Official instrumented test results for the BMW M8 and M8 Competition have yet to be published, but the automotive world is still quite curious to know just how capable BMW’s latest range-topping model is. When it was announced last year, we speculated that the M8 Gran Coupé would be the new fastest four-door BMW model, and so far, initial drag race comparisons for the two-door coupe have yielded promising outcomes.
The M5 and its Competition sub-model are already blisteringly fast, with acceleration times that can drop into the high two-second range when launch control is used, courtesy of the S63 M V8 and M xDrive, among other things. As we noted when BMW unveiled the production specifications last year though, the BMW M8 is both lighter and slipperier, even if the differences are marginal at best. With a drivetrain that is essentially identical to that of the M5, this means the M8 shouldn’t have much difficulty establishing itself as the dominant force within the BMW lineup.
We’ll be sure to update the community when magazines like Car and Driver publish their official, benchmark-setting test figures, but so far, some initial drag races that have pitted the BMW M8 Competition against cars like the M5 Competition, and other strong counterparts like the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S, Tesla Model X P100D, and Audi R8 Performance. You can watch the Carwow videos for yourself here and here, or we can save you the twenty minutes by saying the M8 Competition is one of the most potent cars on the road with consistent quarter-mile acceleration that does not disappoint.
If you notice anything about these competitors, it’s that some of them cost significantly more than models like the M5, and don’t offer the kind of utility and functionality found in the M8 Competition, which can be considered a grand tourer with four seats and a cavernous trunk. The two-door M8 may not offer the same interior room as the M5, but it can be had with four-doors, and it’s far more usable than something like the Audi R8 or any variant of the Porsche 911 when it comes to every day life.
How did BMW’s new flagship fare in the Carwow acceleration tests? Quite well. When stacked up against it’s closest corporate rival, the M5 Competition, the M8 Competition delivered consistent acceleration that allowed it to cover the quarter-mile in eleven seconds flat in the best results. The M5 Competition has been shown to run the quarter-mile in as fast as 11.1 seconds, but during the latest comparison against the M8 Competition, launch control proved problematic, and the best time the M5 Competition could muster was around 11.5 seconds. Either of those results are remarkably fast, and both of them indicate that BMW has worked to differentiate the two range-topping M cars in terms of performance.
When it comes to the rest of the competitive field, the M8 had no problem standing up to the likes of more expensive, exclusive, and sportier cars like the Audi R8 and Mercedes-AMG GT63 four-door. While the R8 claimed the fastest quarter-mile time of 10.7 seconds, it’s important to remember that Audi’s mid-engine sports car weights significantly less, seats just two, and uses a naturally aspirated V10. With the advantage of a rolling start, the M8 Competition rose to prominence, coming in first.
What does it all mean? At the end of the day, we can’t help but feel these results are precisely the kind that BMW aims to achieve when it unveils a model like the current M5 or M8. Production power figures may not best competitors on paper, but on the road or circuit, where things really matter, the BMW models shine. They don’t just stack up nicely against other cars in their segment, either, as comparisons against cars with fewer doors, less storage space, higher MSRPs, and a more purpose-built nature are either just a few tenths of a second ahead, or within spitting distance (or perhaps a tuned S63 V8) away from finding themselves in their wake turbulence.
For us, the results may not be particularly surprising given the speculation about the power of current BMW engines, both M and non-M, but they also reinforce the notion that, more than 50 years after the 2002tii put the company on the map, and 35 years after the M5 first challenged supercars, BMW is continuing to offer versatile performance cars capable of challenging the competition.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]