Don't think of the M8 as an M5 with two fewer doors.
Sorry, BMW fans, but M Division head Markus Flasch tells Australia's Which Car that the Bavarian brand has no intention to introduce a dedicated supercar. In his view, the new M8 fills that role by being "ultimate performance machine that we offer; it will be the fastest ever BMW at the Nürburgring Nordschleife," he tells Which Car.
Flasch calls the M8 "a Porsche Turbo killer,” which is an ambitious statement. The BMW uses the brand's 4.4-litre V8 from the M5 that makes 592 bhp and 553 pound-feet of torque in the normal tune or 616 bhp for the Competition version. The current 911 Turbo offers 533 bhp in standard trim or 572 bhp for the S variant.
However, a new generation 911 Turbo is already deep into development and reportedly offers around 600 bhp for the regular model and an alleged 640 bhp for the S. So while the M8 might best the current 911 Turbo, a driver might not have such an easy time topping the next-gen model.
While they use the same powertrain, Flasch says the M8 isn't simply an M5 with two fewer doors. "The centre of gravity is 24 mm [0.95 inches] lower than in the M5, you sit lower and we’ve done a lot to the connection of the chassis to the body," he told Which Car. "It makes the front much stiffer and the steering feels different; all our test drivers were surprised by the different character."
Buyers will have quite a few choices for how they get an M8. In addition to the standard and Competition versions, there will be coupe or convertible body styles. Later, the Gran Coupe saloon will also get the M8 treatment for folks who like the 8 Series' more aerodynamic look but need an extra pair of doors.
The M8 Competition goes on sale in October. The coupe starts at £123,435 OTR whilst the the convertible starts at £130,435. Pricing for the regular non-Competition M8 Coupe and Convertible has not been released yet.