BMW is preparing replacements for its 6-Series coupe and convertible but will be positioning them higher, into 8-Series territory.
BMW hinted at the revival of the 8-Series in March, when senior executives said the automaker was looking to add high-end models positioned above the 7-Series. One of these will be the 8-Series. Another will be an i8 Spyder.
We’ve already seen a prototype for the 8-Series coupe, and today we have our first look at a prototype for an 8-Series Convertible. The original 8-Series never spawned a convertible, though BMW had built a prototype.
Although this prototype features a soft-top roof, this looks to be a dummy unit hiding a retractable hard-top. This could end up being a key differentiator for the 8-Series Convertible against its main target, Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class Cabriolet.
2020 BMW 8-Series Convertible spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Another interesting element is the lack of a B-pillar, which is a typical trait of Mercedes two-door models.
Underpinning the car is BMW’s carbon fiber-infused CLAR platform that debuted in the 2016 7-Series.
BMW trademark filings suggest V-8, V-12, M Performance and dedicated M options for the 8-Series. The filings included “850,” “860,” “M850,” and “M8.” It’s possible the M8 will feature a high-performance hybrid system known as the Power eDrive plug-in hybrid. The system combined a turbocharged inline-4 with a pair of electric motors for a combined 670 horsepower.
Production of the 8-Series will take place at BMW’s main plant in Dingolfing, Germany, most likely starting in 2019. This means we should see the car introduced as a 2020 model.