Hot 8 Series has been confirmed, with an endurance-racing GTE variant hitting the Daytona 24 Hours in the new year

BMW is working to get hot M8 and M8 Convertible versions of the upcoming 8 Series ready for launch in the coming months - allowing our snappers to grab clearer shots of pre-production cars in public.

Seen most recently in drop-top guise, the high-performance M8 is being tested on and around the Nürburgring. In the video below, a coupé can be seen being driven at pace. Engineers are using the time to finalise the powertrain calibration and chassis settings.

The M8 sports large air intakes, quad exhausts and more aggressive styling than the regular 8 Series to signal its added potency.

The 8 Series is set to make its debut at the Los Angeles motor show later this year before going on sale in the second half of next year, with the M8 coming shortly afterwards. 

It’ll sit above the recently confirmed 8 Series, which itself was previewed by the 8 Series Concept, and will be joined by an endurance-racing counterpart, the M8 GTE. It's likely to be powered by an uprated version of the next M5's 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine and share the same 'M xDrive' four-wheel drive system. The production car will have M’s signature quad exhaust pipes, larger brakes and uprated air intakes, BMW announced, although further details have not been given. 

M division president Frank van Meel said: “The conception and development of the standard BMW 8 Series and the M model run in parallel. 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. It all flows into a driving experience that bears the familiar BMW M hallmarks and satisfies our customers’ most exacting requirements.”

“We have been involved with the wider 8 Series project from the very beginning," van Meel told Autocar. "Our challenge as engineers was actually to ensure that the standard car wasn’t too sporty for its customers, because we wanted the M8 to feel like a proper step up. Also, because not all 8 Series customers want an M car.”

Insiders suggest the 8 Series and M8 will use the same platform as both the 7 Series and 5 Series, and that the M car will share much of the engine and drivetrain of the forthcoming four-wheel-drive M5.

“For now, I can’t confirm that,” said van Meel, “except to say that we have watched the luxury sports coupé market closely and we see lots of four-wheel-drive cars within it already. We have also already proven that our M xDrive four-wheel drive system doesn’t adversely affect the handling purity of the new M5, and some journalists have already had a chance to test that and to write as much. There’s nothing to fear from four-wheel drive.

“We certainly want to make a statement with this car. It will sit at the very top of our model range and, for now, we have no confirmed plans for any series production model above it, so we understand it must have a specification suiting its position in our hierarchy.” So expect more than the 615bhp the next M5 is likely to deliver.

The M8 GTE racing car will be given its racing debut at the Daytona 24 Hours in January next year before returning a factory BMW effort to the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race in 2018 for the first time in six years.

The M8 will carry a heavy premium over the standard 8 Series, so a starting price surpassing that of even the i8 supercar is certain; the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupé kicks off at around £131,000, so the M8 should remain competitive with its Stuttgart rival.

Additional reporting by Matt Saunders

Join the debate


28 May 2017
In camouflage with its narrow headlights it reminds me of the front of the MG xpower sv.

15 August 2017

it won't be as nice as the old one.

15 August 2017

We all need to get used to narrow lights. New technology hi-intensity lights will spread to all cars and narrow strips will be the norm. 

15 August 2017

I saw one of these - along with a test fleet from Munich - on the top of the Grossglockner pass this June and, boy, is this thing big & bulbous. I'd wait til Alpina get their hands on it and then the world's plutocrats can rejoice in not only having a big, lardy, gadget-ridden express but also a smidgin' of exclusivity. If you stick to Munich's (as opposed to Buchloe's) version then make sure someone else is paying your PCP.....


15 August 2017

It's great that BMW continue to push engine technology, but unfortunate they don't back it up with reliability.   Or when they get something so wrong they don't fix it and support their customers as they should.


Instead you're left with bills running to thousands, sometimes even more than the car is worth.


Sadly, it's their European customers who are the ones who suffer.   In the USA BMW were forced to buy back tens of thousands of certain models with certain engines under their Lemon laws.


21 August 2017

With an M8 on the horizon I wonder if BMW will finally do a M7 to compete with the saloon version of the full-blown AMG S Class? They already do the M750i which competes with the S63.

21 August 2017
Saucerer wrote:

With an M8 on the horizon I wonder if BMW will finally do a M7 to compete with the saloon version of the full-blown AMG S Class? They already do the M750i which competes with the S63.

BMW now has the M760 Li, with a v12 engine and AWD, which should more than enough to deal with the AMG S Class.

21 August 2017

Modern BMW engines are famous for two things:


  1. Efficient power.
  2. Breaking down.


Sadly, the latter BMW kick UK costomers in to the long grass.   Just enough help to get you outside the warranty period by replacing known poor quality parts with similar poor quality parts.   Not actually fixing the problem.


In the USA they've had to warrant those parts out to 10 years, but not for UK customers because they can get away with it.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • BMW X3
    Car review
    19 January 2018
    The stakes have never been higher for BMW’s mid-sized SUV, now the X3 in its third generation. So can it deliver?
  • Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    19 January 2018
    Better looks, better value, better range, stronger performance and a quiet and relaxing drive make the Nissan Leaf a leading EV contender again
  • Volkswagen Up GTI
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Funky, light, enjoyable and even reasonably priced, the Volkswagen Up GTI is a car to be appreciated on its own compelling terms
  • Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 110 Redline
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Our first flavour of the 1.0 TSI-engined Skoda Fabia on UK roads shows it’s versatile but not all that sporty
  • Ford Ecosport 1.0 Ecoboost 125 Zetec front
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Can the updated Ford Ecosport improve its reputation and become the small SUV of choice, or is it another misguided effort from the Blue Oval?