Behold The New BMW M8 GTE Race Car

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Here's your best look yet at the new BMW M8.

The return of the beloved BMW 8 Series in concept form was one of the most exciting new car reveals of 2017 so far, but the luxury grand-tourer is one of many members that will make up the 8 Series family. A convertible will follow, along with a potent M8 which will also spawn a souped-up race car variant. After BMW Motorsport shared a tantalizing teaser sketch this week, new shots of the race-spec M8 tackling the Lausitzring circuit in Germany have emerged, giving us our best look yet at the new BMW M8.

The BMW M8 race car will compete in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship where it will replace the current M6 GTLM, as well as the LMGTE class of the FIA World Endurance Championship. That means you'll see the M8 at next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, which marks the first time the automaker has competed in the gruelling event in six years. BMW's last Le Mans victory was way back in 1999. Set to make its racing debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona early next year, the race-spec M8 will face stiff competition from the likes of the Porsche 911 RSR, Ferrari 488, Aston Martin Vantage, Ford GT, and Corvette C7.R.

Like the new Ford GT, the BMW M8 race car is being developed in parallel with the road car. "I had great fun with the car," said BMW works driver Martin Tomczyk after taking it for a three-day test drive at Lausitzring. "The BMW M8 GTE is good to drive from the outset, and it is easy for us drivers to work out the way it handles, which is important. We got a lot of kilometers under our belt, and gathered a lot of data." There's still plenty of testing left to do, however, including circuits in North America. Expect to see the BMW M8 GTE racer to be revealed later this year ahead of its competition debut next January.

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