We're used to carmakers hedging their bets with claims about their upcoming models. Not BMW. Apparently the M8 has its sights set on the venerable 911 Turbo.
We're used to car companies keeping their cards close to their chest. We're used to them being coy, refusing to comment on their rivals.
That's not the case at BMW M. The upcoming BMW M8 has its sights set on the Porsche 911 Turbo. In fact Markus Flasch, recently-appointed head of BMW M, says it's being described as a "Porsche Turbo killer" in waiting. A bold claim.
Speaking with Australian media on a phone hookup from Munich, he explained how the brand's upcoming uber-coupe will be different from the M5 Competition with which it shares much of its running gear.
The M8 will be powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine nicked from the M5, with power put to the road through the big sedan's switchable four-wheel drive system.
Flasch says, though, the two-door M8 will have a much stiffer foundation than the four-door M5.
"When you see the M8 later this year you'll know what I mean. Most journalists that have driven the car compare it to the Porsche Turbo," he told the crowd.
"This car is the ultimate performance machine we offer," he went on, later confirming the car will have a stiffer chassis, 24mm lower centre of gravity and quicker front end than the M5. It'll be the fastest-ever M car around the Nurburgring Nordschleife when it launches, too.
Although he made it clear it'd be a fun project, Flasch suggested BMW M isn't likely to do a hypercar any time soon. The M8 will instead serve as flagship of the M range, a role which carries significant expectation.
Toppling the 911 Turbo would be no mean feat. It's fearsomely fast in now-superseded 991.2 guise, hitting 100km/h in just 3.0 seconds (2.9 seconds in Turbo S trim) from standstill, and Porsche isn't in the business of moving backwards. In other words, the next one should be even faster.
If the M5 is any guide, the M8 should have the firepower to match Porsche's best. With 460kW and 750Nm on tap from its 4.4-litre displacement, the near-two-tonne M5 Competition hits 100km/h in 3.3 seconds. The lower, leaner M8 should improve on that.
We also know BMW has gone all-out to ensure drivers can customise their M8 to within an inch of its life. Along with the usual options for throttle response, steering weight and traction control intervention, drivers will be able to adjust their brake pedal response.
"We have a very close connection to our customers," said Flasch when prodded on why BMW M offers so much customisation.
"Our customers tell us they don't mess around with those adjustable features every day," he said. "When they get a new car, they adjust it to their standard roads – maybe an everyday mode and a weekend mode – put this on the M settings on the steering wheel, then they leave it.
"All of them enjoy the possibility to tune their car in the first place."
The new M8 will launch later this year.