The new models derive their performance from the most powerful engine ever developed for a BMW M GmbH car: a high-revving V8 unit with M TwinPower Turbo technology developing 625hp. Two turbochargers, cross-bank exhaust manifolds, direct injection with increased pressure, plus cooling and oil supply systems designed for driving at the limit on the track combine to deliver supreme performance and handling.
The high-performance power unit is aligned to an eight-speed M Steptronic, before it is channelled to the road via the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The rear-wheel bias of M xDrive delivers assured handling with optimised traction. The performance-focused character of the engine and transmission enables the BMW M8 Competition Coupé to sprint from zero to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds and from zero to 124 mph in 10.6 seconds while the Convertible will complete the task in 3.3 and 11.1 seconds respectively.
All models have an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph, rising to 189 mph if the optional M Driver’s Package is specified. The Coupé’s average fuel consumption is 25.2-25.4 mpg with CO2 emissions of 253-252 g/km while the Convertible’s fuel combined fuel consumption is 25-25.2 mpg with CO2 emissions of 256-254 g/km.
The high-revving 4.4-litre V8 engine in the new models works alongside two turbochargers – positioned in the ‘V’ between the cylinder banks for optimised efficiency – and indirect charge air cooling help the engine to deliver outstanding performance.
The specially tuned responses of the engine powering the BMW M8 Competition Coupé and Convertible means that peak torque of 750Nm is delivered at 5,800 rpm and develops a maximum output of 625hp at 6,000rpm. The V8 teams up with a special engine mounting for a more rigid connection with the vehicle structure. This results in even more direct engine response and immediate transmission of power to the drivetrain. The stiffer engine mounting also has a positive effect on the immediacy of turn-in and the transmission of engine noise into the cabin.
|Model||Maximum Power (hp)||Peak Torque (Nm)||Acceleration (0-62mph) ||Top Speed (mph)||Fuel economy (mpg)||CO2 emissions (g/km)||OTR Price from|
|BMW M8 Competition Coupé||625||750||3.2 ||155 (189 with M Driver Package)||25.2-25.4||253-252||£123,435|
|BMW M8 Competition Convertible||625||750||3.3||155 (189 with M Driver Package)||25-25.2||256-254||£130,435|
The engine’s immense thrust is accompanied by a stirring soundtrack courtesy of the model-specific exhaust system that features twin tailpipes with a diameter of 100 millimetres apiece. The acoustic character also changes according to the set up selected by the driver. Whichever mode is engaged, the driver can dial down the engine’s aural impact using the M Sound Control button on the centre console. By selecting SPORT PLUS the engine’s response and sound becomes even closer to the world of motor racing.
The rear-wheel-biased version of the M xDrive system only brings the front wheels into play when the rear wheels reach their power-transferring limits and additional traction is required. The driver can also configure the distribution of power between the front and rear wheels, as required, via the Setup menu. The default 4WD provides maximum traction and controllable handling while 4WD Sport mode turns the intensity of the driving experience up another notch with a noticeable sharpening of the car’s agility. Here, the system diverts a larger slice of engine power to the rear wheels. Deactivating the Dynamic Stability Control system (DSC) transfers power exclusively to the rear wheels for a more exhilarating drive.
Minimised weight, a low centre of gravity, an ideally sized wheelbase and exceptionally wide tracks along with excellent torsional rigidity from the M-specific chassis ensure the BMW M8 Competition models stand out for pure driving enjoyment. It is the result of extensive testing at BMW Group’s test track in Miramas in southern France, the winter testing centre in Arjeplog, Sweden and the Nürburgring Nordschleife, along with other race circuits. Experience collected from the development of the BMW M8 GTE racing car also played a role in the configuration process.
The model-specific chassis technology has been designed and tuned with the specific demands of track use in mind while also delivering every-day driving and long-distance comfort.
The BMW M8 Competition models allow the driver to choose various settings for the engine, suspension, steering and braking, independently of one another, using the Setup button on the centre console. Through the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system, the driver is also able to adjust how power is distributed between the front and rear wheels. The engine characteristics can be adjusted by means of the EFFICIENT, SPORT and SPORT PLUS settings, while the COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT PLUS chassis options give access to the three profiles for the electronically controlled dampers. The driver can also choose between COMFORT and SPORT for both the M-specific electromechanical steering and the new braking system. When DSC is deactivated, the 4WD, 4WD SPORT and 2WD (pure rear-wheel drive) settings for the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system also come into play.
Two individually composed variants of this M setup can be stored permanently with the driver’s preferred settings for the engine sound, gearshift characteristics of the eight-speed M Steptronic transmission, driving stability control and Auto Start Stop function. The overall vehicle configuration can then be called up at any time by pressing one of the two M buttons on the steering wheel.
Both BMW Competition models feature standalone configuration and tuning of selected chassis components to deliver agile handling. The vehicle setup has been carefully adjusted to the engine’s higher output, generating an exclusive racing-car feel. Both cars utilise M-specific Adaptive suspension that has electronically controlled dampers. The basic damper setup, therefore, can be varied at the touch of a button.
