When BMW unveiled the all-new G15 8 Series in debut coupe and cabriolet form, it would only be a matter of time as to when we would see the return of the Gran Coupe bodystyle to echo that of the 6 Series that it replaced.
The general timeframe was set for somewhere in mid-2019 for the four-door coupe variant to be revealed, a next-generation competitor to such cars as the Porsche Panamera, Mercedes-Benz CLS, and Audi A7, and all seemed well.
That is until about last night when seemingly official images of still under wraps 8 Series Gran Coupe surfaced online, with AutoExpress being one of the first outlets to publish them. For those following the current-generation 8 Series, many design cues have naturally been carried over from the coupe and the general proportions do also take some direction from the previous 6 Series GC.
That said, the new Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform and larger dimensions mean that the 8 Series successor will be a generally more substantial car both outside and in, making use of its longer wheelbase and wider stance to allow for a roomier interior.
In terms of how the Gran Coupe will shape up in terms of variants and options, all indications point to it broadly sharing the spread already established by the Coupe and Cabriolet which, so far, is comprised of the 840i, 840d xDrive, and M850i xDrive.
For those wanting more performance, a full fat M version of the car is confirmed to be in development, though it is uncertain if the M8 Gran Coupe will be available from launch. Either way, the a 4.4-litre S63 V8 will be supplying power for this range-topping variant, possibly supplying as much as 460kW and 750Nm if BMW M chooses to mimic outputs of the Coupe’s Competition spec.
Expectedly, drive will be funnelled through a 8-speed Steptronic-branded ZF automatic before being appropriately dispersed through the M xDrive four-wheel drive system, operating with rear-driven characteristics until additional grip is absolutely necessary.
However, given that the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid produces a system output 500kW and Mercedes-AMG will be fielding a new electrified range-topping GT 73 4-Door Coupe with similar numbers, it will be interesting to see how BMW will respond if it does intend to keep up in the hybridised power race.