As you might have seen in a previous post, I recently attended the Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, part of the legendary Monterey Car Week. There was everything a car guy could hope for: cars of all vintage, food, music, booze, beautiful people, and celebrities. It was Christmas morning and I felt like I was 8 again.
But I want to talk more about a very special car present at the Quail: the new 8-Series concept. We’ve all seen the press release photos. You know, the ones with perfect lighting and shadows. However, the real test is to see how it is in real life. I thought the concept, personally, looked great. In short, the new 8er makes the outgoing 6-series look pedestrian and mercilessly mundane. What was a thoroughly handsome car has now become slightly boring.
So, what has changed about the look? The new 8 is a much more aggressive car. The stance appears far more purposeful, and while the 6 was just round, the 8 manages to be both round and sharp together. Lovely creases form the tapered front and rear sections with a more swooping shape to the side. The proportions and roofline are spot-on. There are slits and slats abundant all around, up front, in the rear, and even the sides. I particularly like the slim, slit-like tail lights. In contrast to the current crop of BMW tail lights which feature a large housing around LED lights, this is just the LED strip itself. I bet the view following the 8 will be mega.
While I really do like the car and see it as an improvement over the 6, I do have a few things I don’t like. Mainly, the grille. Talking to Jonny Lieberman from Motor Trend, he said it best, describing it as, “Bitey.” It does give the impression it’s trying to swallow you, and not in a good way. Just something about it is off, the styling of the trademark kidney grilles are too pronounced and exaggerated.
Also, all those cool vents, when peering inside I couldn’t help but notice the cheap looking plastic grilles inside. They were just dull black plastic. C’mon, BMW. Some carbon or gloss black grilles would be much better, and for how much the 8 will cost, it should be better.
Overall though, it is a good looking car. This is a concept, remember, so it could change slightly before the production model is ready. I’m also quite keen to see the inevitable M8 as well.