The new BMW 8 Series coupe is still a very fresh offering in the large grand touring segment, and we haven’t even seen the forthcoming four-door Gran Coupe yet. Of course, automakers are thinking and planning years down the road, so it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that BMW executives in Munich could be considering a 9 Series offering to take the brand even further into the luxury realm.
Autocar posed the 9 Series question to BMW in a recent discussion with Adrian van Hooydonk, the manufacturer’s design director. He didn’t come right out and give a qualified yes on the topic, but he also didn’t shoot down the notion of a large Maybach fighter. According to Autocar’s report, Hooydonk strongly hinted something was in the pipeline.
“Let’s say this,” he said to Autocar. “We won’t stop here. Obviously our job is to have more ideas than the company can build, because the other way round would be very bad. My team and I are now looking at 2021 and beyond – as far out as 2030. We have a lot of plans.”
There’s certainly plenty of room for interpretation in that quote, but the takeaway is a 9 Series wasn’t ruled out. That said, don’t expect to see a big BMW prototype testing at the Nürburgring anytime soon. Logic tells us the automaker would at least want to see how buyers take to the 8 Series Gran Coupe before committing to something even larger and more expensive. The official debut for that car should be early next year, and then you need to give it a bit of time to filter into the market. Suddenly, Hooydonk’s mention of looking out to 2030 makes a lot of sense.
It will also be interesting to see how luxury auto markets play out in the age of SUVs. With buyers flocking to sport utility vehicles at all levels, BMW could well find its X7 is the preferred choice for its opulent audience. Only time will tell.