Do you remember the BMW 8 Series? It was the largest coupe the automaker offered, existing as a sort of sporty analog to the. It died before the turn of the century, but now, there's a good chance it might come back, as BMW figures out how to better bring the battle back to Benz.
BMW is readying a spiritual successor to the 8 Series, likely positioned as a 7 Series coupe, which will reportedly debut as early as 2019, according to Bloomberg sources familiar with BMW's short-term roadmap. The source also told Bloomberg that the coupe is the "first of several new versions" as BMW builds up a luxury-leviathan portfolio to boost its lagging sales.
Currently, BMW's 7 Series sales are some 40 percent below the, despite the former car being two years newer than the latter. In fact, sales are only barely ahead of Tesla's Model S electric sedan. Audi's due for a new A8 in 2017, which will make its current efforts even more difficult.
I think a 7 Series coupe could help BMW in one big way: variety. Mercedes-Benz makes a wealth of different S-Class configurations. You can have total luxury () or crazy performance (Mercedes-AMG S63, S65), and the S-Class is also offered in both and variants, each with their own performance model. BMW's current 7 Series stable is limited to the standard V-8 sedan, with V-12 and models coming soon.
That's a big gap to cross, but the luxury market isn't shrinking, so adding a number of body styles to its flagship product could greatly expand its reach. At the least, BMW needs to jump on it before Audi beats it to the punch.