Spy-Shots of Cars This image has been optimized for a calibrated screen with a Gamma of 2.2 and a colour temperature of 6500°K

Spy-Shots of Cars
This image has been optimized for a calibrated screen with a Gamma of 2.2 and a colour temperature of 6500°K

Our European spy photographers have captured the BMW 8 Series again, this time in both two-door coupé and convertible forms. Expected to resurrect the famous nameplate last used when the original E31 rolled off the production line for the last time in 1999, it is set to become the company’s flagship when it goes on sale in 2018, taking on the opulent Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé and Cabriolet.

The stratospheric positioning in Munich’s lineup is clear right away – the 8 Series looks significantly longer than the current 6 Series, translating to a more elegant, yet imposing design, even underneath all that camouflage. It looks impossibly wide, too, emphasised by the broad double kidney grille. Expect the final production car to take cues from concept cars like the Pininfarina Gran Lusso and the Concept CS.

As with the new 5 and 7 Series, the 8 Series will be based on the modular Cluster Architecture (CLAR), which uses lightweight materials such as aluminium, magnesium and – in the case of the 7 Series – carbon fibre in order to reduce weight. Expect the 8 Series’ engine lineup to match the 7 Series’, with straight-six, V8 and V12 turbocharged mills in either petrol or diesel forms.

Spy-Shots of Cars This image has been optimized for a calibrated screen with a Gamma of 2.2 and a colour temperature of 6500°K

Spy-Shots of Cars
This image has been optimized for a calibrated screen with a Gamma of 2.2 and a colour temperature of 6500°K

The existence of the 8 Series will throw a spanner in the works for the 6 Series lineup, the coupé and convertible versions of which will be indirectly replaced by this larger model – likely in an effort to better compete at the upper echelons of the segment.

This leaves the future of the four-door 6 Series Gran Coupé in doubt, although that one could make it to a second generation in order to take on the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the Audi A7 Sportback. Also slated to be included in the lineup, oddly enough, is the more practical Gran Turismo fastback, which is said to feature sleeker and sportier styling compared to the current, rather aesthetically-challenged 5 Series GT.