Set to be unveiled this summer, the two models were previewed the 8-Series concept, but the styling has been notably tamed down even in the M Sport variants seen here. Regardless, the cars have a sporty front fascia with a wide grille, slender headlights and large air intakes with honeycomb mesh inserts.
The sporty styling is visible elsewhere as the M-Sport package appears to include lightweight wheels and blue brake calipers. The models also have aerodynamic side skirts, a ventilated rear bumper and a four-tailpipe exhaust system which is hidden behind the dual exhaust cut outs.
While the coupe and convertible are largely identical, the coupe is the more stylish of the two as it features a sloping roofline, muscular rear fenders and a small rear spoiler. The convertible is slightly less adventurous as the power retractable soft top required a number of changes to the rear end including a flatter trunk lid and a repositioned third brake light.
How many bodystyles will BMW offer?
Actually, aside from the 8-Series coupe and convertible you see here in prototype form, BMW will also build a four-door Gran Coupe. Codenamed G16, it was previewed earlier this year with the M8 GC Concept in Geneva. A rival to the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Porsche Panamera, it’s expected to be introduced in production guise in the second half of 2019. It will be available with the same powertrains as the two-door models, including an all-mighty M8 version with a twin-turbo V8 that will likely target the Mercedes-AMG GT.
The latest spy photos give us a glimpse of the interior and we can see drivers will sit behind a three-spoke steering wheel and a high-tech digital instrument cluster. BMW recently detailed its take on the digital instrument panel that will have a central display that can be used to show navigation data. We’ll see this tech implemented on the next Z4, 7-Series, and X7.
While most of the dash remains hidden in these 8-Series prototypes, we can see it has metallic accents, a stubby gear selector and an iDrive controller with a knurled surround. Expect the same top-end technology features used in the current 7-Series and then some more, including BMW’s latest iteration of their autonomous driving system.
What’s under the hood?
Engine options will likely carryover from the 7-Series so we can expect a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder developing around 335 hp (249 kW). There should also be a 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V8 producing 455 hp (339 kW).
Buyers looking for something more powerful can look forward to the M8 which will likely use an upgraded version of the 4.4-liter V8 engine that resides in the M5. The exact output remains unclear but rumors have suggested it could produce between 616 hp (459 kW) and 641 hp (478 kW). It will be connected to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission feeding a rear-drive biased xDrive AWD system.
There has also been talk about an M Performance variant, a plug-in hybrid model with the iPerformance moniker, and a luxury model with a V12 engine, though the latter seems like a hard (and unnecessary) sale these days.
When will we see the production models?
We’ll have our first official look at the coupe later this summer, on June 15 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, before the 8-Series makes its public world premiere at the 2018 Paris Auto Show in September. Sales are expected to start later in the fall.
Article has been updated with new information and photos with additional reporting from John Halas