The idea was first mooted when the Bavarian automaker presented the Vision Future Luxury concept at the Beijing Motor Show last year. Billed (not unlike rival Audi's Prologue concept) more as a design study than a pre-production concept, the Vision Future Luxury show car nevertheless took a larger form than the 7 Series, prompting speculation that a new flagship sedan could be in the works.
The better part of a year later, such a decision has reportedly yet to be taken, but over at BMW Blog they're reporting that the automaker's incoming chief executive Harald Krüger is a fan of the idea and could give it the green light after he takes the helm in May.
If approved, the model likely to be dubbed 9 Series would reportedly compete with the Mercedes-Maybach S600 – but then that model was earmarked to take on the Rolls-Royce Ghost. BMW has typically been careful not to overlap with its Rolls-Royce division, but considering how it's also been going downmarket with front-drive models to close the gap to the Mini brand, we wouldn't be all that surprised to see the 9 Series positioned maybe just below the next-generation Ghost and developed alongside it, taking a page out of rival VW's playbook.
Volkswagen has, after all, made a brisk business out of sharing platforms and slicing market segments between the various brands under its umbrella. And while BMW is nowhere near as large, its new leadership could find new ways to increase its market share.