BMW Finally Confirms Development on the Mythical M8

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

BMW confirmed the crap out of the M8’s existence this weekend, going so far as to provide its own spy shots of a test prototype wearing camouflaged wraps. Being developed alongside the standard 8 Series, the automaker says the M8 will be unveiled in a driving presentation during the Nürburgring 24-hour race.

The brand also stated that development is ongoing for the GTE racer that will herald the return of the company’s Motorsport division to Le Mans. “The BMW M8 GTE development programme for our Le Mans comeback is in full swing,” said 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.”

Bayerische Motoren Werke is keeping a lid on what is going into the M-badged 8 Series — either because it hasn’t settled on a powertrain or it knows that’s the best way to build anticipation. BMW won’t make the vehicle anything less than a refined monster, so the smallest option would likely be a tuned-up S63. The 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 produces almost 600 hp in the majority of the platforms housing it, and could certainly be engineered for a few extra ponies.

More likely, however, is the implementation of a larger engine that would further cement the M8 as the brand’s flagship vehicle. The original M8 prototype from the 1990s was always intended to have an insanely powerful V12. If the brand adheres to that same mentality with the new car, it could mean an extremely powerful variant of the N74 in the M.

It wouldn’t be out of the question to see the 8 Series receiving both V8 and V12 motors, with the higher end vehicles opting for additional cylinders and the M8 fixated upon perfecting the vehicle’s handling and saving weight. “The conception and development of the standard BMW 8 Series and the M model run in parallel,” stated Frank van Meel, President BMW M Division. “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.”

[Images: BMW]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Mr Imperial Mr Imperial on May 30, 2017

    BMW must know that some countries, with a specific English dialect, will call this the "BMW 'Mate." Good day, Mate!

  • Boxerman Boxerman on May 30, 2017

    From the article "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.” In other words it will be completly different driving experince to any current BMW or M product(baring maybe the M2) then. the current crop which are bloated, isolated, and have uncharismatic motors, all wrapped in a package that is lacking in overall quality or reliability. I wont touch the issue of styling. Ill believe the M8 is good when i see it, based on the current cars I wouldnt believe anything BMW thinks is going to be good. To me BMW lost the plot a while ago, hyperbole and badge is no longer carrying the load.

  • Akear Toyota wins once again, while GM has egg on its face.
  • Slavuta Why America needs school buses altogether? When I was in school, I rode on a regular city bus
  • Jeff Buy whatever works for you if you own an EV and are happy with it good, if you buy a hybrid or plug in hybrid and it works for you good, if neither and you like your ICE the way it is that is also good. I believe over time EVs will get better and have a larger segment of the market.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Is New Jersey better than Old Jersey?
  • Tassos Jong-iL Looking forward to buying 2 of these with all of those Rubles we have been earning lately.