New 8 Series will get M hero and a GTE racing spinoff
A flagship BMW M8 will headline the upcoming BMW 8 Series range, the company has confirmed, revealing a camouflaged example today - just hours after revealing the new Concept 8 Series show car.
Described by the company as the "icing on the cake" of the new 8 Series line-up, the the new BMW M8 also marks BMW Motorsport's return to Le Mans, with a race-spec M8 GTE currently under development, and scheduled to make its racing debut at the Daytona 24 Hours in January 2018.
The company has confirmed a camouflaged prototype of the M8 will be presented as part of the support programme for this year's Nurburgring 24 Hour race.
Despite the camouflage concealing most of the car's details, BMW says the new flagship luxury sports coupe will wear classic design features of its M Division, including larger air intakes, modified brakes and a sports exhaust system with quad-tailpipe outlets.
"The conception and development of the standard BMW 8 Series and the M model run in parallel," said Frank van Meel, president of the BMW M Division.
"The future BMW M8 will build on the genes of the 8 Series and augment its DNA with added track ability and generous extra portions of dynamic sharpness, precision and agility."
"It all flows into a driving experience that bears the familiar BMW M hallmarks and satisfies our customers’ most exacting requirements," he added.
BMW's drip-feed of the M8 follows the official reveal of the Concept 8 Series earlier this week at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, with the production version due sometime in 2018.
It's unknown what will power the 8 Series and M8 as yet, though a range of six-, eight- and potentially 12-cylinder turbocharged engines are likely. Of course, the new BMW M5's twin-turbo V8 - confirmed to produce "more than 450kW" - is surely a shoo-in for providing motivation in the M8.
With the 8 Series coming sometime next year, expect the M8 to launch globally either late-2018 or early-2019. For now, we'll have to wait for January to see the M8 GTE race car.