The company is said to be working on two different proposals for the revived 8 Series. One involves a sporty four-door sedan patterned along the lines of the 6 Series Gran Coupe, albeit larger, grander and more luxurious. The other involves a more traditional coupe and convertible pairing.
Above and below: "E31" BMW 8-Series.
Both of these proposals will use the latest-generation 7 Series sedan as its basis. Shared components will include the car's lightweight Carbon Core architecture, as well as its electronics and drivetrain packages.
BMW's board has yet to make a final decision on which 8 Series proposal, if any, it will approve, but it's understood that the brand will indicate its thinking when it releases a preview concept car in 2018.
Harald Krueger, chairman of the BMW Group, is reportedly keen for the brand to expand its lineup with more high-end luxury models where profit margins are exceptionally robust.
The Bavarian company understands that the Mercedes-Benz books up to 30,000 euros ($46,800) worth of profit on every S-Class model it sells.
It's said that in 2015 Mercedes-Benz sold over 125,000 S-Class-branded vehicles, while BMW only managed to shift 36,364 7 Series sedans. Broadening the range could help close the sales gap, as well as increase company profits significantly.
The 8 Series name was last used in 1999 when the "E31" coupe went out of production.