The 8 Series has been shown in a new preview image alongside its race-going sibling
Although undisguised, details of the car are typically difficult to see
Eagled-eyed Autocar reader Richard Blantern spotted this 8 Series in Wales
It shows BMW is testing its upcoming coupé on the UK's challenging roads
Blantern said the cabin was also heavily camouflaged
BMW will reveal its production 8 Series the day before Le Mans 24 Hours
The 15 June reveal comes before sales kick off in Britain in November
A racing version of the 8 Series, called the M8 GTE, will compete in this year's World Endurance Championship…
…of which Le Mans is the crowning round
The 8 Series will share much of its technical hardware with the 7 Series
It will share engines with the saloon
The M8 will inherit BMW's twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 engine
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 the 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 8 Series convertible has been spotted testing at the Nürburgring
It will launch later this year
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 that car, as will an M8-badged performance flagship
The one featured in the video, however, is the standard car, as suggested by the trapezoidal exhausts and comparatively hushed engine note
The 8 Series coupé 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 ending production at the same time as the convertible, is unconfirmed for replacement, but could be replaced by an 8 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, though…
…since 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, with pricing to compete with them, too
The 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
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".
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.
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.
Additional reporting by Greg Kable and Jimi Beckwith