BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe
Ah, the eternal fight between Mercedes-Benz and BMW. When Daimler launched the CLS in 2005, they created a new segment of “four-door coupes.” BMW responded in 2012 with the 6-series Gran Coupe, based on the 5-series but commanding a far greater premium than Mercedes was ever able to get out of the CLS.
At this year’s Geneva auto show, we are entering the next round: Mercedes-Benz has just launched the third-gen CLS, but on top of it, there is a four-door version of the AMG GT. Yes, it’s based on the E-Class, but it looks and will drive similar to AMG’s two-seater beast. Naturally, BMW couldn’t take this without a response. Therefore, the 6-series Gran Coupe will morph into the 8-series Gran Coupe. Its range-topper will be the 600-horsepower M8 Gran Coupe. And while it won’t launch until next year, here it is as a thinly disguised concept – and as a competitive answer to AMG’s latest offering.
The Concept M8 Gran Coupe is a derivative of last year’s Concept 8 series, elongated, with four doors, and a variation of the “Hofmeister kink” that somewhat reminds us of the 1992 Jaguar Kensington concept, a design that was later sold to Daewoo where it morphed into the largely forgotten Leganza sedan. Being an M8, the concept sports extra-large wheels, massive air intakes, wide fenders, a Zagato-style carbon-fiber roof, a pronounced rear spoiler and four extra-fat exhaust pipes.
Under the skin, the Concept M8 Gran Coupe sports a 4.4-liter V8 biturbo that channels its power to all four wheels.
When the M8 Gran Coupe comes to market, it will soon face not only the AMG GT 63S, but another veritable competitor – in the form of the second-gen Audi RS7. We can’t wait for the shootout.