Statements by Development Director Frank Weber are interpreted by several media in such a way that BMW is reducing its coupé model range: 4 Series plus 8 Series equals 6 Series and the current hatchback 6 Series could also be dropped from the program.
The history of the 8 series at BMW remains volatile. The Australian magazine whichcar, after an interview with BMW Chief Development Officer Frank Weber ( here the big auto motor und sport interview ), refers to business circles who believe that the 4 Series (3 Series technology) and 8 Series (7 Series technology) coupe series will be merged ) to a medium-sized one with the traditional series number 6. Sounds plausible - after years of falling sales figures for coupés and convertibles , Mercedes is currently taking a similar path : The wide range of coupe-convertible series of C, E and S classes is now only one series. The S-Class two-doors were already dropped from the range when the generation of the luxury sedan changed, and the C-Class also did not have a successor with the debut of the new C-Class 2021. When the new E-Class rolls out in 2022, together with the fresh C-Class, it could form the basis for a new coupe-convertible series. ,
Will the 8 Series Gran Coupé become a 7 Series variant?
At BMW, however, there is also the four-door 8 Series Gran Coupé. It could be the only one to survive, but then it should probably be added to the 7 Series. According to the report, the time would come in 2026, which is fitting in that a new generation of the 8 Series Gran Coupé would then be on the way. The current 6-series, i.e. the 5-series with a 7-wheelbase, hatchback and large flap would be due for a change as early as 2024; It will probably be phased out without replacement, while the Touring will surely have a successor again in the same year. After that, station wagons at BMW and Mercedes could definitely be up for discussion.
The current 8 Series, which has just been slightly revised, was BMW's second attempt to position its large coupe higher. The first 8 Series from 1989 , technically based on the 7 Series, replaced the first 6 Series that BMW had built since 1975. The 8 Series from 2018, in turn, inherited the 6 Series (F13), which was technically based on the previous generation 5 Series F10. In contrast to the 90s 8s, there was no V12 for the current one, despite its proximity to the 7s, which BMW has since discontinued entirely and marked the end of it with a farewell edition of the M760i. The new 7 Series, which will debut in 2022, will also be available as a presumably similarly powerful electric version called the i7.
Is an electric mega-watt M3 coming as the M4 successor?
The report from whichcar does not say what will become of the 4 Series either. A successor would be expected in 2027, the technical basis, the 3 Series, should roll out in a new generation in 2026. It's hard to imagine that the M3 will only be available with four doors as a result.At least whichcar knows that the rumor of an electric megawatt car that has been circulating for some time contributes to this: An electric car with 1000 kW (1360 hp), which as the ultimate M4 successor with its own body on a 3-series basis similar to the XM ( presented as a concept car at the end of 2021 on X7 basis) would then have to roll out in 2028. ,
The article closed the reply from the BMW development board to the objection that the future BMW model range is still missing an icon à la M1 or Z8: "Wrong", Weber then said. "We have absolutely no problem imagining a highly emotional car based on the new class (electric car architecture for 2025, editor's note)".
New e-car architecture with solid-state batteries
For the new class , the BMW development board promises solid-state batteries and optimized electric motors, in which BMW has long relied on current-excited synchronous machines that do not have permanent magnets and the rare ones required for this Earth get by and are particularly easy to control. Weber promises an efficiency of 98 percent. ,
When converting to electric, after the expensive and low-volume i3 with its completely independent platform, BMW initially relied on electric drives (iX3, i4) integrated into existing series, which will continue with iX1, i7 and i5. The iX, on the other hand, stands on its own platform designed exclusively for the electric drive. It is the technical harbinger of the so-called New Class , a purely electric architecture for all series from the 2 Series Coupé to the X7.
Even if BMW does not want to give a date for the end of combustion engines, the company expects an e-car share of 50 percent by 2030. More and more electric cars means fewer and fewer combustion engines. For the niche series with the lowest quantities, the end of profitability comes faster. It's no secret that with the 8 Series the desired higher positioning of the coupe has been achieved, but the quantities are too small overall, especially for three body styles. In addition, the two-ton ship is anything but sporty. A merger with the 4-series into a new 6-series, which immediately replaces the also niche 5-series hatchback, makes sense. The model range is more likely to be expanded in the SUV sector, even in the form of coupés, see X8 based on the X7.