BMW’s head of design has dropped a not-so-subtle hint that the Munich-based brand is considering creating a new 9 Series flagship to slot in above the 8 Series and take the fight to Mercedes-Maybach.

Speaking to Autocar, BMW design director Adrian van Hooydonk said that his team has “a lot of plans”.

“Let’s say this: we won’t stop here . Obviously, our job is to have more ideas than the company can build, because the other way round would be very bad,” Van Hooydonk said.

“My team and I are now looking at 2021 and beyond – as far out as 2030. We have a lot of plans.”

According to the British publication, the 9 Series would be positioned to rival the Mercedes-Maybach S600.

The Bavarian automaker has already started production of its new 8 Series at Plant Dingolfing, after unveiling the flagship coupé in mid-June. A high-performance M8 as well as an 8 Series Gran Coupé are expected to follow.