BMW is launching the 8 Series in the U.S. this fall with a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 that produces a healthy 523 hp. Some markets also receive a 3.0-liter turbo-six with 315 hp. The automaker hasn’t announced other variants, but it’s looking like a V-12 or plug-in hybrid powertrain is part of the plan, at least for now.
Speaking with Australian outlet GoAuto, BMW Group vice-president of product management Carsten Groeber cooled rumors that the 8 Series could use the 6.0-liter V-12 from the M760Li xDrive. Although he noted “everything is possible,” he had reservations about a larger engine.
“V-12 is very heavy and we have a very perfect weight distribution with this car,” he said. “So the package with the V-8 with those technologies with the chassis and the drivetrain makes the car a proper sportscar. In our opinion a V-12 will be too heavy in the front.”
Electrification hasn’t been ruled out completely, but it’s not on the schedule at this time. “Never say never. There might be in the years to go,” Groeber said, “We are a learning company and as the market turns, if we need to do something we will react. But at this point in time, in 2018, the car is perfectly set up, and I think people love to have these cars.”
The 8 Series will, however, offer rear-wheel drive, Groeber confirmed. This configuration should be available next year.
Even though it probably won’t have a V-12 engine, the 8 Series will launch plenty quick. When paired with the 4.4-liter V-8, it’s estimated to hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. That number is from BMW, so we’ll have to independently confirm the time when we get our hands on one.
Meanwhile, Mercedes-AMG is ditching its V-12 engines in favor of V-8s. After getting rid of the V-12-powered G-Class, the performance brand has announced it will also ditch the V-12 version of the S-Class after the current life cycle is over.
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