A few weeks ago we ran a feature on ‘Goldilocks cars’ and, you might wonder, occupying a space between pure sports cars like a 911 Carrera S and pure GT cars like the Continental GT, perhaps the M8 sits in a similar sort of place – if one is too hot or cold, maybe the M8 is just right?
Maybe, but probably not. The sports car basics are there: there’s a low amount of roll, the steering is precise and, on a track, as befits the Competition title but not necessarily the typical use of a five-metre-long GT car, the M8 can pull off some seriously impressive feats. It hides its girth well and the harder you push it, the more keenly it responds, up to and including the point where you can put it in rear-drive mode and treat it like a muscle car. Even with four-wheel drive retained, its behaviour up to its limit, and slightly beyond it, feels largely rear biased.
But on the road – more likely the given location for a four-seat 1885kg car with Isofix child seat mounts – the M8 is more wanting. There’s a reasonable amount of road noise – more than a 911, in our experience – and combined with it is a surprising and not entirely welcome firmness over any sudden vertical movements, particularly on the kinds of bad roads of which the UK has a speciality.
Out here, the way it disguises its mass at extremes isn’t just less noticeable: it’s less necessary, too. And we’d swap some of that for more compliance. Ultimately, driving it back to back with the aforementioned Bentley and Porsche alternatives, it’s not just the one with the ‘B’ on its nose but both alternatives that make better-riding cars.
That the M8 can’t cope with the plushness of the Continental GT is understandable; but less so that you’d prefer a 911 to the M8 for a day-long road trip of many hundreds of miles.