As they annouced a while ago, BMW Group appeared at this year's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este by the lake Como in Italy to unveil the long-awaited BMW Concept 8 Series. It is expected to hit the streets next year as what BMW calls "part of the biggest model offensive in the company's history." 

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BMW Concept 8 Series, as the concept is officially named, reveals much of the elements of the upcoming production car that is - according to Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design - "a luxurious sports car which embodies both unadulterated dynamics and modern luxury like arguably no other." He added that for him it feels as a slice of pure automotive fascination.

Design-wise, Series 8 will of course ooze the typical 'BMW-ness', as signified especially by the front part with a large kidney grille and large air intakes, a carbon-fibre element between them and super-slim laser headlights. The sides of the car appear muscular, the flowing roofline is dynamic and sporty, while the aggressive rear features slim, stretched-out rear lights, two large, trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes and elements ensuring optimal aerodynamics. For the concept, BMW exclusively developed exterior paint finish Barcelona Grey Liquid, a greyishblue with highly iridescent pigments. Adding to an overall sporty look and sporty driving performance will also be the CLAR platform, which will be the same as featured in the new Series 5 and 7. Of course, they'll have something else in common as well - the digital dashboard and the iDrive system.

The passenger cabin is designed in a minimalistic style, which is something BMW believes will result in the driver focusing more on the driving. Exclusive sports seats come with a carbonfibre shell and are dressed in the finest leather, while the steering wheel features handpolished aluminium spokes. For a better feeling behind the wheel there are numerous additional elements also made of carbon.

Nothing has been said about the powertrain so far, but we may assume it will be similar to what drives the top models of BMW Series 7. We may also expect a plug-in hybrid drive.

BMW is also preparing a BMW M8 GTE race-spec car, based on Series 8, which is to debut in the Daytona 24 Hours in late January 2018. Additionally, it also signals a Le Mans comeback for the BMW Group, according to BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.

May 29, 2017 Driving photo: BMW

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