BMW and Mercedes are two automakers who are always monitoring each other. It is common for one to gauge the other’s new model performance in the market before launching their copycat models. BMW has been closely monitoring the performance of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe. The S-Class coupe has enjoyed a kind of monopoly in the market without a comparable direct rival. The only rival I can think of currently is the Bentley Continental GT. However, this is set to end as BMW has announced a new coupe based on the 7 Series. The coupe dubbed the 2018 BMW 8-Series will point its guns directly to the S-Class coupe. The coupe will also be replacing the 6 Series coupe whose production will be discontinued in 2018. The coupe has borrowed its design from its big sister, the 7 Series sedan which itself has been upgraded for the 2018 model year. Read along to find out more:
2018 BMW 8-Series Exterior
As of this writing, there has been no clear photo of the model. Testing mules of the model are covered in heavy camouflage such that there is little to tell. However, the design will be largely based on the 7 series sedan. I bet the automaker has just shortened the coupe’s wheelbase, modified the roof and chucked out the rear doors. From the prototype, the automaker has also derived inspiration from the Gran Lusso Concept. The prototype looks to have a bluff front fascia as well as a rear overhang not forgetting its sweeping roofline, features that are adopted from the Gran Lusso Concept.
The rear is identical to the 7 Series. It features slim brake lights and two huge exhaust tips. On the sides, the coupe features large alloy wheels as well as wide side skirts that are almost road-hugging. We will update you with more information once we have a photo of the model without heavy camouflage.
2018 BMW 8-Series Interior
The interior of the 7 Series sedan is very elegant and I think the coupe will mimic the sedan’s cabin styling. As such, expect an elegant dash with horizontal lines. Leather and Alcantara will be the standard upholstery materials. There will also be a wood trim to add to the cabin’s premium feel, a three-spoke steering wheel as well as aluminum inserts. All seats will be heated but the front seats will also be cooled, ventilated, power adjusted and with a massage function.
Rear legroom will decrease due to the shortened wheelbase which makes the rear less comfortable compared to the sedan. Expect the technologies of the sedan to be featured on the coupe including the iDrive infotainment system that features Touch Command and Gesture Control.
The coupe will also feature a tablet that is used to control the climate system, the infotainment system as well as the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond premium sound surround system. The system comes with 1400 watts as well as 16-speakers making the coupe a mobile disco.
Engine Specs and performance
BMW is keeping details of the engines that will power the 8-Series close to its chest. However, it is common for the automaker to use similar engines across its related nameplates. Considering the 8 Series is a coupe version of the 7 Series sedan, it is likely that the automaker will hook it up with similar drivetrains as the 7 Series sedan.
Going by this, the base model will be the 840i and it will be powered by a 3.0 L, inline-6 engine that produces 320 horses and 330 lb-ft of torque. Power from this mill will propel the coupe to dash to 60 mph from standstill in around 5.3 seconds, slightly quicker than the sedan. It will have a top speed of 130 mph and most likely, it will be availed in both RWD and AWD.
The second likely engine that will power the 850i trim is a 4.4 L, V-8 that is rated at 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. This model should take only 4.3 seconds to hit 60 mph from standstill and will have a top speed of a150 mph. It will also be offered in both RWD and AWD.
A hybrid engine is also likely. On the sedan, the drivetrain produces 322 hp and 370 lb-ft of torque. It will have a full electric range of 23 miles.
Only the above three engines will be offered in the North America market. In Europe, the model will feature more mills. They will include a turbocharged 2.0 L, 4-cylinder engine good for 354 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. There will also be diesel engines starting with a twin-turbocharged 3.0 L, inline-6 that churns out 261 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The second diesel mill will be a quad-turbocharged 3.0 L, 6-cylinder powerplant good for 390 hp and a whopping 560 lb-ft of torque.
Price and release date
It is early to talk talking about the coupe’s prices but I expect it to be more expensive than its sedan sister as is customary. For example, the S-Class Coupe is a whopping 22% more expensive than the C-Class sedan. Since the S-Class Coupe is the main rival of the 8 Series, expect the coupe to be priced in the region of the S-Class coupe. Considering the base 740i sedan currently starts at $81,500, expect the coupe to attract a starting price of over $100,000. The coupe will hit dealerships sometimes in 2018.
The top rival of the 2018 BMW 8-Series will be the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. Bentley also looks to snatch some customers from the Germans with their Continental GT coupe.