The Competition models’ bespoke modifications translate first and foremost into superior steering precision and cornering dynamics. It starts with the extra-stiff engine mounting to ensure greater precision on turn-in while increased camber at the front axle enhances their ability to absorb lateral forces through highspeed corners.
Another factor in delivering the driving experience for which M models have become renowned is M Servotronic steering. The electromechanical system combines speed-sensitive power assistance and a variable steering ratio, enabling exactly the right amount of steering torque for every situation. The result is accurate turn-in and sensitive communication of the steering wheel’s movements when powering through bends and effortless manoeuvring and parking at low speeds.
Steering response can also be varied by pushing a button to select one of two settings. COMFORT mode combines cornering accuracy with well-resolved steering feel, while also providing the driver with plenty of feedback. In SPORT mode the steering is even more communicative and noticeably greater force is required to turn the wheel in more dynamic driving situations.
The M compound brakes are standard for the new BMW M8 Competition models. The drilled, inner-vented discs on the front wheels are 395 millimetres in diameter and feature six-piston fixed callipers. The rear wheels work with single-piston floating callipers and 380-millimetre discs. The optional M carbon-ceramic brakes – with 400-millimetre discs at the front axle and 380-millimetre discs at the rear – provide even greater stopping power, resistance to fade and thermal stability, not to mention an extraordinary ability to fend off wear.
Both brake variants are fitted in conjunction with an M-specific version of an integrated braking system. Thanks to this cutting-edge technology, the brake activation, brake booster and braking control functions are brought together within a compact module. The integrated system reduces weight by around two kilograms and employs a vacuum-free brake booster to enhance the car’s overall efficiency.
The version of the new braking system developed for BMW M models also offers two pedal feel settings. COMFORT and SPORT modes alter the amount of pressure on the brake pedal required to slow the car. The driver can therefore choose between more comfort-oriented and particularly direct, instantaneous response when braking.
The DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system is interlinked with both M xDrive all-wheel drive and the Active M Differential. Its range of functions includes the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Automatic Differential Brake (ADB-X), Brake Assist, Dry Braking function and Start-Off Assistant. The driver has the option of activating M Dynamic mode as an alternative to the default setting by pressing a button on the centre console. This mode allows a greater degree of wheel slip and combines with the M xDrive system’s rear-biased set-up for sportier driving. DSC can be deactivated at the push of a button.
Measuring 4,867 millimetres in length, 1,907 millimetres wide, 1,362 millimetres tall, and with a 2,827-millimetre wheelbase (and 1,627-millimetre front track and 1,632-millimetre rear track), the new BMW M8 Competition models display the hallmark proportions of a luxury-class sports car. Their dynamic appearance is shaped by a low-slung body, stretched outline, slim window graphic and roofline flowing into the rear.
Character-defining features of the Coupé include the double-bubble contour of its M carbon roof, reminiscent of classic racing cars. Passengers in the Convertible are protected from the elements by a high-quality fabric roof pulled taut over the cabin. The multi-layer soft-top opens and closes in 15 seconds at the touch of a button while the electric mechanism can be activated while driving at up to 31mph. Once opened, the soft-top stows away flat under a high-quality cover whose surface structure matches that of the instrument panel, door and side-panel trim.
A model-specific take on BMW M design points to outstanding power and handling. Along with the BMW kidney grille, the three extra-large elements of the front apron’s intake satisfy the engine, transmission and braking system’s need for cooling air. The grille features the black double bars familiar from other M models and displays the ‘M8’ logo in High-gloss black. Both cars have a grille surround and model lettering also in High-gloss Black.
All new BMW M8 models are fitted as standard with Adaptive LED headlights, while the optional BMW Laserlight with Selective Beam can be identified by blue accents inside the twin headlights.
Another exclusive feature is the suitably prominent Air Breathers with integrated M gills in the front side panels. M-specific design features include the exterior mirrors painted in High-gloss Black while the M-specific rear apron incorporates a diffuser inlay in contrasting colour, with the M Sport twin exhaust tailpipes in Black Chrome. Both cars are fitted with a spoiler on the boot lid in Black.
The optional M Carbon exterior package includes inlays for the front air intakes, exterior mirror caps, M gills in the side panels, plus a rear diffuser in Black. A notch in the centre of the spoiler mirrors the double-bubble contour of the roof.
The Competition models ride on 20-inch forged M light-alloy wheels in a bicolour, star-spoke design as standard, fitted with 275/35 R 20 tyres at the front and 285/35 R 20 tyres at the rear.
The interior design features red accents on the M leather steering wheel’s M buttons and the start/stop button on the centre console. The newly designed transmission selector lever with Drivelogic switch is leather-surfaced with an embedded M logo and stitching in M GmbH colours.
The newly developed sports seats have perforated 3D quilting, pronounced side bolsters, clearly defined shoulder areas and integral head restraints with illuminated model badges. Full Merino leather trim is standard, and both cars come exclusively with bicolour leather/Alcantara trim. The standard-fit M Sport seats feature the BMW Individual headliner.
A new control system makes it possible to tailor the high-performance sports cars’ set-up even more closely to personal preferences and the situation at hand.
