"Polarizing" is not usually the word car designers or auto manufacturers themselves embrace for their products, but that's exactly what the VP of design for BMW's M and i models is saying about the newly unveiled concept M8 Gran Coupe.
"The BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe is designed to stir things up, to polarize – it should move you emotionally,” admits Domagoj Dukec. "With this car we want to reach people who are looking for something special and who want to stand out from the crowd. Here, BMW M is unmistakably taking luxury out of its comfort zone."
Like the BMW Concept 8 Series before it, the BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe supposedly shows off BMW’s new design language, featuring expressive surfacing that accentuates the car's dynamic pretensions more vividly than current models. And the concept is more evolutionary than revolutionary, except for a couple of elements that, as we'll describe below, may very well be left on the designer's drawing board.
Low to the road and broad in stance, the eye-catching front end of the BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe is designed to set hearts racing. But it is the one thing that also may ACTUALLY polarize BMW enthusiasts.
The rear of the car also carries with it the possibility of major polarization. A large "lip" rises up from the hood to form an aerodynamic wing, and massive "scoops" are carved out of the rear bumper. It is very hard to believe these gaps will
make it to production in the US, what with all the safety regulations, which have traditionally required a large 5-MPH-impact bumpers, as silly as some may think they are. The quad exhaust pipes also feature the copper colored theme that works its way into almost all metal on the concept M8 Gran Coupe.
The greenhouse looks too small in the concept drawing, but in the actual art (clearly this car hasn't been built) it's better proportioned, in fact, it's very nicely proportioned, and easily helps peg this as a BMW. And finally, one must call out the rather large BMW badge on the rear, which is a trend and not at all a bad one (yet.)
So, there are possibilities here that the M8 Gran Coupe concept will indeed polarize. But there's also a lot here to love. The style is undeniably BMW-flavored, and it is undeniably a well-designed concept. But whether some of the more "boy racer" elements remain - including the huge rear scoops and the more mild and mainstream front end ones - is up for debate. It's easy to see the rear become more restrained and the rest of the design remain as-is. Which will work for most BMW enthusiasts just fine.
(Photos: BMW Group)