BMW's executive coupe
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BMW has set tongues wagging and memories racing back to a 1990s legend with the release of the first official images of its new 8 Series due to go on sale next year.
Think of it as the German brand's coupe version of its most executive car on sale today - the 7 Series - looking to steal sales from Mercedes-Benz and its S-Class coupe.
Rakish, stylish, futuristic and luxurious ... could it be the best-looking BMW of modern times? It is certainly likely to excite fans of the 1990s BMW 8 Series, now considered a modern classic.
The new 8 Series was revealed at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Italy - the same location Aston Martin showed the Vanquish Zagato Concept a year before.
Response to that car in 2016 was so positive that Aston decided to build it one month later - all 99 NZ$909,500 models were sold before the production was announced.
That won't be the case with the BMW, though, because the 8 Series will not be available until next year. When it does arrive, it will be the first time an "8" model is in the range since the turn of the century.
And the new 8 Series should look similar to this concept -- a more comfortable version of the i8 supercar, with room for two in the back, a decent-size boot and a range of petrol, diesel and hybrid engines.
Being a concept, there's no talk of price yet. But if it is to go head-to-head with the equivalent Mercedes S coupe, expect to pay NZ$182,000 for the least expensive model and close to NZ$364,000 for a likely M8 version.
BMW said it will make a Gran Coupe four-door version and a convertible variant of the 8 Series, but for now the two-door coupe is what we've been given a first glimpse of.
Announcing the preview vehicle, Harald Kruger, board of management chairman at BMW AG, said the new model would strengthen the brand's position in the executive market.
"The forthcoming BMW 8 Series coupe will demonstrate that razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury can go hand-in-hand," he said.
"This will be the next model in the expansion of our luxury-car offering. In the process, we will strengthen our claim to leadership in the luxury class."
Like the last 8 Series -- the E31 built over a decade until 1999 -- it combines sleek lines with chiselled features to create a handsome design. BMW's design bods said the new shape features a "fresh interpretation of iconic BMW styling cues".
The U-shape rear lights and cut away panel look similar to the i8, the front lights are modelled closely on those fitted to the current 5 and 7 Series and the tapering bonnet mimics the design of the 6 Series. What is different is the oversized kidney grille, which could become part of the design language for future BMW models.