BMW is broadening its flagship model range with the launch of an 8-series Gran Coupe.
The four-door, five-seater -- a first for the 8 series -- is a nod to changing consumer tastes and opens the 8-series lineup to a larger market than a two-door offering does.
Old-school coupes have lost favor in the market as buyers have moved to more practical 4-door models, said Sam Fiorani, vice president with AutoForecast Solutions. "Today's four door coupes give buyers the sporty image and performance they want with a usable backseat that is traditionally lacking in these flagship models," Fiorani said.
The addition of the Gran Coupe body style will expand the 8-series' reach into territory occupied almost solely by the Porsche Panamera, he said.
It is also expected to go head-to-head with the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi A7.
BMW will offer the 8-series Gran Coupe with three gasoline variants, two powered by the automaker's TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine and an M variant, powered by a TwinPower Turbo 4.4-liter, V-8 turbo engine that delivers 523 hp and can sprint from 0-to-62 mph (100 kph) in 3.9 seconds, BMW said in a statement. A diesel model will also be available in Europe, the automaker said.
The M850i xDrive performance variant is equipped with A new aluminum alloy provides a stronger engine block, BMW said.
Both engines feature an updated eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission.