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Warm-up laps in Italy: The new BMW 8 Series Coupe undergoes vehicle dynamics testing on the racetrack.

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Prototype of the new luxury segment sports car completes endurance tests on the high-speed circuit in Aprilia – Preparations for market launch during 2018 progress according to schedule.

 

Munich. With the presentation of the BMW Concept 8 Series, BMW already offered a close-to-series glimpse at the design of their new luxury segment sports car. The dynamic qualities of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe are now also clearly manifesting themselves. A close-to-series prototype is currently undergoing intensive testing on a high-speed proving ground in Aprilia, Italy. The tests serve in particular to optimise the vehicle’s driving dynamics on surfaces with a high friction coefficient and mark yet a further decisive stage on the way to the launch of the new BMW 8 Coupe during 2018. 

The test drives are being carried out with a heavily camouflaged prototype, which nevertheless gives strong indication of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe’s typical sports car proportions. As in the case of the BMW Concept 8 Series, the dynamically stretched lines, the flat silhouette and the powerful front and rear ends give a foretaste of the fascinatingly sporty driving experience.

This impression is confirmed with each lap completed on the proving ground in Italy. With its around 4 kilometres long oval circuit, including steep bends, the area situated in the proximity of Rome offers above all the perfect conditions for high-speed and high friction coefficient tests. Moreover, the acceleration, braking and steering behaviour of the new sports car are analysed on circuits, slalom courses and different road surfaces. The highly demanding test programme facilitates the targeted harmonisation of all drive and suspension systems. The new BMW 8 Series Coupe has shown that it offers maximum agility and precision in highly dynamics situations. Likewise, the car is also able to meet the highest demands in terms of supremacy and comfort.

“The test drives under the most severe conditions show that we are right on target with our concept for the new BMW 8 Series Coupe. The vehicle dynamics values already achieved are absolutely impressive. Our customers and fans can look forward to a genuine sports car,” says Klaus Fröhlich, member of the board of the BMW AG, Development and Research, who oversees the test programme in Italy.

The high vehicle dynamics potential results from an extraordinary close connection between motorsports and series production. The new BMW 8 Series Coupe is being developed parallel to and in close coordination with the BMW M8 and the BMW M8 GTE racing car. Whilst the prototype of the production model is undergoing endurance tests, the teams, which are supported by BMW Motorsport, are currently preparing in Daytona (USA) for the initial racetrack use of the BMW M8 GTE. On 27/28 January, the BMW M8 GTE will make its racing debut at the Daytona 24-hour race. In June 2018, it will then participate in the 24-hour race at Le Mans. The knowledge gained there and at numerous other racing events in the FIA WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) in North America will directly benefit series development of the BMW 8 Series Coupe.

Likewise, the know-how gained during training and on the racetrack will advance development of the new BMW M8. In June 2017, a prototype of this new model from the BMW M GmbH was already presented during the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring. The Nordschleife of the legendary racing circuit is also the main proving ground for testing and further enhancing the new BMW M8.

The BMW Group has defined its strong presence in the luxury segment as one of the major pillars of its NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy. With the consistent extension of its model portfolio through the addition of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe and the new BMW M8, the BMW Group creates the ideal prerequisites for winning over the most demanding target groups and convincing them with a unique combination of supreme dynamics and modern luxury.

*Due to the prototype vehicle status, technical details like fuel consumption, CO2 emissions etc. will be communicated later this year.

 

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The new BMW 8 Series Coupe: With maximum dynamics on the way to series production.

Current driving dynamics tests being carried out on the new luxury sports car in Wales demonstrate not only the harmonious interaction between drive and suspension, but also the wide spectrum of handling characteristics encompassing racing performance and long-distance ride comfort.

 

Munich. In the final stage of the series production development process, the new BMW 8 Series Coupe is exhibiting the entire spectrum of its dynamic handling potential. Current test drives in Wales are fully dedicated to the final coordination of all drive and suspension systems, the key focus being on the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe, a car which embodies the performance characteristics of the new luxury sports car in a particularly intensive manner. A completely redeveloped V8 engine, state-of-the-art intelligent four-wheel drive technology, an active rear axle differential lock, the adaptive M suspension Professional with active roll stabilisation and Integral Active Steering form a perfectly harmonised package for fascinating sportiness and supreme comfort.

