Launched on the eve of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Lake Como, Italy, the BMW Concept 8-series is not only a close preview of the upcoming 8-series. It also ushers in a new era in BMW design, according to the corporate design chief, Adrian van Hooydonk.
With its aggressive and sculptural look, the 8-series concept takes up many elements seen in the Concept X2 that BMW displayed last fall at the 2016 Paris auto show. That car, van Hooydonk said, gave an “indication” of the brand’s new styling direction. By contrast, he said, the 8-series fully conforms to it.
Besides the sculpted look, van Hooydonk said that the low, wide kidney grille’s new shape and the freshly interpreted Hofmeister kink will find their way onto other BMW cars. “With variations, it works in all segments,” said the chief designer, adding that the new styling direction will be rolled out quickly—including on the X7: “From now on, this is the new look.” And, he emphasized, “We will change the face of the brand comprehensively.”
As a minor point, there will be a new exhaust strategy as well. The trapezoidal dual exhaust outlets, first seen on versions of the new 5-series, will play a bigger role in the future.
And BMW will overhaul its interiors, too, also in line with what’s seen in the 8-series concept, which means a lower dashboard, more pronounced orientation of controls and displays toward the driver, and much tidier surfaces.
We like the new design language, particularly on the exterior. It looks aggressive and contemporary—and, next to Audi and Daimler’s offerings, it proves that there was perhaps never a more interesting period in automotive design than today.