BMW has been spotted testing a prototype for an updated 8-Series coupe. A prototype for an updated 8-Series Gran Coupe has also been spotted in the recent past.
The modern 8-Series arrived for the 2019 model year, initially in coupe form. A convertible also arrived for 2019 and then the more practical 8-Series Gran Coupe was added to the lineup for 2020.
In typical BMW fashion a mid-cycle update for the full 8-Series range is likely to be introduced for the 2023 model year, so it's not unusual for updated 8-Series prototypes to be out and about.
The prototype is heavily camouflaged at the front, which points to a more substantial tweak to the design than your typical mid-cycle update. The rear is also camouflaged so you can count on a few tweaks here as well.
Looking at a short of the interior, there appears to be a new infotainment screen at the top of the center stack. The screen in the current 8-Series measures 10.25 inches but we wouldn't be surprised if a bigger unit is being tested here. BMW also announced a new generation of its iDrive interface in March, and this could point to what the automaker has planned for the updated 8-Series.
It isn't clear what BMW has planned for the powertrains. At present, the range in the U.S. starts off with the 840i with a 335-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6. You really don't want this model. An 850i with a 523-hp 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 is available, and if money's no object there's the M8 with a similar engine to the 850i but with 600- and 617-hp (M8 Competition) outputs.
Semi-official BMW tuner Alpina unveiled its own version of the 8-Series Gran Coupe in March. This model, known as the B8 Gran Coupe, comes with 612 hp.
It's possible performance in the updated 8-Series will be enhanced with mild-hybrid technology on some variants. We could also see a plug-in hybrid option added, the same 389-hp setup that's found in the X7 and 7-Series and was recently added to the 5-Series overseas. With any luck, BMW also develops a hardcore M8 CS with the same 627-hp V-8 as the new M5 CS.