BMW has pulled the wraps off the M8 and M8 Competition, a pair of high-performance sports cars that has the Porsche 911 firmly in its sights. Both models are available in coupe and convertible guises, and the M8 Competition also takes the title of the most powerful M production car ever.
While the M8 models promises plenty of performance cred, BMW has says that the M8 will “lead a luxury segment offensive”, suggesting that the car will target a wide range of rivals ranging from the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe to the Porsche 911 and all manner of high-powered sports coupes in between.
Powering the M8 models are boosted versions of the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 found in the M850i, and in the M8 the unit produces 600hp and 750Nm of torque. In the M8 Competition, the power output rises further to 625hp, with the same amount of torque produced. The most powerful M8 Competition clocks a 0-100km/h time of 3.2 seconds, with the M8 an extra 0.1 seconds slower (and an additional 0.1 seconds for the respective convertibles).
Like the regular 8 Series cars, the M8s come with standard all-wheel-drive. The rear-biased M xDrive system in the M models though offer the option of sending power solely to the rear wheels when the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system is disengaged, albeit with a caveat from BMW that this mode only be operated by the “experienced wheelman” (i.e. do it at your own risk).
A tech highlight on the M8 is the new adjustable brake system. Whether it be the standard steel brakes or the optional carbon ceramic brakes, the system comes with an integrated lightweight module, and the brake pressure is triggered electronically, allowing for adjustability of pedal feel. Drivers can choose from ‘Comfort’ or a more direct, instantaneous ‘Sport’ mode for their desired braking pedal feel.
Other engineering tweaks to the M8 over the regular 8 Series model include the strengthened M-specific chassis, more rigid engine mountings for better stability, and adaptive suspension which has been set-up differently between the coupe and convertible models to better suit each version’s drivability.
Externally, the M8 features the usual M car design elements, like the carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof on the coupes, flared wheel arches, large air intakes in the aggressive-looking front bumper, aerodynamically-designed door mirrors, and M badging everywhere. The overall look is fairly subtle for an M car, reflecting the M8’s status as a high-performance grand tourer rather than an outright track machine.
The cabin too reflects the usual M sentiments, with M-specific sports seats and steering wheel, and all manner of M logos to constantly remind you of what you’re driving. There is also new Setup and M Mode buttons, which allows you to configure the M8’s driving characteristics every which way to your desire.
The BMW M8 and M8 Competition Coupe and Convertible are scheduled to arrive in Singapore by the end of this year, with pricing details yet to be announced.