What's the news?
BMW has taken the covers off the new M8, based on the reinvented 8 Series. The M8 model will be available initially in Coupe and Convertible body styles (and we know that there's an M8 Gran Coupe in the pipeline, too) in both regular and 'Competition' flavours with up to 625hp and the usual M division suite of powertrain, design and chassis upgrades. The new M8's first public outing will be at a BMW Group '#NextGen' event in Munich on June 25 before going on sale later this year. It's looking like only the high-power M8 Competition will be offered to Irish buyers.
All versions of the new BMW M8 get a beefier bumper up front with lots of air intakes, along with a specific version of the BMW kidney grille and 'Air Breathers' in the front wings. Those have been subtly flared, incidentally, to accommodate a wider track. Unique door mirrors and 20-inch alloy wheels are fitted, as is a new rear bumper featuring an aerodynamic diffuser and the characteristic M quad exhaust system, while an extra lip spoiler features above the back lights. The images here show the Competition model, which gets plenty of dark and moody detailing to set it apart, along with its own set of 20-inch forged alloy wheels. These shots also show the optional M Carbon exterior package, while the BMW M8 Coupe gets a contoured carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof as standard.
New sports seats are fitted to the BMW M8, with full leather upholstery as you'd expect. Part-Alcantara trim is available, too, and there are strips of carbon fibre inside to ensure you know you're in the M8. Not that you'll miss the bright red engine-start and M mode buttons, as originally found on the current BMW M5. The M8's gear selector is new, however, and it also gets an M leather steering wheel with M-specific instrumentation in the BMW Live Cockpit Professional dashboard. A head-up display is standard.
At the heart of the new BMW M8 is the same core twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine as found in the M5. The entry-level version gets 600hp and 750Nm of torque, while the M8 Competition is endowed with 625hp (and the same peak torque output). So, the slowest version (all things being relative) is the M8 Convertible, which does 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds. The quickest accelerating is the M8 Competition Coupe, hitting 100km/h from rest in just 3.2 seconds. All cars are limited to 250km/h unless fitted with the M Driver's Package, in which case the limiter is raised to 305km/h. An eight-speed M Steptronic automatic gearbox is standard with three 'Drivelogic' settings and of course the option to take full manual control of the gear shifts.
Helping get all that grunt to the road is an adaptive and adjustable M xDrive four-wheel-drive system with various modes of operation, including undiluted rear-wheel drive. An electronically controlled locking differential controls the torque split between the rear wheels and there are various settings for the stability control, too. Most of the rest of the chassis has been redeveloped for the M8 model, of course, resulting in wider tracks, a lower roll centre and a stiffer overall structure. To this is bolted adaptive damping and a new power steering set-up. The M8 Competition cars, incidentally, get a firmer and more track-focused chassis set-up than the entry-level models.
As ever in a BMW M car, the driver can personalise a huge number of these sub-systems to their liking. New on that score, however, are the brakes, allowing the driver to choose from two different pedal feel settings. M compound brakes are standard, with carbon-ceramic items on the options list.
The M8 Competition also gets stiffer engine mounts, with the aim of enhancing response, turn-in and even engine noise. BMW quotes an increase in the engine mounts' spring rate from 580N/mm to 900N/mm.