Eagled-eyed Autocar reader Richard Blantern spotted this 8 Series in Wales
It shows the 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 version 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 its 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 car featured in the video, however, is the standard car, as suggested by the the trapezoidal exhausts and comparatively hushed engine note
The 8 Series coupé and convertible 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Meanwhile, the 5 Series GT has been replaced by the 6 Series GT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 variants, 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 when it's launched in 2018, with pricing to compete with them, too
The long-rumoured 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
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.
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.
Additional reporting by Greg Kable and Jimi Beckwith