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…

2020 Corvette C8 vs C7: Let’s See How They Compare

The all-new 2020 Corvette C8 is a mid-engine supercar with amazing performance characteristics.

2020 Mazda3 SkyActiv-X Does Live Up To (High) Expectations

A petrol-powered engine that works like a diesel but is much more refined quite an achievement in our books.

Alleged Drunk Driver Slams Head-On Into Police Car In Ohio

Any accident in which you’re to blame is to be avoided at all costs; this goes double for hitting a police cruiser.

McLaren 720S Battles It Out Against Lamborghini Aventador S

The Aventador S has more oomph and all-wheel drive, so it must be the winner, right. Right?.

Thought The 812 Superfast Had Slipped Under Mansory’s Radar? Think Again

The Italian supercar features a complete makeover, boasts more power and is named the (ahem) Stallone.

2020 BMW M135i Measured Against Old M140i In Series Of Tests

The all-new M135i is a very different car compared to its predecessor, but is it better?.

Land Rover Back Packer Concept Is A Lunar Rover For Earth

The study is meant to allow you to explore even the harshest of terrains, but you’d have to give up on creature comforts.

2020 Opel Insignia Retains GM Underpinnings, Freshens Up Its Styling

The facelifted Insignia was spied testing at the Nurburgring in Grand Sport and Sports Tourer body styles.

China’s Seres EV Startup Delays U.S. Launch Of SF5 SUV

According to a source, Seres has also laid off 90 of the 300 employees at its Silicon Valley office.

Renault Megane RS Trophy-R Proves Less Is More; Much More

As a road car, it might not be to everyone’s liking. Take it to a track, though, and its brilliance shines through.