these are the cars to which wealthy buyers now aspire. They are extrovert, almost flamboyant. Stylish with a distinct dynamic touch. They’re head-turners and yet sufficiently functional to work as family cars. They’re more prestigious than four-door notchbacks yet much more practical than a two-door, four-seater coupé — ever tried to climb into an RS 5’s second row? Pricey and powerful, these last of the Mohicans — the M8, AMG’s new GT 4-Door, the thus-far genre-defining Porsche Panamera — are set to capture the hearts of well-heeled petrol-heads.
Particularly this one: its sleek silhouette; the M5’s stunning V8 turned up to 11; the promise of best-ofboth-worlds all-wheel drive, with searing cross-country speed or greasy drifts just an iDrive twirl away.
The M8 is the work of Domagoj Dukec, DD to his friends. An eight-year BMW veteran, the Croatian was recently put in charge of BMW’s crucial (for very different reasons) “i” and “M” sub-brands. Looking after the bookends of the marque may be an unusual job description — you can well imagine the challenge of leaping from skinny-tyred future city EVs to fat, V8engined performance cars — but it makes sense if it’s viewed as the uncompromising pursuit of extremes
Side vents? Pure M. But upside-down grille is shared with X2. And yellow lights are very French