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BMW 8 Series canned

Stillborn: The Concept CS wowed crowds in Shanghai last year.

Bavarian brand cancels its plans to produce a four-door supercar rival for Porsche’s

11 Nov 2008

BMW has officially dropped its plan to put the Concept CS into production as a new four-door supercar flagship to rival the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CLS-class, and the upcoming Porsche Panamera, Aston Martin Rapide and Lamborghini Estoque.

The striking CS show car debuted globally at the 2007 Shanghai motor show and was widely billed as a successor to BMW’s discontinued 8 Series coupe, before being confirmed for production by BMW CEO, Dr Norbert Reithofer last September.

Now, however, BMW says the five-metre-long 7 Series-based four-seater GT would not be profitable enough in the current economic climate, is no longer required as a halo model for the BMW brand and would divert BMW’s focus from its EfficientDynamics and “project i” development plans.

The news was revealed by Dr Reithofer during a conference call with US media last Tuesday (November 4) – the same day the BMW announced a 63 per cent third-quarter after-tax profit slump globally, from €803 million ($1.53b) to €298 million ($567m).

14 center imageLeft: BMW CS concept design model.

“All our actions are based on careful consideration and foresight,” said Dr Reithofer. “It does not make sense to build up stocks which are bound to reduce our revenues later on. We also have a commitment to our dealerships and the well-being of the company.

“But there is another aspect towards improving profitability: We are reviewing all product projects again.

“And we thus have decided that there will not be a series model of the Concept CS.

“A recent analysis has shown that: First, despite the great feedback this car has achieved so far, it does not match our ambitious profitability targets Second, our three premium brands have a strong brand image all around the world. This has been proven, for instance, by the latest Brand index analysis. So for the time being, we can do without this “brand shaper” since we have many others in our portfolio Third and most important is that we want to focus our resources primarily on future projects and new technologies.

“In other words: Currently, our top priorities are EfficientDynamics and project i,” he said.

The announcement does not affect all-new models expected to appear before 2012, including the BMW X1 compact SUV, the Mini SUV and the “extended-functionality Progressive Activity Sedan”, plus replacements for the 5 Series, X3 and Z4.

However, while the demise of the production Concept CS deprives BMW fans of a flagship grand tourer to crown the range of German hatchback, coupe, convertible, sedan, wagon, SUV and SUV/coupe models, it is expected to provide an insight into the new design language to feature on the next-generation 3 Series.

Read more:

BMW reveals future model plans

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