In news surprising nobody, BMW has announced the go-really-fast version of the new 8 Series, the BMW M8. I’m certain BMW knows that sounds like “mate” so despite it being my patriotic duty to make fun of it, I’ll refrain.
The 8 Series dripfeed continues apace, with the 8-Series Convertible announcement a couple of days ago and now the hot one. 2019 is a golden year for BMW sports cars already, with the Z4 about to hit the dealers. BMW’s excuse for the press release was to tell us, as per the pictures, final tuning is happening at Estoril in Portugal.
The 8 Series, as we already know, is replacing the funny looking 6, which itself had a lovely M version that felt kind of pointless. It didn’t look any better than the M5 (bitchy, yes) and didn’t then go any better.
The M8 nameplate has been on racetracks for almost a year, too, so that kind of told us what was happening. In Hollywood this is known as exposition.
You’ll be able to tell the M8 apart by a big aggressive front and rear bumpers, quad tailpipes and the fact it’s just blown past you at a gazillion miles an hour.
BMW M8 Drivetrain
The M8 is, as we’re expecting, basically an M5 in drag. Under that lovely long bonnet you’ll find Bavaria’s finest 4.4-litre twin turbo V8 spinning up least 440kW(600PS). For some reason, M is declining to put a final figure on it. Yeah, they’re making a habit of this and I am Not On Board.
We should be able to hear one coming as BMW is fitting an active exhaust. Let’s hope so – if there’s one thing missing from M cars, it’s a good racket.
As with the M5, there’s a switchable xDrive AWD system underneath. BMW says power only goes forward if it’s needed, but switching out the front wheels altogether forces the issue. And the same goes for the transmission – ZF’s utterly brilliant eight-speed is here for you and shifts like a demon.
BMW M8 Chassis
Between the rear wheels is M’s Active Differential, a key part of the M5/M6 concoction since the V10-powered M5. M says it will lock up to 100 percent, which means lurid tail slides a-go-go.
Electromechanical variable assistance steering looks after the pointing of the nose (or the tail when you’re in two-wheel drive).
Expect adaptive damping, too and the brakes are these new-fangled compound brakes.
Standard wheels are 19s with optional 20s. If you don’t get 20s, I don’t even know why you’re here. Actually, I do – a bit of sidewall on an M car never goes astray.
Yep. It’ll come in coupe, convertible and four-door Gran Coupe versions. I’m quite partial to Gran Coupe BMWs and weep for the underrated 4 Series. And weep it never got an M version.
Wait,what, a BMW M8 Convertible?
Yep. Actually, we missed the press release about the convertible. Again, we knew it was coming but BMW helpfully explained production is underway at Dingolfing.
Arriving in March 2019, you’ll get a choice of twin turbo V8 M850i Drive and 840d xDrive, with more variants coming. Like the 6 Series it replaces, it will have a textile roof which means it won’t have a Sir Mixalot backside.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.