BMW's new flagship has been shown in camouflage and in undisguised murky preview images; it's due to go on UK sale in November

BMW will reveal the production version of its 8 Series on the eve of the year's crowning endurance motorsport event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans - but first, it's busy finalising the car's settings on a variety of road surfaces.

These include the challenging roads of Wales, where eagle-eyed Autocar reader Richard Blantern spotted an 8 Series development car parked up. He managed to capture images of its exterior; the dashboard was heavily camouflaged.

The road car is due on sale in Britain from November after it is revealed at Le Mans on 15 June. It has been part of an immense build-up that's included the reveal of three concept cars. The first, the 8 Series concept, previewed the standard car, while the M8 Gran Coupé concept demonstrated the thinking behind a high-performance version.

BMW is racing a competition version of its 8 Series, called the M8 GTE, in this year's World Endurance Championship, of which Le Mans is the most illustrious round. The Bavarian firm's new two-door model is therefore met with almost unprecedented levels of anticipation. Expectations are extremely high.

Engineers have been testing development cars in public for more than a year, with coupé and soft-top versions caught on camera as recently as last month. BMW's latest known testing stint in Aprilia, Italy, involved final analysis of the car's chassis and powertrain settings.

BMW's rival to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupé and Bentley Continental GT 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, it’s likely that 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 found in the 730d will be used in an 830d. The 8 Series line-up is also likely to include the more performance-oriented 4.4-litre V8 in the 750i xDrive, accompanied by all-wheel drive. A V12-engined model will come later in the 8 Series’ life cycle.

The most hardcore variant of the 8 Series will come in M8 form, with its own more aggressive bodywork. This model is likely to be powered by an uprated version of the latest M5's 592bhp 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine and 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.

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 final 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

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Comments
22

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.

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