BMW unveiled a concept of its revived 8 series that will become a new flagship coupe.
The concept appears sleeker and sportier than the 6-series coupe it replaces, with more muscular surfaces but with basic proportions that resemble the 850i launched in 1989.
The production version of the 8-series coupe will go on sale next year in Europe and the U.S. A convertible version is expected in 2019. The cars will compete directly with the Mercedes-Benz S-class coupe and cabrio.
The 8 series will be based on BMW's 7-series flagship sedan. An M8 performance version is under discussion.
The original 8-series vehicles were powered by V-8 and V-12 gasoline engines. BMW did not release technical specifications for the 8-series coupe concept, but the top-end model is expected to be equipped with the 610-hp, 6.6-liter V-12 engine that debuted this year in the M760Li — the top-end 7 series.
BMW's design chief, Adrian van Hooydonk, called the 8 series coupe "a luxurious sports car which embodies both unadulterated dynamics and modern luxury like arguably no other. For me, it's a slice of pure automotive fascination."
BMW did not disclose pricing for the 8 series. The Mercedes S-class coupe starts at $123,675 in the U.S., while the convertibles sell for base prices ranging from $132,325 to $248,825 in the U.S. Prices include shipping.
BMW stopped selling the 6-series coupe this year in the U.S. It continues to sell the 6-series Gran Coupe and the convertible for base prices starting at $82,395, including shipping.