BMW to launch a four-door coupe to compete with Porsche Panamera, Aston Martin Rapide and Mercedes-Benz CLS3 AMG.
Back in January, we announced that BMW has placed Gerhard Richter in charge of development of its new Gran Turismo model, which is based on the popular CS concept car. Richter has worked on BMW’s high-performance “M” cars since 1982.
Since then, many rumors have been going around about BMW’s new four-door luxury GT and one of them was related to the final name convention. Will the new concept be called simply GT, short for Gran Turismo or will it take the 8-Series name? While there are still many debates on the name convention, BMW M’s President Ludwig Willisch confirmed that the M badge will not put placed on this car. Most likely the car will indeed take the previous 8 Series models name convention in order to position itself as the highest, most luxury and expensive BMW.
Some of you might remember that the original 8 Series two-door coupe was launched in 1991, as an 850i model, followed shortly by the 840i. Due to low sales the car was pulled out of the market in 2000.
Another interesting aspect lays in the fact that the GT/8-Series will be the first non-M car built by the performance division. BMW M President, Herr Willisch said that the CS “It’s a car that doesn’t have any resemblance to the other cars built by BMW AG, so it was decided to give the project to us.”
The four-door four-seater GT/8-Series will have a large wheelbase, an approximate length of 196.8 inch(about 5 meters) and is expected to be based on the underpinnings of the new 2009 7 series, but with a sportier chassis.
From the current trend, we can assume that many carbonfiber parts will be used to reduce the car’s weight and increase performance. The original 8 Series were powered by 5.0 liter V12 and 4.0 liter V8 engines, but we can expect to see one of the following engines in the new concept: either a V8-V10 twin-turbo engine or the an 6.0 liter naturally aspirated V12.
The release date is set for 2010 and I can already tell that there will be two long years with lots of rumors and spy photos.
If I disagreed before with BMW’s strategy on building cars such as the PAS, X1 or the recent rumored X2, this time I applaud their decision of bringing to the table something new, a car that will be considered a high-end luxury model to compete directly with brands such as Porsche, Aston Martin or even Maserati. Of course, the price will be set accordingly to the respective class, but hey, at least we have an option now.
[Source: Drive.com.au by Jez Spinks – Thank you, great article ]