A leaked image shows the 8 Series being prepped in a workshop
Another leaked image shows the rear and its LED lights
BMW is ramping up development of its 8 Series…
…which is due for reveal later this year
It's expected to go on sale in November
The 8 Series will rival the Bentley Continental GT
BMW will also produce an M8 version
Both coupé and convertible versions are being produced
An 8 Series development car reveals production details…
…such as the headlights, which take a similar design to others in the BMW range
There are large, sporty wheels and aggressive exhausts…
…which suggest this may be an M Sport model
The subtler exhausts on this example suggest a standard 8 Series.
The smaller wheels on this car also show the difference between the M Sport and standard versions of the 8 Series
The reborn BMW 8 Series convertible has been spotted testing at the Nürburgring
It's expected to launch in 2018
BMW’s flagship model will be a two-door coupé version of the 7 Series saloon, in much the same way as the 4 Series and 3 Series are related.
A convertible sibling, spied previously, will join it, as will an M8-badged performance flagship
The car featured in the video, however, is the standard car; as suggested by the the trapezoidal exhausts and comparatively hushed engine note
The 8 Series coupé and convertible will indirectly replace the 6 Series coupé, which will finish production in 2018
The 6 Series convertible will then be replaced by the 8 Series convertible in 2019
The final 6 Series variant, the Gran Coupé, despite running out at the same time as the convertible, is unconfirmed for replacement, but could be replaced by another 6 Series Gran Coupé.
Meanwhile, the 5 Series GT has been replaced by the 6 Series GT
It might not be the end of the road for the coupé and convertible 6 Series variants, though…
…BMW is still undecided as to whether direct replacements for the two will be introduced
Sources close to BMW say the 8 Series will rival the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé and Bentley Continental GT when it's launched in 2018, with pricing to compete with them, too
The long-rumoured 8 Series will feature the same top-end technologies found in the 7 Series, including the latest and next-generation semi-autonomous features
Camouflage cladding covers much of the car, although the considerable overall length of the model is clear, as well as some styling features…
…including a widened version of the company’s signature kidney grilles
Upswept headlights also feature at the front and trapezoidal exhaust tips sit below slimline rear lights
These features are heavily disguised, though, and are liable to change ahead of the car’s full reveal
Being so closely related to the 7 Series, it’s likely that the 8 Series will share engines with its saloon sibling
A V12-engined model will come later in the car’s life cycle
BMW has released official images of the production 8 Series being endurance tested on track in Aprilia, with tweaks being made to the driving dynamics of the model before its official reveal in the coming months.
The brand's engineers have previously been caught testing the 8 Series in convertible form with thin camouflage numerous times, with the most recent showing the soft-top's shape in better detail than before.
Seen during winter tests in the Arctic Circle in the same week images of the coupé leaked online via BMW blog Bimmerpost (see image below and gallery), the model features a flatter tail than the hardtop behind its electric folding fabric roof.
The 8 Series, which is due on sale this November as rival to the two-door Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Bentley Continental GT, is inspired by the Concept 8 Series. It also shares some exterior design features with the 6 Series.
Underneath, the upcoming flagship is technically related to the 7 Series saloon. It will essentially be a two-door coupé version of that car, much in the same way that the 4 Series and 3 Series are related.
Being so closely related to the 7 Series, it’s likely that the 8 Series will share naming conventions and engines with its saloon sibling. This means that an iPerformance-badged plug-in hybrid will feature in the range, while the entry-level 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel found in the 730d will be used in an 830d. The 8 Series line-up will also likely include the more performance-oriented 4.4-litre V8 in the 750i xDrive, accompanied by all-wheel drive. A V12-engined model will come later in the 8 Series’ life cycle.
The most hardcore variant of the 8 Series will come in M8 form, with its own more aggressive bodywork. This model is likely to be powered by an uprated version of the latest M5's 592bhp 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine and share the same M xDrive four-wheel-drive system.
Inside, 8 Series models will feature the same top-end technologies found in the 7 Series, including the latest and next-generation semi-autonomous functions.
As part of BMW's range shake-up, the 8 Series coupé will indirectly replace the 6 Series coupé, which will end production in 2018, while the 6 Series convertible will then be indirectly replaced by the 8 Series convertible the following year.
The final 6 Series variant, the Gran Coupé, despite running out at the same time as the convertible, is unconfirmed for replacement but could be renewed. Meanwhile, the 5 Series GT has been replaced by the 6 Series GT.
It might not be the end of the road for the 6 Series coupé and convertible variants, though, as BMW is still undecided as to whether direct replacements for the two will be introduced.
Additional reporting by Greg Kable