BMW unveils Concept 8 Series coupe designed as a "driver's car"

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BMW unveils Concept 8 Series coupe designed as a "driver's car"

BMW has revealed a concept car favouring style over technology, which will provide design cues for the German brand's next top-of-the-line vehicle.

BMW Concept 8 Series

The Concept 8 Series was revealed last week at classic auto fair Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, run annually by the BMW Group on the shores of Lake Como.

The concept car resurrects the manufacturer's high-end 8 Series, which was in production from 1989 to 1999. BMW expects to launch its new 8 Series Coupe based on the concept in 2018.

BMW Concept 8 Series

In contrast to its recent spate of concept vehicles, which have focused on how futuristic technologies like automation will shape car design, BMW is positioning the Concept 8 Series as a "driver's car".

The designers focused on form when imagining the car's exterior and interior.

BMW Concept 8 Series

"The BMW Concept 8 Series showcases a new approach to the use of forms, which is reflected particularly prominently in the car's surfacing," said senior vice-president of BMW Group Design Adrian van Hooydonk.

"A handful of crisp lines mark out clear surfaces, and the car's volumes are powerfully sculpted. In short, this is a driver's car."

BMW Concept 8 Series

The Concept 8 Series sits low to the ground, with a long bonnet and deep side air intakes. The continuous lines are uninterrupted by elements like door handles, as the car opens to its owner with a swipe of the hand, while front and rear headlights are slim and elongated.

The front of the car features a redesigned take on BMW's iconic "kidney" grille. BMW has been using a split radiator grille design since 1933, and its current version is instantly recognisable as belonging to the brand.

BMW Concept 8 Series

The Concept 8 Series' take on the grille accentuates the points at either end, giving each of the two segments more of a bullet-like shape.

BMW also developed a new paint colour for the project, Barcelona Grey Liquid, which it claims accentuates the car's curves through its "highly iridescent" pigments.

BMW Concept 8 Series

Inside, the focus is on luxury finishes. There is a carbon-fibre shell to the interior, with the ultra-strong material used alongside hand-polished aluminium on detailing. The gearstick is made from Swarovski glass with a "smoky quartz look".

BMW plans to release a new car model with a similar form to the Concept 8 Series in 2018. It also plans to launch an M model for motorsports in time for the 24 Hours of Daytona event in late January 2018.

BMW Concept 8 Series

The company, which ranked 15th among brands on Dezeen Hot List, has stayed ahead of the curve by embracing hybrid and electric technologies with models like the i8 sports car. It has also explored more experimental territory with its concept vehicles, including the Vision Next 100, a shape-shifting car that can predict your every move.

Although BMW may be putting the focus on the driver with the Concept 8 Series, board director Peter Schwarzenbauer told Dezeen earlier this year autonomous technology was an ongoing focus for the brand, which is working with psychologists to overcome human resistance to the notion of being inside a robot.

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