The M8 is a car of hidden depths. Get it in the right location, get it into the right modes, and it’ll do things that you scarcely think are credible, given its mass and its size. And in its own way, that’s hugely impressive.
But for us, it’s not enough, especially at nearly £150,000 as tested, to become truly compelling. We’d like a car at that price to be more appealing, more frequently. As it is, though, there are pure GT cars that do the grand touring job more effectively (including BMW’s own M850i, an engaging and comfortable road car, incidentally) while there are sports cars that aren’t just more sporty but also just as capable and more cosseting than the M8 over distance.
Somehow, the M8’s approach – be a little firm, do a little sportively – works better in the M5, perhaps because a super-saloon has the extra appeal of its greater interior space and has fewer direct or indirect rivals. When it comes to the M8, though, the circumstances in which it shows its best side are too narrow. Hidden depths, sure – but we’d like some more obvious ones.