The flagship coupe was only spotted last month in camouflage form as it continues testing but now BMW blog Bimmerpost has published two leaked images, showing the production version's front and rear.
The front three-quarter shot shows the car is reminiscent of the 6-series coupe and with smoother lines than the Concept 8-series, from which the production version loosely draws inspiration. The rear LED lights have also been toned down from the original concept.
Due to be produced in coupé and convertible forms, the BMW flagship is meant to rival to the two-door Mercedes-Benz S-class and Bentley Continental GT as well as their drop-top siblings. The 8-series model will be a two-door coupé version of the 7-series sedan – in much the same way that the 4-series and 3-series are related, albeit with a significantly more sporting design. Despite the brand's aim to separate the more upmarket cars' branding from the rest of the line-up, the large trapezoidal exhausts at the rear and intricate headlight clusters with familiar BMW motifs inside link the car to the rest of the range.
Being so closely related to the 7-series, it’s likely that the 8-series will share naming conventions and engines with its sedan sibling. This implies 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 will also likely include the more performance-oriented 4.4-litre V8 in the 750i xDrive, accompanied by all-wheel drive. A V12-engined model will be released 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 600hp, 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.
There will also be an M Sport variant which has already been spotted testing. This variant will have a more aggressive front bumper and sharper exhausts. This also offers the best insight into the look of the following M8. Earlier last year, other camouflaged variants were seen on the road with more subtle wheels and smoother bumpers.
All variants of the coupé sport a rakish rear window line, while the convertible ditches this due to its electric folding fabric roof, which feeds into a horizontal boot panel.
As part of BMW's range shake-up, the 8-series coupé will indirectly replace the 6-series coupé expected to end production in 2018. The 6-series convertible will then be indirectly replaced by the 8-series convertible, the following year.
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