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Nov 21, 2019
BMW M8 preview

What's this?

Despite the presence of a 530hp, 4.4-litre biturbo V8, all-wheel-drive M850i model in the range, BMW feels its flagship 8 Series family requires not just an M Performance derivative, which is the M850i, but also a full-on M car. The M8 therefore uses the engine and running gear from the current BMW M5, to result in a super-powered performance-GT.

What will its rivals be?

The M8 will kind of straddle between fast versions from other premium (if mainstream) manufacturers like itself, such as the Audi RS 7 Sportback or the Mercedes-AMG GT C, as well as more premium sports and GT vehicles like the Porsche 911 and Bentley Continental GT/GTC. It could even be seen as an alternative to the upcoming Ferrari Roma, given its power output and performance.

Any tech info?

As mentioned, it takes the M Division-enhanced drivetrain from the M5. That means a 625hp/750Nm 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine, which drives all four wheels of the car through both M-tweaked eight-speed transmission and rear-biased xDrive all-wheel drive. The latter can be set-up to send all power to the rear wheels alone in certain driving settings, although that’s only recommended for track use. Big brakes and a standard-fit carbon-fibre roof (on the hard-topped models) to lower the centre-of-gravity are all standard fit, with all models capable of 0-100km/h in little more than three seconds and top speeds of 305km/h (if optioned with the M Driver’s Package).

What will the range be like?

BMW will sell the M8 in both 600hp regular and 625hp Competition guises, but – in right-hand-drive markets like ours – only the more potent Competition will be offered. There are also three body styles to choose from: the 2+2 Coupe; for those who want more posing power, there’s the M8 Convertible; and then, as the most practical and arguably the best-looking, there’s the four-door M8 Gran Coupe.

Expectations?

Very high, although BMW’s biggest performance cars haven’t typically won all the plaudits in the past. The 8 Series is ostensibly a GT in its regular format, rather than an out-and-out sports car, but the involvement of the M department and the 625hp headline figure rather set the dynamic bar a little higher. It might be that it doesn’t drive as well as a Porsche 911, but it does need to outmanoeuvre all its other key rivals, while simultaneously offering a decent level of ride comfort and refinement.

Author: Carzone

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