A fully-fledged M version of the re-born 8-Series is coming with BMW previewing the production M8 through a camouflaged prototype.
Revealed shortly after the presentation of the 8-Series concept model in Milan, Italy, earlier this week, the M8 will make its official debut in a driving presentation as part of the support program for the Nürburgring 24-hour race.
“The conception and development of the standard BMW 8 Series and the M model run in parallel,” said BMW M boss Frank van Meel. “The future BMW M8 will build on the genes of the 8 Series and augment its DNA with added track ability and generous extra portions of dynamic sharpness, precision and agility. It all flows into a driving experience that bears the familiar BMW M hallmarks and satisfies our customers’ most exacting requirements.”
BMW won’t divulge details about the powertrain yet, but it’s believed that the M8 will adopt the new M5’s running gear, including a 600 horsepower or so V8 together with the specially developed variable version of the firm’s xDrive all-wheel drive system with a rear-wheel drive only mode. A softer and more luxurious M860i xDrive model with the M760Li xDrive’s 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V12 putting out 600PS (592hp) is also rumored to join the range.
And that’s not all as development is also underway of a race-spec car called the M8 GTE, which will spearhead the return of BMW Motorsport to Le Mans.
“The BMW M8 GTE development programme for our Le Mans comeback is in full swing,” says BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Developing a new racing car is always exciting, and in the case of the BMW M8 GTE the anticipation is that much greater still. We can’t reveal any pictures yet, but I can promise you that the BMW M8 GTE will look spectacular. We are planning an initial roll-out for the first half of this year and are looking at giving the car its race debut in the Daytona 24 Hours in late January 2018.”