A rapid 600bhp-plus BMW M8 performance flagship is set to crown a resurrected BMW 8 Series model line-up by the end of the decade.
The upmarket coupé is tentatively scheduled to make its world debut during the second half of 2019 and will rival the Aston Martin Rapide, Bentley Continental GT and Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupé in a move aimed at projecting BMW back into the upper echelons of the performance car arena.
The M8 will be propelled by a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine and offer buyers the choice of rear-wheel drive or an optional xDrive four-wheel drive set-up. All-wheel drive is expected to provide the aluminium and carbonfibre-intensive coupé with off-the-line traction to match the keenest of its rivals in standing-start acceleration. Insiders suggest its 0-62mph time will be “well under 4.0sec”.
The decision to push ahead with the M8 comes after an earlier aborted attempt at mating the original 8 Series with BMW M’s performance know-how. In 1990 the German car maker produced a one-off prototype of the 8 Series fitted with a 600bhp naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 engine, a bespoke 6.1-litre version of which was used to power the McLaren F1 supercar.