BMW’s Comfort Access system, telephony with wireless charging, the BMW Display Key, Adaptive LED headlights and ambient lighting are all included as standard. There is also the option of BMW Laserlight with BMW Selective Beam, which generates a high-beam range of up to 600 metres. As well as boasting a BMW Head-Up Display with M-specific readouts, the new M8 Competition models also come with the Driving Assistant and Parking Assistant Plus as standard, while an array of further driver assistance systems are available as options. The BMW Live Cockpit Professional – including navigation system and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant – is also standard equipment and provides full access to the latest digital services from BMW Connected and BMW ConnectedDrive.
The BMW Live Cockpit Professional also brings the benefits of the new BMW Operating System 7.0 to the M8 Competition models. Its fully digital screen grouping comprises a high-resolution instrument cluster behind the steering wheel with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches and a 10.25-inch Control Display. The driver has a choice of the Control Display’s touchscreen, the familiar iDrive Touch Controller, the controls on the steering wheel, voice control or BMW’s gesture control.
The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is another element of the operating system. The digital companion can be activated with the spoken prompt “Hey BMW” and helps the driver to use vehicle functions. What’s more, he constantly acquires new skills thanks to the updates transmitted by Remote Software Upgrade.
The standard Head-Up Display projects driving-related information onto the windscreen and directly into the driver’s field of view. It employs full-colour graphics and allows the driver to see a wealth of information without having to divert their eyes from the road.
The M Mode button on the centre console making its debut in the new BMW M8 Competition models can be used to alter both the responses of the driver assistance systems and the information shown in the instrument cluster and Head-Up Display. M Mode allows the driver to activate ROAD, SPORT and a TRACK setting. Changing the mode alters the information presented to the driver on the screens, while the safety-enhancing interventions by the driver assistance systems – such as active braking or steering inputs – are reduced to a bare minimum or deactivated altogether.
In the default ROAD setting, all the standard and optional driver assistance systems are fully activated. A simple press of the M Mode button engages the SPORT setting, in which the active driver assistance systems (in the configuration set by the driver) now only transmit alerts on speed limits and overtaking restrictions, for example. This mode allows all interventions in the braking and steering systems to be disabled, aside from those made by the Collision Warning with braking function and the Evasion Assistant.
In SPORT mode, the driver benefits from M View in both the instrument cluster and the Head-Up Display. Here, only relevant information for sporty driving – i.e. an M-specific engine speed dial, the shift lights, a digital speed display and the gear currently engaged – is displayed in the cockpit. The Head-Up Display readout is concentrated around the engine revs and shift lights, navigation instructions and distance warnings, the gear selected and the vehicle speed, plus the speed limits and overtaking restrictions detected by the Speed Limit Info system. Pressing the M Mode button again returns the driver to the default ROAD mode.
An extended press of the M Mode button engages TRACK mode. The decision to activate this mode must be confirmed using the iDrive Controller. In this setting, all the comfort and safety functions of the driver assistance systems are deactivated. In addition, the audio system and Control Display are both switched off in order to focus the driver’s attention even more intently on the road ahead. The instrument cluster and Head-Up Display also include M View. In TRACK mode road sign detection and distance information does not display. Pressing the M Mode button again takes the car out of the TRACK setting and back into ROAD mode.
The standard Driving Assistant can be supplemented with a wide choice of other driver assistance systems designed to ease the driver’s workload in monotonous driving situations and so enhance both comfort and safety. Customers can also opt for the Driving Assistant Professional that adds features such as the steering and lane control assistant, the lane keeping assistant with active side collision protection, the Evasion Assistant, junction warning, wrong-way driving warning and front-crossing traffic warning systems.
The standard Parking Assistant Plus also includes a rear-view camera, Top View, Panorama View and 3D Top View functions as well.
The standard M Sport seats offer multi-way electric adjustment with memory function and allow the fore/aft position, backrest angle, backrest width and thigh support to be varied as required. They also include a semi-electric folding function for the backrests that makes getting in and out easier for passengers in the rear, as well as electric adjustment of the head restraints, which automatically drop down to their lowest position once the engine has been switched off. The rear backrest has a 50:50 split as standard, allowing one or both sections to be folded down and increase luggage capacity. When the rear backrest is upright, the Coupé offers 420 litres of boot space and the Convertible 350 litres. Automatic boot lid operation is yet another standard feature, as is hands-free opening and closing of the boot lid.
Rollover protection system is standard, and it consists of two protective bars behind the rear head restraints that automatically extend when the car is at risk of turning over. Standard equipment also includes a wind deflector, which can be set up in the rear-seat area to prevent unwanted air turbulence when driving with the roof down. The M Sport seats in the open-top come equipped with air collars, whose air outlets integrated into the head restraints can provide a pleasant warming effect in cooler weather.
A number of exclusive optional extras include active seat ventilation in the front seats, sun protection glass and a Heat Comfort package (featuring heated armrests in the doors and on the centre console for the driver and front passenger, plus a heated steering wheel) and the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system with fully active 16-channel amplifier and up to 16 speakers, some of which are illuminated.
The all-new BMW M8 Coupé and Convertible is on sale from now with prices starting from £123,435 OTR.