BMW to make upcoming 8 Series into M Division flagship
Just days after whipping the covers off a concept previewing the upcoming 8 Series, BMW has confirmed its new flagship will be getting the M treatment. Details are hard to come by at the moment, but the M8 promises to blend all the grand touring goodness of the standard car with a proper fire-breathing drive for when the mood strikes you.
The BMW range is full of long-serving nameplates, but 8 Series isn't one of them. The 3, 5 and 7 Series are now into their sixth, seventh and sixth generations respectively, but the 8 was only around for one generation and ten years. In that time, it served as the two-door flagship for BMW – with a lineup consisting exclusively of V8 and V12 engines. Although a prototype was built, there was never an M8.
This time around, the flagship sports BMW will be available in full-on M Division tune. It will run with bigger air intakes, pumped-up brakes and a sports exhaust – just like the rest of the M cars running around at the moment. Although no powertrain details have been released yet, we're betting it will run with a similar four-wheel drive and turbo V8 to the upcoming M5.
"The conception and development of the standard BMW 8 Series and the M model run in parallel," says Frank van Meel, President of BMW M. "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."
Along with the road going M8, the team in M Division will also be using the 8 Series as the base for its new GTE racer. The M8 GTE will make its public debut later this year, before it hits the track for the first time at Daytona in January 2018. The real goal, though, is to take out GTE class at Le Mans next year. We'll be sure to keep you posted on all the latest as BMW unveils its full 8 Series range.
The M8 made its first (heavily camouflaged) appearance at the Nurburgring 24 Hours.