2016 BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso concept (2)

Rumours have emerged that BMW’s 8 series might be making a comeback after it was discovered that the boys from Munich had filed a number of patents trademarking the ‘8’ series moniker. This came about after it was reported that Autoexpress magazine had uncovered a series of patent filings by BMW locking in the 825, 830, 835, 850, 845, 860, M8 and M850 names.

While some may speculate that this is merely the Bavarian firm’s way of protecting its own vehicle numbering sequence against encroachment by other manufacturers – Peugeot’s trademarking of the ‘0’ for vehicle numbering and subsequent legal argument with Porsche in the 60s comes to mind – a source inside BMW is reported to have said the situation is rather more substantial than that.

“This move was not merely a case of the company ring-fencing the badges for possible future use, and that it reflects an imminent rejig of BMW’s GT line-up”, said the un-named source. Should this be true, it could indicate BMW’s 6 Series might be re-oriented into a performance-based model, taking the fight to the Porsche 911 in a more compact form, while the 8 Series takes over as the flagship grand tourer in BMW’s range.

BMW’s previous unveiling of the Pininfarina Gran Lusso concept car at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2013 could be an indication of the possible form the returning 8 Series might take. BMW also has several engine choices for its rumoured grand tourer, ranging from a V-12, which would fit the ‘860’ number perfectly, to a twin-turbo V-eight that could find a place in an ‘M8’ car.

GALLERY: BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso coupe concept