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

Car India - - CONTENTS - Story: Ge­org Kacher

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

Pho­tog­ra­phy: Xisco Fuster

Side vents? Pure M. But up­side-down grille is shared with X2. And yel­low lights are very French

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