Production of the original 8 Series ended in 1999 and now BMW’s grand tourer is finally back in business with the second generation. The stunning coupe was unveiled mid-June and this week it has entered production at the company’s Dingolfing factory in Germany where the automaker has invested a “low three-digit-million euro” figure to get the plant ready for the 8 Series revival.
It joins the 5 Series and 7 Series on the assembly line at the site in Lower Bavaria, and it represents the first regular production BMW to be offered with a roof made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). For the time being, only the coupe is being put together by BMW’s skilled workers, but we already know an 8 Series Convertible and an 8 Series Gran Coupe are on their way, with all three body styles to get the full-on M treatment.
Ever since the 8 Series Coupe made its debut nearly a month ago, the main focus has been on the M850i xDrive, much like it’s the case with the adjacent images and the video released today. However, it’s not the only version to go into production as BMW is also putting together an 840d xDrive equipped with an inline-six 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine rated at 320 horsepower and 680 Newton-meters (501 pound-feet) of torque.
But if you’re like us, you will probably want the gasoline-powered model with its meaty biturbo 4.4-liter V8 developing 530 hp and 750 Nm (553 lb-ft). Should that not be enough, the M8 – already confirmed for a debut later this year - will use a higher specification of the engine and is expected to deliver at least 600 hp.
As a final note, the three road-going 8 Series body styles have a track-only equivalent in the shape of the M8 GTE, which is powered by BMW’s most efficient racing engine ever.
Gallery: 2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe enters production
Start of production for new BMW 8 Series Coupé at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing
Dingolfing. At the start of this week, BMW Group Plant Dingolfing began series production of the new BMW 8 Series Coupé, the sportscar that will launch the BMW model offensive in the luxury segment. An amount in the low three-digit-million euro range has been invested in the site in Lower Bavaria in preparation for the new model series. A large number of digital innovations have also been integrated into the production process, including self-driving transport systems and smart devices.
Dr. Andreas Wendt, head of BMW Group Plant Dingolfing: “As the plant that builds the BMW 7 Series sedans, BMW Group Plant Dingolfing has outstanding expertise in producing vehicles for the luxury segment. We are optimally prepared for production of the new BMW 8 Series Coupé. I am sure our customers around the world will love this luxury sportscar.”
Stefan Schmid, chairman of the Works Council at the Dingolfing location: “I am proud that we will be producing the new BMW 8 Series Coupé at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing. It will consolidate our position as a centre of competence for the luxury class and secure our site’s future.”
Smart material mix and flexible production structures
Intelligent lightweight construction, with a clever mix of materials, including steel, plastic, aluminium and carbon fibre, is used in the body of the new sportscar. In addition to the supporting structures at the front and rear of the vehicle, other components, such as the roof, doors, bonnet and the front firewall of the all-new BMW 8 Series Coupé, are made of aluminium.
For the first time in a series-production BMW model, the roof is available in carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) – which is also manufactured at the Dingolfing location in an innovative wet-pressing process.
Thanks to the BMW production system’s high level of flexibility, it was largely possible to integrate the new BMW 8 Series Coupé into existing production structures. The luxury sportscar, which will roll off the assembly line alongside BMW 5 Series and 7 Series models, relies on tried and tested manufacturing processes.
Innovations in the production process
In parallel with ramp-up of the new BMW 8 Series Coupé, digitalisation of logistics and production processes in Dingolfing continues apace. For example, in door assembly, parts are delivered to the line by autonomous tugger trains; on the finish line, collaborative robots measure gaps and misalignments.
BMW Group Plant Dingolfing increasingly makes use of wearables. These mobile computer technologies worn on the body support staff with their tasks. In addition to the ProGlove smart glove scanner, a so-called “exotics alarm”, for example, will use the vibrating alarm of a smartwatch to alert staff when a car with non-standard equipment options is coming up and requires special attention.
Virtual reality glasses have also been used for the first time in training assembly staff: Specific assembly processes for the new BMW 8 Series Coupé were videoed and viewed by employees through VR glasses. This enabled them to familiarise themselves with the new model and the correct fitment process before production ramped up.
Two engine variants available from launch
Two engine choices will be available when the new BMW 8 Series Coupé goes on sale in November 2018. The V8 engine in the BMW M850i xDrive Coupé (combined fuel consumption: 10.5 – 10.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 240 – 228 g/km)* delivers impressive power: The latest generation of the 4.4-litre eight-cylinder engine has been completely redeveloped to deliver a performance topping out at 530 hp and a torque of 750 Nm.
The BMW 840d xDrive Coupé relies on a diesel engine (combined fuel consumption: 6.2 – 5.9 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 164 – 154 g/km)* unlike anything else in the competitive environment to deliver superior traction and low fuel consumption. The 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder diesel power unit generates a maximum output of 320 hp and a maximum torque of 680 Nm.