Initially revealed in Competition form, the M8 is the latest in a growing line-up of performance models from BMW’s M division. It builds on the strengths of the M850i, with a powertrain shared with the BMW M5 and a chassis honed during a 24-month development programme at the Nürburgring.
The now familiar twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 offers up to 616bhp and a top speed of 190mph in top-of-the-line Competition guise, thanks to tweaks to the induction system and more rigid engine mountings than the standard M8. Peak power is produced at 6000rpm, with 553lb ft delivered between 1800 and 5800rpm. BMW quotes a 0-62mph time of 3.2sec for the M8 Competition in Coupé form, with the Convertible one-tenth slower over the same sprint.
The regular M8 uses a slightly detuned version of the V8 producing 592bhp – the same as the standard M5. Peak power appears at 6000rpm and the same 553lb ft as the Competition model is delivered between a slightly narrower rev band, from 1800-5600rpm.
The M8’s power figure is 69bhp more than that of the turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 used by the M850i, which shares the M8’s torque figure. The 0-62mph time for the standard M8 is 3.3sec for the Coupé, and 3.4sec for the Convertible. Both weigh 1885kg and are limited to a nominal top speed of 155mph, although this can be raised to 190mph with an optional Driver’s Package that also brings tyres with a higher speed rating.