29th Aug 2018 6:00 am
German carmaker’s design boss hints at Maybach-rivalling four-door coupé as part of BMW’s push into high-end luxury market.
A BMW 9-series coupé could soon be on the cards as part of the brand’s push into the high-end luxury market. Company design boss Adrian van Hooydonk has hinted towards a four-door coupé to rival the Mercedes-Maybach S 600.
The German marque recently launched a new 8-series to take on the Porsche 911 and Mercedes S-class, as part of plans to move the top end of its range further into the premium market. That strategy is likely to include a number of new models, which could include a 9-series.
When asked whether BMW had plans for a 9-series, van Hooydonk said: “Let’s say this: we won’t stop here [with the 8 Series]. Obviously, our job is to have more ideas than the company can build, because the other way round would be very bad.”
BMW has been evaluating the launch of a range of upmarket cars for years, and has recently introduced a new design language to appeal to a high-end audience. The recently launched 8-series coupé is the first model to carry that name since the original went out of production in 1999, and is set to be followed by a four-door coupé version late next year.
The 8-series shares platform elements with the 7-series sedan, and such architecture would likely underpin a future 9-series, which would also share engines with those cars. The 8-series range includes a 530.2hp, 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine in the M850i, and a 3.0-litre, inline, six-cylinder diesel producing 320.4hp in the 840d. A mild-hybrid version is understood to be on the way.
A large four-door coupé would likely prove particularly popular with high-end buyers in China, while a 9-series would also tie in with the potential expansion of BMW’s SUV and electric i ranges.
Van Hooydonk also said that the growth of the i brand has given BMW the freedom to push into the premium market: “The i brand has created a lot of opportunities for us, both in the acceptance of new technologies, and also in the acceptance of new design. [In terms of design], a car like the i8 opened doors to us we didn’t even know were there.”