The unstoppable letters and numbers catalogue of BMW models sees no sign of slowing, as the brand looks to more higher-end models to help stimulate further growth.
Speaking at the unveiling of the 2018 BMW 8 Series concept in Italy, the coupe itself part of the premium strategy, BMW AG Management Board Member Ian Robertson noted that the push toward an ever more premium top-end “is about giving a special treatment to the customer”.
“There is lots of opportunity for BMW at the upper end.”
The expansion of markets in Asia and the Middle East, along with continued growth in Europe and North America, has indicated a high demand for the best the brand can offer.
Personalisation is important too, as Robertson noted that some 20 per cent of all 7 Series sales included elements from the BMW Individual catalogue.
And despite the early success of the G11 7 Series, the big saloon cannot do all the heavy lifting by itself.
The presentation of the new 8 Series coupe is just the start, with the large X7 SUV also scheduled to break cover in 2018. It doesn’t stop there, with Robertson teasing the brand is “working on other options too.”
Above: last year's BMW Vision Next 100 concept
According to Robertson, the next few years will see the most aggressive and most comprehensive change in product offering the brand has seen, in its now 101-year history.
BMW has already committed to a new EV for 2020 as part of the NEXT strategy, but what else might we expect?
There’s a convertible version of the i8 super sports car in the works, and we’re likely to see a cabriolet variant of the new 8 Series, plus BMW’s M Division showed a camouflaged M8 concept at the 2017 Nurburgring 24hr race.
Even without the Rolls Royce brand, there is room above the 7 Series, as shown by the 2014 Vision Future Luxury show car - and do we dare suggest an X8 coupe derivative of the large X7?
Whatever the case, BMW’s direction for 2020 and beyond looks set to be a premium one.