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BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe: a vision in green and gold. Image by BMW.

BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe: a vision in green and gold
First look at the stunning BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe, due to wow crowds in Geneva.
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What's all this about?

It's our first look at the BMW M8. OK, this car is actually the BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe and, of course, BMW would like you to pay close attention to the word 'Concept' in the car's name. However, the German firm has form here - years ago, it took two 'concept' cars to motor shows that went on to become production realities with barely any changes; and those machines were the E46 M3 CSL and the E60 M5. So, there's a strong likelihood the finished M8 will not be a million miles away from this glorious concept machine.

It's a real stunner, isn't it?

You're not kidding. It's hard to know where to start, but let's do it in sections. At the front, a new profile of kidney grille - which gets very wide at its midriff - with a single-piece surround and narrow, 'twin-hexagon' light clusters not only makes the M8 Gran Coupe look low and lithe, it previews the future of BMW's overarching design going forwards. So the next 3 Series, for example, will share the same features. Those colossal lower air intakes are also made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP).

Drool. And the flanks?

Long bonnet plus long wheelbase plus short tail plus sloping roof equals a genuinely sensuous coupe profile, despite four doors giving access to the interior. Definition is provided by a couple of dramatic swage lines, one originating in the M gills aft of the front wheels and running along the sills, the other highlighting the M8's muscular shoulders. These coalesce in the car's C-pillar, while running from the roofline into the rear spoiler are a pair of raised fins. Talking of the roof, it too is made of CFRP, which not only looks tremendously cool, but serves to lower the vehicle's centre-of-gravity by reducing mass up top. Even the door mirrors are aerodynamically optimised, BMW clearly thinking of every little edge it can for the M8's performance.

Can we now talk about the BMW's quite fabulous arse?

Put rather indelicately, we might say, but yes, let's take a look at the rear of the Concept M8 Gran Coupe. Bold, horizontal lines emphasise width, while the light clusters are once again slender and mean and moody, with a distinctive graphic in them. Absolutely standard, but oh-so-appealing quad exhausts are separated by a beefy diffuser, while those two gaping vents at the outer edges of the bumper positively scream 'THIS CAR IS SPEED!'. Lightning McQueen can stand aside. And, now we've covered all aspects, we can tell you the Concept M8 is painted in Saleve Vert, a colour that shifts from green to greyish-blue depending on the light, while many details are picked out in gold to contrast that - spot the shade on the kidney grilles' frame, the side window surrounds, the M gills on the wings, the brake callipers, sections of the alloy wheels and on those trademark M quad exhausts.

Any words from the design team?

Here's Adrian van Hooydonk, the senior vice-president for BMW Group Design, who explains: "The BMW 8 Series will take over as the new flagship model of the BMW line-up and, as such, combines unsurpassed sportiness and elegance. The BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe offers a look ahead to the most exotic and alluring variant of the new BMW 8 Series."

"The BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe is designed to stir things up, to polarise - it should move you emotionally," said Domagoj Dukec, vice president of design for BMW M and BMW i. "With this car, we want to reach people who are looking for something special and who want to stand out from the crowd. Here, BMW M is unmistakably taking luxury out of its comfort zone."

Matt Robinson - 6 Mar 2018

Earlier articles featuring 2018 BMW M8

2017-05-27: BMW debuts camouflaged M8 at Ring

2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe concept. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe concept. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe concept. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe concept. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe concept. Image by BMW.

2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe concept. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe concept. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe concept. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe concept. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe concept. Image by BMW.    - BMW road tests
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