The results are finally in. Car and Driver has run the M8 Competition through the gamut that is their instrumented test protocol, and the numbers are impressive. The M5 and M5 Competition have been unseated as BMW’s fastest current production models, with the M8 and M8 Competition rightfully accepting the crown. Remember 2005, when you needed to spend seven figures for the 2.5-second zero-to-60 Bugatti Veyron hypercar? Performance has been democratized, and now, you can get an M8 that can match that acceleration time, but with one less comma in the MSRP.
When the M8 was unveiled just over a year ago, it was clear that the model would carry the mantle of the flagship performance BMW model. We later wrote an article with speculation on just how fast real-world testing might reveal the M8 and M8 Competition to be, in which we dove into the specific such specific details like weight, aerodynamics, and more. Considering the M8 shares its drivetrain with the incredible F90 M5, it wasn’t outside of the realm of possibility to expect the more focused M8 to outperform it.
The results of Car and Driver’s instrumented test of the M8 Competition were published in the August issue of the magazine, but the story and figures have also been shared online. We encourage you to read the full review and appreciate the numbers for yourself, but in short, the M8 Competition is a staggeringly capable performer. As explained above, this comes as no particular surprise, but what intrigues us even more is how the M8 Competition stacks up against other counterparts, whether from the same segment or not.
Within the article, Car and Driver includes a chart of sorts, which pits the M8 Competition against the likes of the Ferrari 488 Pista among others, one of the highest-performing vehicles one can currently purchase. The M8 Competition doesn’t just out-accelerate the 488 Pista to 60; it does so with a curb weight difference of 943 pounds, and a deficit of 93 horsepower and fifteen pound-feet of torque. Over the quarter-mile, the Ferrari walks the Bavarian brute, with similar results for braking, top speed, and road-holding, which serves as the perfect segue to our next point.
The BMW M8 Competition and Ferrari 488 Pista are very different cars. It goes without saying, and it’s not exactly news for a BMW car. From its inception, the M5 has been challenging the likes of exotics and supercars, all while offering more in the way of functionality and everyday usability, at a lower price. The M8 Competition is no exception; the example tested cost $175,745, compared with $448,884 for the Ferrari. Looking at something which is perhaps a bit more realistic to compare, the C8 Corvette (Z51 Stingray), which happens to lack rear seats, weighs less, is slower to 60, and only matches the road-holding ability of the M8 Competition. The Corvette and Ferrari are both far more focused performers than the M8 Competition, and yet, BMW has found a way to make things like weight seem almost meaningless, at least when it comes to the results on paper.
Need more convincing? The list of production cars capable of sprinting to 60 in 2.5 seconds or less continues to grow, with the M8 joining the likes of the Porsche 911 Turbo S (2020 model year, 992-generation), 991-generation Porsche 911 GT2 RS, Lamborghini Huracan and Aventador SVJ, McLaren 720s, and even the Bugatti Chiron. All of these models have been independently tested as going from zero to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds.
There’s still one remaining piece to the puzzle though, and that is the M8 Gran Coupé. We’ve yet to see official test results, but when it was announced last year, we had a feeling it would be the new fastest four-door BMW. All of the specifications point that way, and Car and Driver‘s incredible 2.5-second zero-to-60 result for the two-door M8 Competition is just more convincing evidence. While the M8 Competition in Gran Coupé form isn’t expected to outperform its two-door stablemates, it shouldn’t be far off, either. The F90 M5 already changed the rules when it brought four-door performance into what was previously a realm reserved for supercars, and it’s only natural for the more stylish yet still functional M8 Gran Coupé to follow.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]