BMW's new flagship has been shown in the shadows; its reveal is on 15 June and is due to go on UK sale in November

The BMW 8 Series has been shown undisguised in a murky preview shot, a month ahead of its official reveal at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 15 June. The image shows the car alongside its race-going M8 GTE sibling, which will be competing in the event. 

Most recently revealed amongst th 8 Series' innovations is a digital instrument cluster as part of a new dashboard design, in an image which surfaced on social media. 

Posted on Instagram (below), the image shows that the new two-door range-topper will swap the conventional dials of its siblings for a digital layout that will be BMW's answer to Audi's Virtual Cockpit system. Up until now, only the i3 and i8 have featured this technology, but the 8 Series looks set to change that.


A post shared by wilco blok (@wilcoblok) on May 5, 2018 at 6:53am PDT


Along with this new technology, the 8 Series is expected to come with BMW's most advanced suspension technology in an attempt to make it more enjoyable to drive than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé and Bentley Continental GT.

Part of the car's development period has included testing on the technical B-roads of Wales. The car's dynamics were being evaluated and finalised on some of the world's finest stretches of Tarmac, with the brief for engineers to produce a mix of "fascinating sportiness and supreme comfort".

First drive: BMW M850i xDrive Coupe 2018 prototype

To achieve this, BMW has provided the car with a host of driver-focused hardware and software, including adaptive damping and a dynamic stability control setting that allows for more playfulness while still retaining a 'safety net'.

Markus Flasch, BMW 8 Series project manager, said: “Whether a driver expresses his or her wishes with regard to comfort and sportiness using the accelerator pedal or by pressing a button, the vehicle immediately adapts perfectly to each setting.”

Autocar has already driven a prototype for the two-door coupé, an M850i xDrive, which demonstrated the car's potential on technical roads. However, the final settings won't be confirmed until closer to the November sale date.

BMW's upcoming model 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, 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 unit found in the 730d will be used in an 830d.

The 8 Series line-up will also include the more performance-oriented 4.4-litre V8 in the 750i, accompanied by xDrive all-wheel drive and 523bhp.

Christian Billig, head of drive system integration at BMW, said: “Above all, the eight-cylinder harmonises perfectly with the further developed Steptronic transmission during dynamic acceleration. At the same time, the sound development of the sports exhaust system authentically reflects the car’s power delivery."

A V12-engined model will come later in the 8 Series’ life cycle, although the most hardcore variant of the range will be the M8, which will make use of the lighter V8 but in uprated form. It's likely to be near-identical to the powerplant of the latest M5, which is a 592bhp 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, and will 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.

​The 8 Series has seen one of the largest build-ups in recent automotive history. Before the production car, three concept cars were shown. The first, the 8 Series concept, previewed the standard car, while the M8 Gran Coupé concept demonstrated the thinking behind a high-performance version.

A racing concept was also created; it's being followed by the M8 GTE, which is competing in this year's World Endurance Championship, of which Le Mans is the most illustrious round.

As part of BMW's range shake-up, the 8 Series coupé will indirectly replace the 6 Series coupé, which will end production this year, while the 6 Series convertible will then be indirectly replaced by the 8 Series convertible next year.

The other 6 Series variant, the Gran Coupé, is likely to be superseded by an 8 Series Gran Coupé. These model shifts were first set in motion when the 5 Series GT replaced the 6 Series GT

Additional reporting by Greg Kable and Jimi Beckwith

More content:

TVR to partner with Swiss team for Le Mans

Land Rover celebrates 70th birthday

Join the debate


19 September 2016
Are you sure this is an 8 series?

Side profile looks extremely similar to current 6 series to me. I would expect an 8 series to have proportions similar to the S class coupe.

Would be entirely logical for the 6 series to be well into development, given the imminent arrival of the new 5 series.

19 September 2016
It's been confirmed in a BMW forum it's the new 6 series, not 8 series...

19 September 2016
Haha, article now rewritten.

20 September 2016
There will be an 8 Series coupé siting above the 6 Series...

23 September 2016
There be both 6 series & 8 series. Autocar has got it wrong. They don't know what they heard. BMW need to retain the 6 series to compete with E-Class coupe & porches models including Jaguar F-type. I read somwhere The 8 series will compete with Bentley Continetal, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, including Mercedes Benz S-Class Coupe. Reminder 6 series is here to stay.

15 November 2016
Looks like another bloated rich grandfather's fatmobile. The S coupe/cabriolet has nothing to fear.

6 April 2017
Catch up Autocar. This has been on Carscoops for ages!

6 April 2017
It is of course incredibly important for this car to be developed on a race track.

27 July 2017

I wonder if the 6 Series would return, but as a coupe version of the 5 Series to compete with the E Class coupe/CLS rather than being a stand alone Grand Tourer model based on the 5 Series which it always has been previously. With coupe versions of the 1 and 3 Series already available, and with the 8 Series already due, there'd be a gap in BMW's coupe line up.

28 July 2017

It was a chancy buy used,lots to go wrong which was a shame because it was quite a nice Car.

Peter Cavellini.


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Land Rover Discovery
    First Drive
    23 May 2018
    Does the Land Rover Discovery – a vehicle designed to put in the hard yards – cut it as an executive company car? We ran it for seven months to find out
  • Aston Martin Vantage 2018 review hero front
    Car review
    23 May 2018
    Aston Martin’s cheapest model takes a big step up into the 21st century
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    22 May 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • DS 7 Crossback PureTech 225 2018 review hero front
    First Drive
    22 May 2018
    New petrol engine and top-end Ultra Prestige spec help broaden the Crossback's appeal, but do little to help it stand out in a crowded market
  • Audi TT RS Coupé
    First Drive
    22 May 2018
    The Audi TT RS has the looks, a vociferous engine and the supercar-baiting performance, but is it too uncompromising to use as a daily driver?