The 9 Series from BMW has doubtlessly occupied the highest end of the spectrum of automobiles from the traditional German automaker, being bigger, more luxurious and high-tech and, of course, more expensive than all of its previous models. In this way BMW is vying for a spot in a new market, directly competing with super-luxury brand vehicles like Rolls-Royce and Bentley, among others.
Until now, the BMW group had reserved the super-luxury niche for its subsidiary brand, Rolls-Royce. With a range of vehicles that start at around US$250,000, the double R brand is targeted to the highest end of the worldwide market. At any rate, in the last few years a new intermediate market has been identified, where highly acquisitive buyers want automobiles from prestigious brands like BMW, but with superior luxury equipment. This is the new niche that offers cars such as the Porsche Panamera and the Mercedes Benz Maybach, and this is where BMW has placed its 9 Series cars.
It’s rumored in the automotive world that the new spectrum will be based on the Gran Lusso Coupé, the acclaimed prototype being developed by prestigious Italian design studio Pininfarina and BMW. This concept car is an enormous coupe with a clear racing personality that makes the most of BMW’s elegant character.
Viewed from the front, the most identifiable aesthetic novelty can be seen in its streamlined headlights, which are oriented toward the road and are complemented by the typical twin kidney grille with an angular front and tridimensional look.
The car’s sides show fluid lines with rounded but pronounced angles that respect BMW’s proportions, giving the model an interesting play of shadows that highlights the contrast between the car’s sportiness and its elegance.
Lastly, when viewed from the rear, the model’s streamlined LED tail lights stand out, along with the wraparound design that extends from the rear bumper to the center with a thin red line, adding dynamism to the trunk’s large proportions.
The interior treatment features materials of the highest quality, with brown hand-stitched leather from prestigious Italian tannery Foglizzo, Kauri wood (from a tree native to New Zealand) that comes from a single 48,000-year-old specimen, micro-perforated aluminum, and the touch screens one expects from a modern automobile.
The exterior aesthetic treatment, as well as the environment and equipment in the interior, will continue to be used in the brand’s top-of-the-line model, which will be in production from 2018 to 2020.
In this way the leader in worldwide luxury car sales will continue to have a product aimed at deep-pocketed consumers who are seeking not only the best possible auto performance, but also some exuberant luxury in their cars. Given the product’s features, the main niches for the 9 Series will continue to make waves in the established Chinese market and, of course, the United States. ■