When the new BMW 8 Series was revealed in June 2018, the Bavarian brand showed only two derivatives (the M850i xDrive and the 840d xDrive), both employing all-wheel drive. Now, however, the automaker has confirmed it will eventually also offer a rear-wheel-drive variant.

The two-door sportscar is scheduled to go on sale in South Africa in the first quarter of 2019, initially in M850i xDrive guise only. But a rear-drive derivative (as well as an M8, Gran Coupé and Convertible) is also on the cards.

“We will have something in the near future, which is also rear-wheel drive,” Carsten Groeber, BMW’s vice president of product management in the luxury class, told GoAuto.com.

Groeber also effectively ruled out the use of the BMW Group’s 6,0-litre V12 engine (which makes a whopping 448 kW in the M760Li) in the 8 Series coupé.

“Everything is possible, but we think the newly developed eight-cylinder is the perfect package,” he told the Australian publication.

“V12 is very heavy and we have a very perfect weight distribution with this car. So the package with the V8 with those technologies with the chassis and the drivetrain makes the car a proper sportscar. In our opinion, a V12 will be too heavy in the front.”

The M850i’s twin-turbo 4,4-litre V8 petrol engine is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and sends 390 kW and 750 N.m to all four corners. The obligatory zero to 100 km/h dash is completed in a claimed 3,7 seconds, while top speed comes in at 250 km/h.