The BMW 8 Series lineup expands with the introduction of the new BMW M8 Coupe and Cabriolet, available in standard and Competition variants.
This comes almost two years after the M8 GTE race car made its debut in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, winning the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona during that time.
Under the hood is a 4.4-litre M TwinPower Turbo V8 engine with a 7,200 rpm redline that produces 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, the latter from 1,800-5,700 rpm. The Competition models add 17 horsepower and feature unique tuning to maximize performance. They are also equipped with the M Sport exhaust and an M Sound Control button allowing the driver to select the exhaust note that suits their desire.
Acceleration from 0-96 km/h takes just 3.0-3.2 seconds, depending on the model. Top speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h, but that can be increased to 305 km/h with the optional M Driver’s Package, which also includes a voucher for M School driver training at one of the two BMW Performance Center driving schools in the U.S.
An eight-speed M Steptronic transmission transfers power to the rear-biased M xDrive all-wheel drive system. It can be operated via the new gear lever or with the M shift paddles on the steering wheel.
The default 4WD mode focuses on providing maximum traction and controlled handling. 4WD Sport sharpens the M8’s response and agility further while sending more power to the rear wheels during dynamic driving. Experienced drivers can deactivate stability control to exploit the unique RWD-only mode.
Meanwhile, the standard Adaptive M Suspension uses data from body movement, road surface conditions and steering input to adjust each damper individually within milliseconds using electromagnetic valves. There are three available settings: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus. Obviously, the Competition models boast a firmer suspension to further improve steering and lateral responses.
Interestingly, the BMW M8 features a new single setup button, found in the centre console, which enables control over the engine, suspension, steering and xDrive settings—all of which were operated via individual control buttons in past M cars. Pressing this button brings up the setup screen on the centre display and allows various settings to be chosen and saved to the steering wheel-mounted M1 and M2 buttons.
More Aggressive Looks
As for design, highlights include adaptive LED headlights with Laserlight technology, large openings in the front bumper for extra cooling, 20-inch M light-allow wheels (wider in the rear), black chrome finish on the kidney grille and side gills, plus high-gloss black finish on the mirror caps, rear spoiler and rear diffuser. The coupes get a lightweight carbon fibre roof, while cabriolets are equipped with a multi-layer insulated fabric soft top which is able to retract in 15 seconds at up to 48 km/h.
Inside, you’ll find an M leather steering wheel, exclusive M Sport seats with illuminated M badging and Merino leather in various tones, as well as BMW’s latest-generation iDrive and head-up display systems.
In the U.S., pricing for the new 2020 BMW M8 Coupe and M8 Cabriolet will start at $133,000 and $142,500, respectively. Details for Canada have yet to be announced.
Later this month, BMW will also unveil the new four-door 8 Series Grand Coupe.