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      08-24-2020, 04:10 PM   #1
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Spied BMW mid-engine Frankenstein prototype previews some upcoming new model?

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Updated with video of the mystery mule:




This could be interesting... and if this is true, they better not pull another i8 and make this a 4-cylinder hybrid

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BMW revealed the 8 Series Coupe nearly two years ago. Since then, the automaker has introduced the convertible, the four-door 8 Series Gran Coupe, and the higher-performance M8. Sales of the pricey BMW haven't taken off, though it's still too early for a mid-cycle refresh. However, a new batch of spy photos shows a partially camouflaged 8 Series Coupe with some strange features that have us scratching our heads.

At a glance, nothing looks out of the ordinary. However, upon closer inspection, you can spot the tweaks. For one, the rear side windows are gone, replaced by vents and blacked-out coverings. What does BMW have to cool in the trunk? The rear glass is also covered, attempting to obscure whatever lies underneath it. However, it's not fully covered, though we can't see into the rear from the photographer's perspective.

There are other, subtler changes made to the car. At the front, the lower grille and intake coverings are gone. You can spot the intercoolers tucked behind the valance. Camouflage covers the rest of the front clip, though we can still see the headlights. At the rear, everything is covered, including the taillights, which aren't production units you see sticking out. The lower rear bumper features a different diffuser design than we've seen, with the exhaust cutouts appearing to be larger than they are on other 8 Series models.

There aren't many parts of a car at its rear that'd require cooling unless the engine is sitting back there. That'd explain the side windows and rear glass, but it seems doubtful that BMW would still be building a mid-engine car. There were reports earlier this year saying that the German automaker had canceled its hybrid supercar, which may have benefited from such a powertrain layout. We doubt this is it; however, we also don't know what BMW is doing, either, so it's anyone's guess about this teat vehicle.
BMW Midengine Prototype


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      08-25-2020, 01:35 AM   #2
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Interesting that the wheels, front arches, brakes and front bumper are m850i spec, not m8 spec but it has 4 round pipes

edit - while the 4 pot calipers look the same as on the m850i the discs are drilled which is more in line with the X3M front brakes.
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Last edited by brad850csi; 08-25-2020 at 02:00 AM..
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      08-25-2020, 07:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad850csi View Post
Interesting that the wheels, front arches, brakes and front bumper are m850i spec, not m8 spec but it has 4 round pipes

edit - while the 4 pot calipers look the same as on the m850i the discs are drilled which is more in line with the X3M front brakes.
There's a lot of weird parts bin stuff happening, even the mirrors look like they're from an E36 M3.
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      08-25-2020, 10:34 AM   #4
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Wasn't there information on of all things an M8CSL?
I feel like this could be it.
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      08-25-2020, 10:40 AM   #5
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Maybe that's the new M4 and bmw has been fooling us all along! 😛
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      08-25-2020, 10:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrOhnoez View Post
Wasn't there information on of all things an M8CSL?
I feel like this could be it.
Would be interesting but odd that the M8 GTE is seemingly already leaving the grid and then the 8 series goes mid engine? Marketing there is odd.

My guess? 4 cylinder mid engine hybrid. Count me in if that's the case.
And it could align well with bmw considering a DPi entry.
M8e and an M8 DPi to market it with Lines up pretty good.
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      08-25-2020, 10:42 AM   #7
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I think they are just using the 8er as a mule for an upcoming car or technology that will make its way to future vehicles, so design would likely be completely different, similar to what Mercedes did for the upcoming SL, they hid the car's platform/chassis for testing under a very weirdly shaped E-Class body.
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      08-25-2020, 10:48 AM   #8
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Humbly speaking, this might be a test bed for testing yet unknown front and rear (electric?) drivetrain components. The camouflage in the front and rear is indicative of the areas of focus. Additional camouflage in the rear is most likely hiding instrumentation devices.

This is a good time to mention rear calipers, too small to inspire confidence.
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      08-25-2020, 10:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SleepingBMW View Post
Would be interesting but odd that the M8 GTE is seemingly already leaving the grid and then the 8 series goes mid engine? Marketing there is odd.

My guess? 4 cylinder mid engine hybrid. Count me in if that's the case.
And it could align well with bmw considering a DPi entry.
M8e and an M8 DPi to market it with Lines up pretty good.
I might be wrong, but it seems that all-electric or hybrid test prototypes need to be labeled as such in order to warn emergency services should they happen to intervene, and there doesn't seem to be such a label on this vehicle.
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      08-25-2020, 10:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HasteN54 View Post
Am I trippin, or are those side mirrors off a E31?
I noticed that immediately. Reminds me of the E36 mirrors.
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      08-25-2020, 10:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advantage20 View Post
I might be wrong, but it seems that all-electric or hybrid test prototypes need to be labeled as such in order to warn emergency services should they happen to intervene, and there doesn't seem to be such a label on this vehicle.
Good observation. Every single hybrid/EV BMW test vehicle has had a label. This is definitely something different.
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      08-25-2020, 10:56 AM   #12
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In the last two pictures, it appears that there is sunlight coming through the three window vents on the drivers side. This would seemingly imply they are not connected to any ductwork and are not functional.
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      08-25-2020, 10:58 AM   #13
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8 Series going from front to mid engine like the Corvette...?
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      08-25-2020, 11:01 AM   #14
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Oh gosh. Don't kill me for this, but this reminds me of all of the wanna-be racers in V6 mustangs that have window louvers on the rear windows/glass

If this turns out to be something real, then this could be super cool!
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      08-25-2020, 11:08 AM   #15
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Seems like they are just using that Frankenstein to test some future mid-engine setup.

Many Russian bloggers rumoured about such vehicle coming from BMW in the near future. A mid-engine semi super car, might be called M9.

I didn't believe it until I saw this today
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      08-25-2020, 11:09 AM   #16
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Makes me wonder why they don't just show the real design and get public opinion before final tooling.
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      08-25-2020, 11:09 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White340 View Post
Maybe that's the new M4 and bmw has been fooling us all along! 😛
I dont think they'd give an M4 as a prize at MotoGP and then say "Nevermind That's not an M4 lol"
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      08-25-2020, 11:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ristau View Post
Oh gosh. Don't kill me for this, but this reminds me of all of the wanna-be racers in V6 mustangs that have window louvers on the rear windows/glass
Not gonna lie, when I first saw it my exact thought was also Mustang!

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If this turns out to be something real, then this could be super cool!
It could definitely be cool, but its also a modern BMW so there's room to ruin the whole thing. Whether it will be weight, design/grills, numb steering/handling or even worse a successor to the i8 these are all real possibilities.
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      08-25-2020, 11:11 AM   #19
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      08-25-2020, 11:13 AM   #20
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Interesting!

I wonder what they are cooking up here
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      08-25-2020, 11:13 AM   #21
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I'm surprised no ones made mention of an M1 👀 lol
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      08-25-2020, 11:15 AM   #22
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Very interesting. High chances it'll be a some sort of hybrid though.

Will we ever get the non connected normal sized grill back?
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