It will premiere at Le Mans to emphasize the coupe's close connection with the GTE race car.
It’s finally happening, folks. BMW will dust off the 8 Series badge for a new swoopy coupe the automotive world has been waiting for basically ever since the original model’s demise back in 1999. The venue chosen for the model’s premiere is the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the wraps will come off Friday, June 15. The press release issued today confirms a rumor from early April that was based on a bulletin sent by the company to its sales representatives about the plan to unveil the production-ready car during the endurance race.
A new teaser image shows the road-going BMW 8 Series Coupe in a shadowy background sitting next to the track-only M8 GTE. The 6 Series Coupe direct replacement has been developed parallel to the race car, which we will get to see in action during the grueling 24-hour race at the famous Circuit de la Sarthe for the 86th edition of the racing marathon.
Don’t expect to see the M8 from day one, but the good news is BMW will unveil the next best thing: the M850i xDrive. It might just be the car depicted in the adjacent teaser image, a high-spec version of the 8 Series already confirmed to feature a “completely redeveloped” V8 engine with 523 horsepower (390 kilowatts) and 553 pound-feet (750 Newton-meters) of torque. As the name of the model implies, it will feature all-wheel drive with power channeled to the road through a revised eight-speed automatic promising to deliver quicker gear shifts.
BMW goes on to specify the M850i xDrive will ride on 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in high-performance tires and it also going to benefit from all-wheel steering. Other goodies on the menu include an adaptive M suspension (with active roll stabilization) and rear axle differential lock.
For those who would rather patiently wait for the M8, BMW has promised it will unveil the crown jewel of the range later in 2018. Best case scenario, we’ll get to see it at the Paris Motor Show in October. An 8 Series Convertible is also on the agenda, and it will bring along an M8 flavor as well. Later on, a more practical 8 Series Gran Coupe together with an equivalent M8 will complete the family portrait.
Gallery: 2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe new spy photos
BMW returns to Le Mans – with the world premiere of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe.
New luxury sports car to be presented for the first time on 15 June 2018, the eve of the legendary 24-hour race – parallel development of the production model and the BMW M8 GTE guarantees inspiring driving dynamics on the road as well.
Munich. 24 hours and a great moment: On the eve of the legendary long-distance race at Le Mans, France, BMW will open a new chapter in the brand’s fascinating sports car history. On 15 June 2018, the countdown to the 24-hour Le Mans race will provide the perfect framework for the world premiere of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe. The new luxury sports car was developed parallel to the BMW M8 GTE with which BMW Motorsport will again take to the Le Mans starting grid the next day for the first time since 2011.
In the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) 2018, BMW will be fielding two BMW M8 GTEs. These racing cars already demonstrated their potential at the season opener in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, and the US-American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. This will now be followed by the debut of the production model, the drive and suspension technology of which benefits tremendously from the experience gained from motor racing. Profound motor sport expertise is concentrated in particular in the new BMW M850i xDrive Coupe, which offers outstanding dynamic handling characteristics thanks to a new V8 engine, intelligent four-wheel drive, controlled rear axle differential lock, Integral Active Steering, adaptive M suspension technology Professional featuring Active Roll Stabilization and 20-inch light alloy wheels boasting high-performance tyres.
“There isn’t be a better setting for the world premiere of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe than the 24-hour race at Le Mans,” says Klaus Fröhlich, board member of the BMW AG, Development. “The race is a pure demonstration of passion, dynamics and long-distance capability. These characteristics define our new sports car in a special way.”
The broad spectrum of the driving experience reflects the unique character of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe within its competitive environment. Spontaneous power delivery, captivating agility and the highest degree of precision in extremely dynamic driving situations underscore the sports car’s race-proven personality. The new BMW 8 Series Coupe is equally as convincing in the role of the sovereign cruiser that pampers its passengers not only with ride comfort on long stretches of motorway or on country roads, but also with its modern luxury ambience and high-class equipment features.
Therefore, the world premiere of the BMW 8 Series Coupe in Le Mans is also giving an especially emotional go-ahead for the brand’s current model initiative in the luxury class. The increased presence in this segment is one of the fields of action defined by the BMW Group in its NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy. With the market launch of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe, which will begin during the course of 2018, the highest standards at the top of the model range in terms of dynamics and driving culture will be fulfilled.