The most striking features shared by the engine and suspension include the broad spectrum of their characteristics. The eight-cylinder power unit being featured for the first time in the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe produces precisely the amount of torque and sonorous sound ideally suited for relaxed cruising. On the other hand, in the Sport or Sport+ mode of the driving experience control feature, both power delivery and engine sound alike become noticeably more dynamic. Likewise, the function of the electronically controlled dampers, the stability control system DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) and the four-wheel drive system are precisely oriented to the selected driving mode. The rear wheel-focused setup of the new BMW xDrive system is perceptible in every driving mode, whilst particularly ambitious drivers benefit from the active differential lock in the rear axle transmission, which provides for maximum traction when accelerating out of bends.

“The thing that always impresses when test driving the new BMW 8 Series Coupe is its adaptability,” says Markus Flasch, BMW 8 Series Project Manager. “Whether a driver expresses his or her wishes with regard to comfort and sportiness using the accelerator pedal or by pressing a button, the vehicle immediately adapts perfectly to each setting.”

A low centre of gravity and high stiffness values for body and suspension form the basis for the new BMW 8 Series Coupe’s highly dynamic handling characteristics. In the case of the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe, both agility and direct steering behaviour are additionally assisted by standard Integral Active Steering and active roll stability. Moreover, the electronically controlled dampers are able to provide for maximum wheel stability at any time, so that contact with the road is guaranteed even on short stretches of uneven surface.

“The new BMW 8 Series Coupe will be available exclusively with mixed tyres. This gave us the possibility when coordinating the suspension control systems to exploit the potential of the wide rear wheels to attain particularly sporty handling characteristics,” comments Jos Van As, head of Suspension Application. “Also, the higher camber values on all wheels and specifically tuned elastokinematics result in the realisation of exceptionally high cornering speeds prior to the intervention of the electronics. So those who wish can drive on the racing track with active DSC, too.”

As the embodiment of both supreme and sporty power delivery, the new V8 power unit also contributes decisively towards the performance characteristics of the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe. Whist having the same weight as the predecessor engine, the new power unit mobilises an output that has been increased by 50 kW/68 hp to 390 kW/530 hp. Maximum torque has increased by 100 Nm to 750 Nm and is available at 1,800 rpm. The eight-cylinder engine delivers its power to an extensively further developed 8-speed Steptronic sport transmission characterised by expanded spread and further shortened shift times.

“The new V8 engine offers exactly the right balance between performance and emotion, which is what also sets the new BMW 8 Series Coupe apart,” says Christian Billig, head of Drive System Integration. “Above all, the eight-cylinder harmonises perfectly with the further developed Steptronic transmission during dynamic acceleration. At the same time, the sound development of the sports exhaust system authentically reflects the car’s power delivery. And thanks to BMW xDrive and active rear axle locking, the engine always transfers power precisely to where it can be best converted into driving dynamics.

With the test drives in Wales, developers are rounding off the exceptionally diverse and intensive programme for the series development of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe. Outside the racetrack and cordoned-off proving grounds, prototypes of the new model are also tested on public roads in order to obtain information on customer-relevant characteristics in driving situations that are as close to reality as possible. They form an ideal supplement to the information gathered for instance during winter test drives in Arjeplog in Sweden, on the BMW Group proving ground in Miramas in the South of France, at the testing centre on the Nürburgring Nordschleife or during initial racing circuit deployment. 

The BMW 8 Series Coupe will go on sale during the course of 2018. The digit 8 in the model designation refers to the new model’s prominent position within BMW’s product range. As was once the case with BMW Z8 and currently the BMW i8, it stands for highly emotional and exceptionally sporty vehicles. Thus, the BMW 8 Series Coupe will become a crucial component of the luxury segment model initiative laid down by the BMW Group in its NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy.

*Due to the prototype vehicle status, technical details like fuel consumption, CO2 emissions etc. will be communicated later this year.

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