The 8-Series BMW comes back hard and heavy in a testament to the performance-luxury roots of which it was bred — and is even coming in a rear-wheel drive configuration but you can forget the 12-cylinder for this model. You can also forget the PHEV configuration as well — the company has officially confirmed the direction it will be taking the 8-Series for its second tour of duty. Depending on your loyalty to the 12-cylinder (or the planet) you may need to look elsewhere to get your fix.
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Fortunately, they are offering the $111,000 luxury sports car with a variety of options to custom-fit it to the discerning buyers. A rear-wheel-drive setup will be an option for those looking to shave a few bucks off the price tag. For those willing to foot the bill, vice president of product management Carsten Groeber had good things to say of the system as reported by goauto.com’s Tim Nicholson from Paris “Everything is possible, but we think the newly developed eight-cylinder with 590 horsepower is the perfect package.”
He continues to assert the newly developed 523hp, eight-cylinder twin-turbo is the perfect package pointing out the fact that the 12-cylinder long block is extremely heavy. As the car stands, a “very perfect” weight distribution currently exists and the heavier powerplant would serve to only add power at a cost to that balance; “[this is what] makes it a proper sports car,” he continued. With 4.4L of twin-turbocharged, BMW engineering sending the 523 hp through their eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission there is little left on the table to be desired; the company is confident in its offerings to the very demanding market in which it serves. But the engine is only half of what makes the new 8-Series all that it’s cracked out to be.
Groeber further advocates his all-wheel-drive setup to Australian journalists at the Paris motor show by asserting the X-Drive setup is the proper concept for the powerful car; it’s a very intelligent feature that delivers the right amount of power to the right wheel, right when it needs to. Overall, the corporation is very positive and confident about the direction of the lineup as it currently stands and acknowledges its own story to follow; “We want to be loyal to ourselves…the BMW customer expects a BMW…it’s a different kind of luxury.”
BMW was understandably cryptic about other projects in the works, but would neither confirm nor deny different powerplant options including the ‘currently-axed’ PHEV when asked about it. It’s reasonable to assume that there are exciting things happening behind the curtains of the BMW 8-Series lab.