The long awaited range-topping M8 will soon be arriving to unseat the already potent M850i xDrive coupe, and although broad specific details have yet to be revealed, BMW has teased a few select characteristics that are appropriately driving excitement.
Chief among them is a base horsepower rating that is said to be north of 600, courtesy of the high-revving M TwinPower Turbo V8, which seems like it will be similar to the unit used in the F90 M5 and the more recent Competition version. xDrive with the ability to route power exclusively to the rear axle is also highlighted, another similarity with the current M5 super sedan, and a few other notable items include further improved weight distribution and chassis rigidity.
The M850i is impressive, enticing and exclusive in its own right, but it’s clear that BMW has left room in the brand portfolio for an even sharper, more performance-oriented model with even greater power. While the M Performance model will remain the gentleman’s grand tourer of choice within the model lineup, offering improved road manners and continent-crushing comfort and pace, the M8 will take the top spot as the most potent and cutting edge available, once it hits the streets.
Since the M8 prototype last came up on our radar, the model has clearly come closer to taking its ultimate series production form. Up until just recently, spy photos remained limited and didn’t reveal many details of note. Things have of course changed as we approach the world premiere, and the body alone appears quite a bit more aggressive and flared than the M Performance 850i. An exhaust featuring a quartet of large tailpipes is also visible, although the diffusor it will be framed by remains shrouded in camouflage. Wheels use an eye-catching cross-spoke design that reminds us of the style 666M wheels found on the competition package-equipped examples of the M3 and M4, but in a slightly different adaptation for the eight. The front is also significantly more aggressive as well, thanks what appears to be just minor massaging in a few areas to broaden the look of the various air channels. Carbon ceramic brakes make another appearance, and seem like they could be standard equipment on an upcoming M8 or M8 Competition, much like we speculate they may become on the rumored M2 CS and M5 CS.
Last but not most certainly not least, a video of what looks like an M8 test mule has also surfaced. Although some videos of pre-production cars tend to be a bit monotonous and uninteresting, the one below is definitely worth checking out. We’ve seen hundreds of BMWs hustled around the Nurburgring, but M8 in the video below is clearly being pushed to the outer boundaries of the performance envelope. From repeated fishtailing out of corners under heavy throttle to shrugging off road surface undulation at high speed with effortless precision and composure, the M8 seems poised to assume the spot of one of the most desirable BMWs in the lineup, along with giving other segment competitors a run for their money.—Alex Tock
[Photos and video courtesy BMW AG, Automotive Mike.]