Don't think of the M8 as an M5 with M8 two fewer doors.
Sorry, BMW fans, but M Division head Markus Flasch tells Australia's Which Car says 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-liter V8 from the M5 that makes 600 horsepower (447 kilowatts) and 553 pound-feet (750 Newton-meters) of torque in the normal tune or 617 hp (460 kW) for the Competition version. The current 911 Turbo offers 533 hp (397 kW) in standard trim or 572 hp (427 kW) for the S variant.
However, a new generation 911 Turbo is already deep into development and reportedly offers around 600 hp (447 kW) for the regular model and an alleged 640 hp (477 kW) 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 center of gravity is 24mm [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 sedan 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 goes on sale in September. The coupe starts at $133,000, plus a $995 destination charge, or $146,000 for the Competition version. The convertible starts at $142,500, and the price raises to $155,500 for the Competition.