The New BMW M8! Sneak Preview and Flat Out Hot Laps
By Tim Burton
The new BMW M8 is coming! Join me for a special first look at an early prototype and some hot laps on track with Joerg Weidinger at Estoril to get a feel for it. Not only that, but I also then got to jump into a fully kitted out M8 GTE racecar for a drive.... wow!
With limited information, all we know so far is that the BMW M8 and M8 Competition models will arrive in future, with all of the Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe bodystyles coming. It is powered by the 4.4l TwinPower Turbo V8 with in excess of 600hp (the M5 Competition is 625hp so fair to assume that as a minimum), and features the trick M xDrive system to fully adjust the power delivery from 4WD to 2WD on demand.
For some hot laps of the new Super-GT, I join Joerg Weidinger, BMW driver and double Touring Car Champion, where he explains us through the different driving modes of 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD while proceeding to throw the car quite dramatically around Estoril circuit.
To top off the day, I had the opportunity to experience a full WEC-specification M8 GTE racecar as the full range of models including the M8 GTE and M8 have been developed concurrently by BMW. With 500hp, 800kg or so of downforce, and weighing in at just 1,255kg, clearly this was something quite extreme to experience and a gigantic learning curve to be able to get the most out of it.
A special thanks to BMW, BMW M, Joerg and the team for the chance to have a sneak peak at the M8 as well as to actually drive the M8 GTE.