I think that most of us have already decided that the M8 is a stunning machine, regardless of the color that adorns it. Whether in coupe, Gran Coupé, or convertible form, the M8 looks brilliant in just about any shade, and every imaginable palette just seems to work. You could give me a bare-bones brushed-aluminum example, and chances are I’d probably still think it was beautiful.
However, there are some colors that elevate its M presence. While I am far from a designer myself, I do fancy a nice set of watercolors, or oils—and spend way too much time admiring their hues. There’s a reason why Pablo Picasso and André Derain never shied away from a high-intensity palette; color is an impactful and significant tool in showcasing art. It highlights the perfection of the piece, while simultaneously drawing your eye to the individual brush strokes and lines. For me, there’s no point living in a strictly black-and-white world.
And neither should a BMW.
You could choose a standard paint for your M8, but when you have the means, why not take it to the next level with an Individual or Individual Manufaktur shade? As I’ve stated previously, the M8 doesn’t need any specific complexion, but when BMW hands you the paint brush—or the online individual configurator—it’s hard to resist letting your imagination dictate your customization.
Two-doors, four-doors, or no-roof—pick your poison. Each configuration will be arresting. I do, however, feel that the M8’s poignant, aggressive exterior is best defined by the darker, multi-dimensional metallic paints. Don’t get me wrong: The voracious, tarmac-tearing personality of the M8 is greatly enhanced by the brighter, intense colors like Voodoo Blue, Verde Mantis, and Light Red, but there’s something to be said about the darker hues.
My personal favorites, Macao Blue and Malachite Green, infuse the Competition trim with some of the qualities of a black panther: sleek, stealthy, and athletic, a perfect trifecta in my eyes. The darker greens, like Malachite, Peridot, and Verde Ermes, all look striking with lighter interiors, like Midrand Beige or Taruma Brown, and create a more traditional visage that pays homage to vintage racing and BMW’s motorsport heritage. Even deeper tones, like Mora and Wildberry, give the M8 the appeal of a vintage wine, merging classic looks with a modicum of new-age design—a handsome combination. I’d be daft to forget to mention Ametrin Metallic as well; it’s a brighter purple that looks absolutely killer on the 2020 Gran Coupé.
I simply have too many favorites.
If you find the darker hues too confining, and the brighter colors too fluorescent, Zanzibar II and Sepia Violet make for a dazzling compromise. Both are sensationally eye-catching in their own right, but also retain the placid, modest impression of the more obscure, caliginous colors. Or, if you appreciate the beauty in simplicity, BMW’s Individual neutral and monochrome shades will not leave you disappointed. My picks include Hockenheim Silver (which already looks fantastic on the M2 Competition) and Gunmetal II—for those looking to create an under-the-radar secret-agent identity for their high-performance M.
If the exclusivity of a BMW Individual finish isn’t enough, BMW has a solution for collectors. The Individual Manufaktur Edition M8, available only in the matte-finished Frozen Black or clear-coat-finished Fire Red, is a limited-edition run of the F92 Competition coupe, with only twenty Canadian-market examples, ten in each color. If Fire Red looks familiar, that’s because it is: The same stunning red was found on the E31 M8 prototype from the ’90s, which has now come full circle, reappearing on these rear versions of the successor. While you are given a choice between two exterior colors, the interior is available only in a striking Sakhir Orange and rich black pairing, with carbon-fiber dash trim and a special Individual Manufaktur badge, of course. Unfortunately, the Individual Manufaktur Edition M8 will not be coming to the states, but rather will be exclusive to the Canadian market, for a little over $150,000.
If you’re in the U.S. and want the M8 draped in something wild, look no further than the First Edition M8 Gran Coupé, of which 400 are scheduled to be in production for the global market. This one comes exclusively in BMW Individual Diamant Green Metallic with star-spoke wheels finished in Goldbronze, and highlights rings that cast a yellow shade—just like the concept pictured at the top of this article.
As you can see, there are no bad shades on the M8—every color is the M8’s color. When your canvas is a high-performing, luxury M, anything looks good, and your final decision will surely only make it look better.—Malia Murphy
[Photos via BMW AG, BMWBlog, Mark Riccioni for Top Gear.]