Spy shots of what appears to be a heavily disguised BMW test mule have ignited rumors that the German company could still be developing a production version of its four-door BMW CS concept car.

Citing the difficult economic climate, BMW last month stated that it would be focusing on smaller cars and that the production CS, likely to be called the 8-Series, was definitely off the table. BMW's chief executive officer Norbert Reithofer stated that the business case for the car was not convincing enough for the company to build a range-topping super-sedan and that BMW did not need "that kind of brand shaper." However, these latest spy shots seem to contradict that sentiment.

Anticipation of a bevy of four-door sedans from a number of luxury manufacturers may have been enough to force BMW to reconsider its position. Upcoming models from Aston Martin, Porsche, Mercedes Benz and Lamborghini would mean that BMW would be left out of an entire market segment. If the spy shots are actually what they are rumored to be, then this means that BMW is either willing to take a risk on the CS, or that the business case for the car has changed. Previously it was reported that there was only a 1.3% estimated return on investment for the flagship saloon.

As recently as September, reports of progress on the car's development at BMW's M Division were emerging. Putting development of the car exclusively into the hands of the M Division was intended to help give it the performance credentials it would need to compete with the likes of the Aston Martin Rapide, Porsche Panamera and Mercedes-Benz CLS.

The new spy shots show a large sedan, roughly the same size as the BMW 7-Series, but with a unique front-end and sportier profile. Head over to EVO to see the rest of the shots.


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