In this period of aggressive product growth in the industry, manufacturers continue to add new models to their product offerings. The expansion of some manufacturers’ lineups has been truly phenomenal; one of them is BMW.
A recent rumour floating around seemed to indicate that the Munich-based automaker was set to add yet another model to its roster. This would be a new flagship sedan taking the name 9 Series.
It won’t happen. A BMW executive has put the kibosh on the possibility.
"I don't think you need a 9 Series. In this segment, you need three cars - an X car, a saloon and an emotional sporty car - and we have them: the X7, 7 Series and 8 Series."
- Klaus Fröhlich, head of BMW's research and development department
In an interview with British magazine Auto Express, Fröhlich pointed out that several of the company’s competitors were shrinking their offer in this segment due to slowing global sales. What’s more, adding more-luxurious models over and above the current flagships would step on certain other toes, for instance those of Rolls-Royce’s Cullinan, Ghost and Wraith.
The BMW exec did leave the door open for the development of a new model, however. But it won’t be sedan; unsurprisingly, it would be an SUV, presumably one named X8. Like the X4 and X6 are to the X3 and X5, this new X8 would be a sportier version of the X7 SUV. It would not be more luxurious, just more performance-oriented.
At Audi, the Q8 occupies roughly the same position vis-à-vis the Q7 SUV.
So the upshot is, we won’t be seeing a 9 Series. An X8? Maybe.