If this curious BMW M8 looks familiar, it's because we've seen it before. Not other prototypes mind you, but this exact car with 2108 on its number plate. In mid-May it appeared on the Nürburgring looking slightly less aggressive than it does now, and at the time we thought it previewed a hardcore M8 CSL model. Since then, BMW confirmed with Motor1.com that it's not a CSL and there are no plans to build such a car.
What is it then? BMW says it's a vehicle they use to test new accessories and racing parts, and it's an explanation that makes sense. The latest iteration of this M8 still has the vented quarter windows and tall spoiler, not to mention the red-tinged grille. However, it now sports red LED daytime lamps in the headlights that look like every evil robot you've ever seen in the movies. There's also a new vented bonnet with stripes to make sure you notice, but those appear to be the only changes for this version of 2108.
Gallery: BMW M8 Test Vehicle New Spy Photos
Of course, BMW could be pulling a Voltswagen by injecting some misinformation about this situation. Our spy sources aren't entirely convinced by BMW's statement, and there is a notable birthday BMW will celebrate next year. The M division marks 50 years of performance fun in 2022, and a special-edition M8 could go a long way in making the party something to remember. Still, when given rumours or an official automaker statement, we look to the statement first.
That doesn't mean we won't see something fresh for the 8 Series in the near future, especially with the M division's 50th anniversary on deck. Red running lights in front probably won't be a production item, but the cool bonnet could hide engine upgrades for some added punch on the straightaways. In any case, we'll keep an extra eye out for more information on BMW's M8 intentions.