THE WORD IS BMW HAS THE MAYBACH IN ITS SIGHTS, WRITES DEREK FUNG
A big new BMW 9 Series is reportedly in the works for a 2020 debut, aimed squarely at the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
According to AutoBild magazine, the 9 Series will be based on a stretched version of the 7 Series’ platform, and will have a unique body inspired by the Vision Future Luxury concept unveiled at the 2014 Beijing motor show.
Comfort for rear-seat passengers will be paramount. Those sitting in the back will be treated to individual seats, entertainment screens and rear-hinged doors.
Engine choices are said to include the company’s twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12. That engine is used in the BMW’s present range-topping sedan, the M760Li xDrive, where it generates 441kW of power and 800Nm of torque, and drives all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic.
The 9 Series could also be offered as a plug-in hybrid. If that comes to fruition, expect it to be more powerful than the 240kW/500Nm PHEV drivetrain in the 740e, which pairs a 190kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an 83kW/250Nm electric motor built into the eight-speed automatic transmission.
Like today’s 7 Series, the new 9 Series will have a body that uses a mix of steel, aluminium and carbon-fibre.
With the 9 Series, the carbon-fibre could include the seat shells and more body elements.
This latest rumour about BMW’s future product plans comes just days after reports that the 6 Series will be replaced by a 7 Series-based 8 Series range, and that an X2 “SUV coupe” will debut at this year’s Paris motor show.