BMW is planning to reposition its high-end coupes by bringing back the 8 Series and evolving the 6 Series into a leaner, meaner, Porsche 911 fighter.
Pending trademark applications with the global intellectual property registrar have exposed a range of nine possible 8 Series model designations, including a flagship BMW M8 variant.
The full list of applications includes; 825, 830, 835, 840, 845, 850, 860, M850 and M8 – suggesting a range of six-, eight- and twelve-cylinder engines could be used.
A company insider confirmed to Auto Express in the UK that the applications represent an imminent plan to restructure BMW’s product family, and that the trademarks were not being parked for a rainy day.
BMW has previously been disinterested in building a rival to the sharp, track-ready Porsche 911, preferring the 6 Series as a hefty grand tourer. However, AMG’s successful launch into the segment seems to have encouraged BMW to challenge its German rivals.
BMW and Toyota have been jointly developing a sports car platform to underpin the resurrected Toyota Supra and an as-yet-unconfirmed BMW model. Sources at both companies have confirmed the scalability of the collaborative platform. A versatile platform that allows for different-sized vehicles to be built upon it could provide a basis for the next-generation 6 Series.
The new 8 series would adopt the position of flagship two-door in BMW’s line-up, competing against luxury alternatives like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. It will once again share duties with the BMW 7 Series in showcasing the company’s cutting-edge technology.
BMW phased out the 8 Series in the late-90s. It was last sold in Australia in 1999. If BMW does introduce an M8 model it will be the realisation of an idea first mooted more than two decades ago. BMW M8 prototypes featured the V12 engine eventually put to use in the McLaren F1. The F1 still holds the record for the fastest naturally-aspirated production car.