The last time that BMW produced the 8-Series was in 1999. This two-door coupe belonged to the grand tourer class and combined speed, style, safety, and comfort. Powered by a V8 or V12 engine, the BMW 8 Series represented a new class targeted towards a different market. It offered a better performance but fetched a higher price than the BMW 6 series. No thanks to falling sales, BMW had decided scrap off the 8 Series in 1999. While BMW resurrected the 6 Series in 2003 and is still producing it, it has yet to revive the 8 Series.
However, there have been reports that BMW is digging the graveyard to resurrect the 8 Series, which is its biggest two-door ever made. Even though sales of premium coupe models have not been as good as before, BMW is hell-bent on reviving the 8 Series and is using the 7 Series platform as its base. There could be good reasons for that.
Well, the BMW 6 Series has been too weak to compete against the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. Right now, anything that BMW is throwing against the S-Class Coupe is not serious enough to steal sales from Mercedes. This could be because the 6 Series could be considered more of a sports car than a luxury grand tourer. Likewise, in terms of prestige and spaciousness, the 6-Series pales compared to the S-Class.
BMW has to have an offering that could seriously take on Mercedes’ S-Class Coupe while squeezing more from its 7 Series platform. Moreover, the new 8 series coupe is expected to fill the price gap between the 7-series and BMW Group's Rolls-Royce Wraith. This means that the 8 Series would have a price of around EUR150,000 (about $165,000), which makes it more expensive than the 7-Series, more affordable than the Rolls-Royce Wraith. Once pricing is confirmed, the new 8 Series could be the most expensive BMW vehicle on the market.
BMW is understood to be planning to launch the 8 Series coupe in late 2018, with a convertible version to follow a year later. An M8 performance version -- as well as a 12-cylinder variant – is being considered by BMW. An M8 performance model would be targeted against the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe while the V12-powered 8 Series would be pitted against the Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe.
The arrival of the 8 Series coupe and convertible, however, does not mean that BMW would be discarding the 6 Series Coupe and convertible. It seems that the 6 Series Gran Coupe would continue for another generation. Interestingly, BMW is planning to rechristen the next 5 Series GT as the 6 Series GT.