CERNOBBIO, Italy -- BMW has unveiled a concept for a large luxury coupe that hints of the possible revival of the departed 8 series and a rival for Mercedes-Benz's CL.
The four-seat BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe, unveiled at the 2013 Villa d'Este Concours d'Elegance here, suggests a more spacious and bigger coupe than BMW's current 6 series.
The Gran Lusso is the first project the Italian design house Pininfarina has done with BMW. BMW called the concept a "one-off" and declined to elaborate on production plans, but company sources say production is under consideration.
"The appeal of this collaboration with Pininfarina is that you get another, very different and special angle on facets like luxury and exclusivity," said Karim Habib, head of BMW design.
The Gran Lusso Coupe is based on a modified rear-wheel-drive BMW 7-series platform and uses the 760i's 6.0-liter, 536-hp turbocharged V-12. It retains many typical BMW design elements, including a distinctive swept-back silhouette and long hood, heavily raked screens, shallow glass house, a cabin positioned well back within a comparatively long wheelbase and a short trunk lid.
This concept "expresses hallmark BMW values such as luxury and sheer presence in a highly elegant form," said Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice president for BMW Group design.
BMW sources say the company is weighing a return to the high-end coupe segment, in which Mercedes offers the S-class-based CL. BMW produced the 8 series from 1989 to 1999.
"We want to send out the message the future is not all about electric cars but also traditional models with real emotional appeal," said a BMW insider.
"Whether that includes an 8 series is not yet decided. But the Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe gives an indication of how such a car might look."