Hot BMW M8 coupe will debut at 2019 Frankfurt Show with 600bhp+ twin-turbo V8 and all-new adjustable braking system
The new BMW M8 performance coupe is nearing the end of its development programme, and looks set to be the most powerful road car the brand has ever produced. The German firm plans to launch its flagship M car at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, alongside its latest M3 sports saloon and new M135i hot hatchback.
BMW’s M division has released some more official “spy shots” of M8 test mules undergoing development at the Estoril circuit in Portugal, alongside an outline of its planned performance enhancements. Updates include increased body and chassis rigidity, a reduced kerb weight, a lower centre of gravity, a wider track and a revised steering and suspension setup.
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The new M8 will be powered by the same 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine as the BMW M5, mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and the firm’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Two power outputs will be available, with the base model producing upwards of 600bhp, while a more potent Competition variant will offer around 625bhp.
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We’re told that xDrive system will be heavily rear-biased, as it is on the M5, and that a rear-wheel-drive mode will also be included. Later in its life-span, the M8 Coupe will be joined by an M8 Convertible and a four-door M8 Gran Coupe, as previewed by the M8 Gran Coupe concept from the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
Although it’s keeping a tight lid on the 0-62mph and top speed performance figures of the M8 range, BMW has announced that the car’s combined fuel economy will be in the region of 26mpg with CO2 emissions pegged between 243 and 246g/km. It’s unlikely that’s going to deter many prospective M8 buyers.
BMW’s new M8 will also feature a new integrated braking system. By combining the brake activation, booster and control functions within one module, BMW claims the system will offer improved braking response without impairing driver feedback. It also enables the ESP’s job to perform faster and more precisely than before, gives the pedal a more consistent feel – regardless of road surface or brake temperatures – and trims around two kilos by replacing the traditional vacuum-assisted brake servo with an electrically-operated actuator.
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The actuator can vary the amount of pressure applied to the brakes depending on the selected drive mode, with “Comfort” mode providing less aggressive response than “Sport” mode. The system will be teamed with both the M8’s standard disc brakes and its optional carbon-ceramic brakes.
New to the M8 – and a feature that will follow onto other M cars – will be a new ‘Setup’ button on the dash. This allows the driver to get straight into an overview of the current settings for the engine, chassis, steering and braking (before this required plenty of shuffling through sub-menus). From here, it will be much easier to tweak each parameter individually and assign two unique settings to the steering wheel-mounted ‘M’ buttons.
BMW M8 GTE concept
BMW gave us our first hint at the new M8’s proportions back in 2017, when its 2018 M8 GTE Le Mans racer appeared at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Frank van Meel, President of BMW’s M Division, 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.”
Are you looking forward to seeing the BMW M8 in full? Let us know below…