BMW on Thursday unveiled a concept for its new 8-series coupe that will become its new flagship and help it fight off a challenge from German rival Mercedes-Benz for leadership in the premium segment.
"The number 8 has always represented the pinnacle of sports performance and exclusivity at BMW," CEO Harald Krueger said in a statement. The 8 series will demonstrate that "razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury can go hand in hand," he said.
The production 8-series coupe will go on sale next year in Europe and the U.S. followed by a convertible in 2019. The cars will compete directly with the Mercedes S-class coupe and convertible.
Krueger said the 8 series will "raise the benchmark for coupes in the segment," helping BMW to "strengthen its claim to leadership in the luxury class."
BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk said in the statement: "It is a luxurious sports car which embodies both unadulterated dynamics and modern luxury like arguably no other. For me, it's a slice of pure automotive fascination."