BMW M8 Prototype News Jul 10, 2017 by Jet (Driver Weekly)
There are has been a great deal of excitement about the BMW M8 prototype in recent years and we now have a much better idea of what to expect. The camouflaged prototype was spotted at the Nurburgring in May. The M8 prototype is going to join the regular 8 Series as a high-end sports model. Here’s everything we know about the M8 prototype as we eagerly wait for its official release.
Unveiled at the Nurburgring
The camouflaged version of the BMW M8 prototype made its debut during the Nurburgring 24-hour race. Attendees were treated to the silhouette of the vehicle along with its overall cues. Even with the details obscured, we were able to see aerodynamic additions, the four round exhaust tips, the fat tires, the ginormous air intakes, and the mirrors found on other M-spec models. According to BMW, the brakes on the prototype are also modified for enhanced performance. Unveiling the prototype at the Nurburgring may seem odd at first, but it makes logical sense. After all, BMW will build the M8 GTE, a racing variation of the M8. That variant will be at home on the racetrack and make its debut in competition at Daytona in the Rolex 24 in January. In case you were wondering, that is several months before we will get the chance to own the road-friendly version.
During the unveiling, attendees got a glimpse of the M8 prototype in action, although they couldn’t experience it themselves or take a closer look at the hood. Even so, BMW has told us that the powertrain is a next generation 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that experts predict will make over 600 horsepower. If it sounds familiar, that is because the same engine is under the hood of the M5. On the M8, it will only be paired with an 8-speed automatic. While all-wheel drive will be coming standard, BMW is offering a rear-wheel-drive mode to give you that racecar feel and allow for drifting and powerslides. The new model will be lighter than the M6 it is replacing—a full 200 pounds lighter, if not more.
The History of the M8
You might have heard that there has been an M8 in the past. That former M8 was a prototype derived from the 8 Series grand tourer of the 1990s. It had a manual transmission and used a 6.0-liter V12 with 540 horsepower but never reached production. Instead, BMW made the 850CSi, a de-tuned version with a less powerful engine. Hopefully we won’t suffer the same disappointment with the new M8. However, the new prototype is actually a successor to the M6, while it is based on the gorgeous Concept 8 Series coupe.
Plans for the Future
According to the automaker, BMW built the new Concept 8 Series (above) and the M8 at the same time, and the M8 naturally builds on the success of the aerodynamic styling of the 8 Series. In the future, this BMW M8 will take the basics from the 8 Series but add fine-tuned driving dynamics, sharp handling, agility, and track-ready performance.