BMW M8 GTE Racer Rocks Frankfurt Before The Road Car’s Even Ready

GT racing cars are typically based on production models. And so it is with the new BMW M8 GTE. The difference here is that BMW has unveiled the competition version before the road-going model.

The racing version of the Bavarian automaker’s forthcoming flagship sports coupe, the new M8 GTE is set to replace the M6 GTLM and Z4 GTE as BMW’s top sports racer – and mark its anticipated return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the new BMW M8 GTE packs a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 – based on the production block and cylinder heads – mandated by regulations to produce no more than 500 horsepower. Power is transmitted by a six-speed sequential gearbox.

Since the production model (previewed by the stunning concept at Villa d’Este) wasn’t already finished when development began on the M8 GTE, computer simulation played a big part in developing the traction control and the vehicle’s form.

The use of carbon-fiber bodywork helped keep weight down to 2,700 pounds – a good 55 lbs less than the regulations allow, which means the team ought to be able to play around with extra ballast to tweak the vehicle’s handling balance.

Look for the M8 GTE to mark its race debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona in Florida come January as it gears up to take on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in North America and the FIA World Endurance Championship in Europe and around the globe. When it hits La Sarthe, it’ll mark the first time that the factory will enter Le Mans since the M3 GT2 last raced in 2011.

That’ll be all well and fine for race fans, but the bigger indication this debut gives us is how the road-going 8 Series will look. Strip away in your mind’s eye the competition-spec aero and the fresh take on the traditional BMW Motorsport livery (we particularly dig the red extending deep into the grille) and you should have a fairly accurate picture of what Munich’s new flagship will look like.

* Live photos added to gallery

PHOTO GALLERY

  • PK

    is this car production ready?

    • Denzel

      I think we will see it in Geneva in final production spec

      • Kaisuke971

        Yes and no, this is the race car in its final form. The road car will probably come next year

  • Denzel

    Well it looks like we don’t have to be worried about it looking super ugly going into production.

  • Kaisuke971

    Looks way more extreme than the M6 GTLM, it’ll be interesting to see if it’s a much better racecar as well.

  • fabri99

    Looks fantastic. Since the production version is hiding in there, I am quite confident it will be a stunner too.

  • Yilmaz Yasar

    İts ready to production and awesome but bigger and roundy headlamps ugly than concept model

  • steve

    Wow – that looks amazing!

  • THE ORIGINAL WAS AN ELEGANT GT.
    NOT ALL MODELS HAVE TO BE SPREAD SO THIN WITH EVERY TYPE OF VARIANT POSSIBLE. WE’LL NO DOUBT SEE A FOUR DOOR COUPE, WAGON, CONVERTIBLE,SUV…
    …PLUG-IN HYBRID, HYDROGEN POWER…

  • Six Thousand Times

    Boxing clever of BMW to show us the racer first. Now when we see the road version, we’ll think of its racing credentials.

  • Olly Lupo Higgins

    I rate than an eight m8

  • Jan Mleziva

    I need this in my Assetto Corsa. Or even iRacing but they dont have BMW license…

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