BMW design director Adrian van Hooydonk has hinted that a 9 Series four-door coupé to rival the Mercedes-Maybach S600 could be on the cards as part of the brand’s push into the high-end luxury market.
The German marque recently launched a new 8 Series to take on the Porsche 911 and Mercedes S-Class, as part of plans to move the top end of its range further into the premium market. That strategy is likely to include a number of new models, which could include a 9 Series.
When asked whether BMW had plans for a 9 Series, van Hooydonk said: “Let’s say this: we won’t stop here [with the 8 Series]. 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.”
BMW has been evaluating the launch of a range of upmarket cars for years, and has recently introduced a new design language designed to appeal to a high-end audience.The recently launched 8 Series coupé is the first model to carry that name since the original went out of production in 1999, and is set to be followed by a four-door coupé version late next year.
Van Hooydonk added that the 8 Series was just the start of a “new chapter”, saying: “The coupé will always kickstart the next level in design. The same is true for this car.”
The 8 Series shares platform elements with the 7 Series saloon, and such architecture would likely underpin a future 9 Series, which would also share engines with those cars. The 8 Series range includes a 4.4-litre 523bhp V8 petrol engine in the M850i, and a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel producing 316bhp in the 840d. A mild hybrid version is understood to be on the way.
A large four-door coupé would likely prove particularly popular with high-end buyers in China, while a 9 Series would also tie in with the potential expansion of BMW’s SUV and electric i ranges. The firm has already trademarked every model name between i1 and i9, iX1 and iX9, and between X1 and X9.
Van Hooydonk also said that the growth of the i brand has given BMW the freedom to push into the premium market: “The i brand has created a lot of opportunities for us, both in the acceptance of new technologies, and also in the acceptance of new design. [In terms of design], a car like the i8 opened doors to us we didn’t even know were there.”